Telepsychiatry Services in New Hampshire
Although there is a shortage of mental health care professionals and a lack of timely access to care, some states like New Hampshire have fared quite well despite these circumstances. We believe an openness to alternative treatment modalities such as telepsychiatry could help further the initiatives already set in place by helping mental health centers to grow their clinical teams virtually. In states like New Hampshire where the geography is largely rural, telepsychiatry is the natural next step for many care centers to increase access to care.
Mental Health Statistics for New Hampshire
Mental Health America releases an annual report that analyzes the state of mental health across the country. New Hampshire ranked 14th overall, just above the 1-13 range which indicates a lower prevalence of mental illness and greater access to care. Alternatively, rankings 39-51 indicate a higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care
For a state with a smaller population and where over 500,000 people live in a rural area, New Hampshire has managed to maintain a decent rate of access to care and a lower prevalence of mental illness. Much of this can be attributed to an abundance of resources available to residents and proper funding for mental health care services. In New Hampshire’s 10-year mental health plan, they openly discuss gaps in their current system that need to be addressed to see further improvements in access to care, such as the low-reimbursement rates affecting how much a clinician will be paid for a service provided. Recognizing areas for improvement in a 10-year plan to address mental health is certainly a hopeful sign for the future.
New Hampshire State Laws & Regulations
State laws and regulations are an important aspect of implementing and operating a successful 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.
New Hampshire Medicaid
NH Medicaid is required by statute to cover Medicaid-covered telehealth services when provided within the provider’s scope of practice. The New Hampshire Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services determined that the appropriate applications of telehealth include services provided by physicians and other health care providers as well as persons providing psychotherapeutic services. However, telemedicine services for primary care and substance use disorder services are covered only when the patient has established care at an originating site via face-to-face in-person service.
Private Payer & Parity Laws
A New Hampshire insurer offering a health plan can not deny coverage on the sole basis that the coverage is provided through telemedicine if the health care service would be covered if it were provided through in-person consultation between the covered person and a health care provider.
Benefits of Telepsychiatry
With almost half of the population in New Hampshire living in rural areas, increasing the use of telepsychiatry can increase access to care by removing the barriers of distance and lack of local clinicians.
For many patients living in rural areas, there are simply not enough mental health clinicians to meet demand. Many patients end up having to travel to receive care and for some frequent travel is not an option. When rural care facilities use telepsychiatry, patients have more timely access to care and can receive treatment from a facility in their community. Clinicians also benefit from telepsychiatry because they are able to provide patient care from anywhere as long as they are licensed to practice in that state.
Bringing in additional resources can be a long and costly process when your care facility is limited to only clinicians practicing in-person. With telepsychiatry, the pool of talent is larger and clinicians can work from their location of choice while helping communities in need. In cases that require a clinician with a sub-specialty, care centers can bring in a specialized clinician much faster via telepsychiatry rather than waiting to find an available local clinician.
Implementing Telepsychiatry in New Hampshire
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 New Hampshire. Care centers are able to grow their clinical team with remote clinicians without having to handle recruitment, which can be a large undertaking. 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.
New Hampshire Telepsychiatry Services from innovaTel
If your New Hampshire mental health care facility is interested in establishing a telepsychiatry program we encourage you to contact one of our experts today. Since 2014, innovaTel has been working to address the shortage of psychiatric clinicians by partnering with community mental health centers. Our nationwide network of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and licensed clinical social workers are committed to increasing access to care in New Hampshire and communities across the country.
“Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies.” Private Payer & Parity Laws, https://www.cchpca.org/telehealth-policy/current-state-laws-and-reimbursement-policies/new-hampshire-private-payer-laws-parity. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.
“Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies.” Live Video Policy, https://www.cchpca.org/telehealth-policy/current-state-laws-and-reimbursement-policies/new-hampshire-medicaid-live-video-policy. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.
“Department of Health and Human Services.” 10 Year Mental Health Plan, https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bbh/documents/10-year-mh-plan.pdf. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.
“Home Page | CCHP Website.” 10 Aug 2020, https://www.cchpca.org/node/9.
“Overall Ranking.” Mental Health America, https://www.mhanational.org/issues/ranking-states. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.
Rural Health for New Hampshire Introduction – Rural Health Information Hub. 8 Aug. 2019, https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/states/new-hampshire#:~:text=New%20Hampshire%20covers%208%2C968%20square,Concord%20is%20the%20state%20capital.