Telepsychiatry Services in North Dakota
Despite the national shortage of behavioral health clinicians, some states like North Dakota have taken a proactive approach towards mental health care by increasing the resources allocated to mental health services for residents in need. Despite its rural geography, North Dakota provides its citizens with reasonable access to care through government programs and openness to virtual solutions for mental health care. However, to keep up the momentum in addressing mental health care needs, mental health centers may need to add more clinicians to their team and a partnership with innovaTel Telepsychiatry can make it easy.
Mental Health Statistics for North Dakota
According to Mental Health America, North Dakota ranks 15 overall in access to care and prevalence of mental illness. This ranking is based on 15 different measures including data on adults, children, and behavioral health workforce availability. An overall ranking 1-13 indicates a lower prevalence of mental illness and higher rates of access to care. Rankings 39-51 indicate a higher overall prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. With North Dakota’s ranking falling just above the 1-13 bracket, this suggests that there is reasonable access to care, showing promise for improvement.
This promising rating from Mental Health America does not mean that North Dakota doesn’t have its issues to address. According to ND Today, North Dakota’s suicide rates are increasing faster than any other state in the country, even before the onset of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. This makes it even more crucial for community care centers to grow their clinical teams and offer more accessible services for those in rural areas.
North Dakota Telepsychiatry Laws & Regulations
Understanding state laws and regulations is essential when starting a telepsychiatry program. No two states are alike and in the current climate, laws are changing rapidly. A resource we recommend for staying up to date is the Center for Connected Health Policy’s website.
North Dakota Medicaid
For ND Medicaid to cover live video telehealth services, the communication and information shared between the physician or other qualified healthcare professional and the patient during the service must be “of an amount and nature that would be sufficient to meet the key components and/or requirements of the same service when rendered via face-to-face interaction.” Payment can only be made for services provided by licensed professionals enrolled with ND Medicaid.
Private Payer & Parity Laws
Many states have parity laws that prevent private payers from excluding certain services from their coverage. In North Dakota, an insurer must provide coverage for telehealth delivered services to the same extent as they would for the same service if it was provided in-person. services. They are not required to provide coverage for health services that are not medically necessary.
Benefits of Telepsychiatry
For organizations looking to expand their clinical team, finding additional clinicians in your area can be a time-consuming process. With telepsychiatry, mental health centers can bring new clinicians on quickly, as well as have more access to specialized clinicians that may not otherwise be readily available in that area. This is especially helpful in rural areas where the workforce is limited.
Treatment for common behavioral health disorders often starts in the primary care setting. Many of these patients require further care but may not have easy access to a psychiatrist. When we partner with primary care facilities, physicians and psychiatrists can work collaboratively to create a comprehensive treatment plan for patients that need further expertise to address their symptoms. This collaboration through integrated care would be beneficial in a state like North Dakota where the geography is rural and the local supply of psychiatrists is low.
Some of the most notable success factors that have been identified in telepsychiatry are its ability to effectively address the barriers of time and distance. Clinicians can use their time more effectively by cutting out time that would be spent on a commute and use that time to see more patients. A commute or practicing in an office can also cause barriers with working parents that require more flexibility to care for their children. A virtual connection saves both the clinician time that can be reallocated to their workday, focusing on patient care.
Implementing Telepsychiatry in North Dakota
Growing your clinical staff can be easy and efficient when you partner with an experienced telepsychiatry company like innovaTel. innovaTel partners with community mental health centers to increase access to care in areas like North Dakota. innovaTel handles all recruitment, only presenting you with qualified clinicians to choose from. This partnership will help your organization navigate state laws, licensing, and compliance.
North Dakota Telepsychiatry Services from innovaTel
If your North Dakota mental health 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 the mission to improve timely access to care by partnering with community mental health centers.
“Virtual Mental Health Therapy Helps Rural North Dakota Deal with Crises | Grand Forks Herald.” Grand Forks Herald, 4 Aug. 2020
“Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies – Eligible Providers.” Thumbnail, Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.
“Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies – Eligible Services .” Thumbnail, Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.
“Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies – Parity Laws.” Thumbnail, Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.
“Home Page | CCHP Website.” Thumbnail, 22 July 2020
“Overall Ranking.” Mental Health America, Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.