InSight Executive Director Speaks at Telemental Health Briefing on the Hill
WASHINGTON—On Tuesday, March 28, InSight Telepsychiatry’s Executive Director, Geoffrey Boyce, appeared as a guest speaker at the American Telemedicine Association’s (ATA) briefing, ‘Telehealth for Improving Mental and Behavioral Care.’
The briefing was part of ATA’s Telehealth Capitol Connection series—a bimonthly Congressional briefing for policy makers, federal agencies, national organizations and other interested stakeholders.
Boyce spoke after telemental health advocate, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), about four telemental health topics—licensing, credentialing, psychiatric commitment law and prescribing—and how policies around those topics shape how InSight and other telemental health providers can deliver services.
“Telehealth is absolutely a keystone in mental health care because it allows a way to mend the shortage of providers, and provide easier and timely access for inpatient admissions and emergency care,” said Murphy. “It also just makes sense in cost savings.”
Telemental health services are growing rapidly. The VA health system estimates that they conducted 427,000 telemental health sessions in 2016 while InSight Telepsychiatry estimates conducting 150,000 telepsychiatry encounters last year.
Telehealth is addressing critical issues in the behavioral health field, such as shortages in mental health professionals, the challenge of remote care delivery, and, national struggles with suicide, PTSD, opioid addiction and other serious behavioral health issues. Some of the common settings for telemental health services are in hospital emergency departments, outpatient clinics, correctional facilities and direct-to-consumer.
“One of the things we as a practice get most excited about is the potential for telehealth to weave all of these different types of health services and sites together to really help provide care across the continuum, and have more consistency and continuity in that care,” said Boyce.
InSight is a telebehavioral health practice that began telepsychiatry encounters in emergency departments in 1999. Since then, the practice has grown to 250 providers who provide services in 27 different states in a variety of settings. Boyce leads InSight in their mission to increase access to behavioral health care by overseeing the operation of hundreds of U.S. locations every year.
Boyce was joined by fellow speakers: Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), John Peters, Telehealth Deputy Director at the Department of Veteran Affairs, Deborah C. Baker, J.D., Director of Legal & Regulatory Policy in the Office of Legal & Regulatory Affairs at the American Psychological Association’s Practice Directorate, and Lauren McGrath, VP of Public Policy at Centerstone.
The briefing was held at Top of the Hill Banquet & Conference Center in Washington, D.C. at 12:00 p.m.