Everything You Need to Know About Telepsychiatry​​

Telepsychiatry is the delivery of psychiatric services via HIPAA-compliant, secure video conferencing technology.

What is Telepsychiatry?

Telepsychiatry is the delivery of psychiatric services via HIPAA-compliant, secure video conferencing technology. With the growing demand for mental health services, telepsychiatry is an effective solution to the psychiatric provider shortage. Telepsychiatry is equivalent to in-person care in psychiatric diagnoses, treatment effectiveness, quality of care, and patient satisfaction and is used in a variety of settings.

How effective is Telepsychiatry?

When a mental health care facility is first considering the implementation of a telepsychiatry program, a common concern is whether or not it provides effective treatment, and how it stands up to in-person treatment. Research has shown that not only is telepsychiatry effective, but it is also practical and cost-efficient. In some cases, telepsychiatry can be a good alternative to in-person treatment for patients that may have trouble communicating with a clinician in-person. It’s efficacy coupled with it’s access, privacy and confidentiality, makes it a smart solution to filling gaps in care at organizations across the country.

What does Telepsychiatry treat?

With the right protocols in place and partnership with on-site support staff, all services that an on-site psychiatrist would provide are available through telepsychiatry. innovaTel providers carry a caseload of patients just like they would if they were on site, this includes initial psychiatric evaluations and on-going medication management.

Who benefits from Telepsychiatry?

Telepsychiatry is beneficial for clinics, clinicians, and patients. Telepsychiatry helps clinics effectively meet patient demand, increasing access to care for patients while helping clinics grow. Clinicians benefit from practicing telepsychiatry by having the option to work from home, allowing for better work-life balance. 

How does Telepsychiatry work?

A successful telepsychiatry program successfully integrates into an organization’s existing workflows. Telepsychiatry works just like traditional in-person psychiatric services in most ways except the psychiatrist is working remotely. The clinician will log in to a secure platform to see patients. Patients log in from a clinic or home and wait in a virtual waiting room before treatment. Just like in-person care, patients can discuss any concerns, ask questions, and discuss prescriptions with their provider. innovaTel providers carry a caseload of patients, just like they would if they were on-site, handling initial evaluations and on-going medication management.

Where is Telepsychiatry available?

Telepsychiatry is available in a variety of healthcare settings including community mental health centers, federally qualified health centers, hospitals and health systems, prisons, residential treatment facilities, substance use disorder treatment facilities, schools, primary care offices and more.

Does insurance cover Telepsychiatry?

More and more insurances are covering telepsychiatry services. There is some variability state to state with what services are covered via telehealth technology. Telepsychiatry services are covered by most Medicaid plans  across the United States. Some states even have parity laws that mandate equivalent reimbursement for telehealth and in-person services.

How to choose a telepsychiatry provider?

If your organization has struggled with the increasing demand for care, chances are you have looked into bringing on a telepsychiatry partner to grow your team of clinicians. When searching for a telepsychiatry partner your organization must look into the benefits that different companies offer. Some immediate things to consider are what kind of credentials does the provider have and can they recruit clinicians with the licenses you need. Additionally, do they have an emphasis on education and training? Are they selective with who they are hiring? What kind of technology do they use? What level of support do they provide your organization and their providers? These are just a few points to consider along with cost and insurance coverage in your state.

How to implement Telepsychiatry in your Organization

Telepsychiatry is a comprehensive and effective solution to increasing access to care and has become widely accepted in the behavioral health field. As a result, many facilities struggling with recruiting clinicians and meeting patient demand are drawn to it as a long-term solution. Implementing a successful telepsychiatry program is a combination of research, practice, preparation, and finding a reputable partner.