Montana Telepsychiatry Service Providers

The national shortage of behavioral health clinicians in the United States has resulted in long wait times for treatment, leaving many patients without psychiatric services. Wait times can be particularly long in states like Montana. The state of Montana has 55 medically underserved areas (MUA), and 45 of those areas are rural. Bringing additional behavioral health resources to rural communities through the use of telepsychiatry has proven to be very effective in increasing access to care.

Mental Health Statistics for Montana

According to Mental Health America, Montana ranks 43 overall in access to care and prevalence of mental illness. This ranking is based on 15 different measures including data on adults, children, and mental health workforce availability. Rankings 39-51 indicate a higher overall prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. Much of this can be explained by the fact that Montana is more geographically rural than urban. Rural areas are more likely to be medically underserved, especially in the behavioral health specialty. Montana is no exception, with most of the state being a mental health shortage area except for Yellowstone county; the largest county in the state. This shortage is not for a lack of demand as a recent state report found that one in five Montana residents deal with depression. 

Despite the low-rankings, Montana has seen an increase in the use of telemedicine due to the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. After shifting to telepsychiatry, mental health professionals saw a surge in patient engagement because clinicians were meeting the patients where they were at. The convenience and safety of telepsychiatry was essential during this time and will continue to be a viable option for patients to receive the level of care that they need.

Montana State Laws & Regulations

State laws and regulations are an important aspect of implementing and operating a telepsychiatry program. No two states are alike which is why it’s so important to research your own state’s laws before getting started. A resource we recommend is the Center for Connected Health Policy’s website.

Montana Medicaid

Montana Medicaid reimburses for “live-video” medically necessary telemedicine treatment. Montana Medicaid does not reimburse for services provided through “store-and-forward”. For live video services to be covered under Medicaid, the provider must be enrolled as Montana Healthcare Programs providers and be licensed in the state of Montana. 

Telepsychiatry Private Payer & Parity Laws Montana

Private payers will provide coverage for telemedicine administered through live, interactive video. In order to be covered, the services must be medically necessary and provided by an eligible clinician. 

Eligible clinicians in the behavioral health specialty include:

  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Advanced practice registered nurse

Parity law in Montana states that insurers are required to cover services provided via telemedicine the same way they would provide coverage for services provided in-person. 

Benefits of Telepsychiatry

With 45 out of the 56 counties in Montana qualifying as ”frontier” counties, increasing the use of telepsychiatry can increase access to care by removing the barriers of distance and lack of local clinicians.

Distance

For many patients living in rural areas, there are simply not enough behavioral health clinicians to meet demand. Many patients end up having to travel to receive care and for some regular travel is not an option. When rural care facilities use telepsychiatry, patients have more timely access to care and are able to receive treatment from a facility in their own community. Telepsychiatry allows clinicians to provide patient care from anywhere as long as they are licensed to practice in that state.

Additional Resources

For many patients living in rural areas, there are simply not enough behavioral health clinicians to meet demand. Many patients end up having to travel to receive care and for some regular travel is not an option. When rural care facilities use telepsychiatry, patients have more timely access to care and are able to receive treatment from a facility in their own community. Telepsychiatry allows clinicians to provide patient care from anywhere as long as they are licensed to practice in that state.

Implementing Telepsychiatry in Montana

Implementing telepsychiatry can be easy when you partner with an experienced telepsychiatry company like innovaTel. innovaTel partners with community mental health care centers to increase access to care in areas like Montana. innovaTel helps care centers to grow their clinical team with remote clinicians; handling all recruitment and only presenting you with qualified clinicians to choose from. This partnership will help your care center navigate state laws, licensing, and compliance, making the implementation process simple and efficient for you. After the onboarding process, your care center will still have the support of a clinical liaison as well as on-going IT support. 

Montana Telepsychiatry Services from innovaTel

If your Montana mental health care facility is interested in establishing a telepsychiatry program we encourage you to contact one of our experts today. innovaTel was founded in 2014 to address the shortage of psychiatric clinicians. Our nationwide network includes psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and licensed clinical social workers with a focused mission to improve timely access to care by partnering with community care centers. 

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