Telepsychiatry Services in Hawaii

The state of Hawaii would appear to have some of the biggest challenges when it comes to health care resources due to its geography. However, data regarding the prevalence of mental illness and access to care reports that Hawaii performs well in these categories despite perceived geographical challenges. Much of this can be attributed to an openness towards the use of telehealth. With a limited pool of local resources and the barrier of distance to additional resources, telepsychiatry is an ideal solution to access to care challenges in Hawaii.

innovaTel Telepsychiatry is a nation-wide telepsychiatry company that believes that everyone deserves timely access to mental health care. We work to increase access to care through partnering with mental health care facilities to provide additional clinical hours via telepsychiatry. We provide long-term solutions to community care centers, allowing them to treat more patients and shorten wait times.

Mental Health Statistics for Hawaii

Mental Health America ranks Hawaii 11th overall for a high level of access to care and a lower prevalence of mental illness. Due to its geographic location, Hawaii’s care centers have likely been pushed to adapt to this challenge by embracing the use of telehealth. According to the Honolulu Civil Beat, a non-profit news outlet primarily focusing on public affairs reported that between the years of 2014 and 2018 there was a 19% increase in the use of long-distance telehealth.

Although Hawaii’s ranking is impressive, there appears to still be an opportunity to improve access to care for patients who are using the state’s Medicaid health insurance. A greater understanding of the state’s laws and regulations surrounding Medicaid reimbursement and the addition of integrated care through the use of telepsychiatry could lead to closing the remaining gaps in care.

Telepsychiatry Reimbursement & State Regulations in Hawaii

Understanding how to operate within your state’s laws and regulations for insurance reimbursement as well as understanding any parity laws that may exist is essential to establishing a successful telepsychiatry program.

Medicaid Reimbursement for Telepsychiatry Services in Hawaii

Hawaii Medicaid, or Med-QUEST, reimburses for services provided over live video. Hawaii Medicaid is required to reimburse for telehealth services that are equivalent to services that would be provided face-to-face.

Hawaii Private Payer & Parity Laws

Hawaii law states that insurance plans cannot require services to be conducted face-to-face in order to be eligible for coverage. Insurers must provide complete plan information and disclose covered benefits associated with telehealth services, as well as information on copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance requirements under a policy prior to a plan being issued. Additionally, insurers must reimburse for telehealth services to the same extent as they would for services provide in-person.

For complete information regarding telehealth laws and regulations in your state, we recommend visiting the Center for Connected Health Policy’s website for up to date policy information.

Benefits of Telepsychiatry

The use of telepsychiatry has benefitted communities across the United States by making mental health care more accessible through integration between primary care and mental health care; as well as its ability to increase the reach of mental health care clinicians by removing the barrier of distance.

Collaborative Care

According to a study performed by the National Institute of Mental Health, over 50% of all mental health care for common behavioral health disorders begins in the primary care setting.
Many of these patients require further care but may not have easy access to a psychiatrist. innovaTel partners with primary care facilities, allowing physicians and psychiatrists to work collaboratively in order to create a comprehensive treatment plan for patients that need further expertise to address their symptoms. This collaboration through integrated care is a way for patients to save time instead of being referred out to psychiatrists; especially if there is a lack of psychiatrists in their immediate area.

Distance is No Longer a Barrier

Having the ability to practice psychiatry from anywhere is a major reason we have been able to increase the reach of specialized and experienced psychiatrists that may otherwise be out of reach for many rural communities. Removing the geographic barrier will allow more patients to receive timely access to mental health care rather than having to wait until a clinician in their immediate location is available.

Implementing Telepsychiatry in Hawaii

At innovaTel Telepsychiatry, we are clinician owned and operated which is why we understand what you need from a telepsychiatry partner when establishing your own program. We offer a comprehensive onboarding and implementation process to all of our partners; helping your facility to feel confident and informed throughout the process.

innovaTel handles recruitment for you, saving you time and money. You are then only presented with top-notch, qualified clinicians to choose from. Once you have chosen a clinician, they become an active part of your clinical team just like one would if they were there in-person.

Hawaii Telepsychiatry Services from innovaTel

If your Hawaii facility is ready to increase access to care in your community by launching a telepsychiatry program, we encourage you to set up an introductory call today with one of our telepsychiatry experts. In the meantime, to learn more about innovaTel and our service model, please check out our services page

Sources: