Telepsychiatry Services in Wyoming
The national shortage of mental health care clinicians across the United States has made it very difficult for community based care centers to grow their teams and meet patient demand. This can be especially difficult in primarily rural states. Wyoming, the state with the lowest population, has 47% of its residents living in rural or “frontier” areas. With people so spread out and an overall low population, this makes access to care difficult. At innovaTel, we believe that telepsychiatry is the ideal solution to increasing access to mental health care in rural areas because it bypasses the barriers of distance. The use of telepsychiatry allows care centers to grow their clinical teams with ease while serving more patients.
Mental Health Statistics for Wyoming
According to Mental Health America, Wyoming ranks 48 overall in access to care and prevalence of mental illness. This ranking is based on 15 different measures including data on adults, children, and the mental health workforce. 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 Wyoming is more geographically rural with a population below 550,000. Rural areas are more likely to be medically underserved, especially in the behavioral health specialty. Wyoming is no exception, with 28 mental health shortage areas, community care centers are lacking the number of clinicians needed to meet demand. Despite the rankings, Wyoming has made an effort to create better access to mental health care by ensuring that there are mental health clinics in every county.
Wyoming State Laws & Regulations
State laws and regulations are an important aspect of implementing and operating a telepsychiatry program. Each state is different, 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.
Per Wyoming Medicaid law, reimbursement is available to services provided via “live video” as long as the quality of the telecommunication system is sufficient enough to assure the accuracy of the assessment. Mental health care clinicians that are considered eligible providers include Advanced practice nurses with a specialty in psychiatry/mental health, psychologists and neuropsychologists, licensed Mental health professionals (LCSW, LPC, LMFT, LAT); and board-certified behavioral analysts.
Private Payer & Parity Laws
There is no record regarding private payers and Wyoming parity laws requiring them to cover telepsychiatry services; however, each insurer and plan is different which is why we recommend that clinicians, as well as community care centers, research their local providers to better understand eligibility for coverage. However, Wyoming has joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact which makes it easier for out-of-state telehealth providers to get licensed to practice in Wyoming.
Benefits of Telepsychiatry
Wyoming has 17 (23 total) counties with fewer than six people per square mile, making it no surprise that there are 28 mental health professional shortage areas across the state. The use of telepsychiatry in Wyoming could remove the barrier of distance and increase provider availability. This would allow more patients to receive care in their communities without having to travel a great distance.
Eliminates Distance as a Barrier
For many patients living in rural areas, there are simply not enough behavioral health clinicians to meet demand within a reasonable distance. Many patients end up having to travel to receive care and for some regular travel is not an option, creating an even bigger disparity in care. When rural care facilities use telepsychiatry, patients have more timely access to care and can receive treatment from a facility in their community. Telepsychiatry allows clinicians to provide patient care from anywhere as long as they are licensed to practice in Wyoming.
Bring in Additional Resources
Growing a clinical team can be a long and costly process when limiting your care facility to clinicians only practicing in-person. With telepsychiatry, your pool to choose from is larger and you have more options when choosing the right clinicians for your facility. This also benefits clinicians because they can work from their location of choice while helping communities in need. Additionally, if your facility requires a clinician with a sub-specialty, sourcing a specialized clinician that can provide care virtually is much faster than waiting for a local clinician to become available.
Implementing Telepsychiatry in Wyoming
Implementing telepsychiatry can be easy when you partner with an experienced telepsychiatry provider like innovaTel. innovaTel partners with community mental health care centers to increase access to care in areas like Wyoming. innovaTel helps care centers to grow their clinical team with remote clinicians. innovaTel handles all recruitment for you, and only presents you with qualified clinicians to choose from. This partnership will help your organization navigate state laws, licensing, and compliance, making the implementation process simple and efficient for you. After the onboarding process, your organization will still have the support of a clinical liaison as well as on-going IT support.
Wyoming Telepsychiatry Services from innovaTel
If your Wyoming mental health care facility is interested in establishing a telepsychiatry program we encourage you to contact one of our experts today to schedule an introductory call. innovaTel Telepsychiatry is a national telepsychiatry company that is proudly owned and operated by clinicians. We understand your challenges with clinical shortages because of our community mental health center roots. Our goal is to provide long-term solutions to facilities with our network of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and licensed clinical social workers.
- Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies – Eligible Providers
- Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies – Medicaid Live Video
- Home Page | CCHP Website
- “Physician Licensure | Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.” Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
- “Ranking the States.” Mental Health America
- “Shortage Areas.” Data.HRSA.Gov
- “WAMHSAC – Home Page.” The Wyoming Association of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers
- “What Is Rural – Wyoming Department of Health.” Wyoming Department of Health