Tag Archives: InSight Telepsychiatry

Using Telehealth to Better Balance Supply and Demand of Psychiatry – Infographic

Despite how common mental health concerns are, less than half of those with mental health concerns seek treatment, either because they choose not to or are unable to. Those who are not able often face barriers such as insurance, limited mental health providers and a disconnect between primary care and mental health services.

Telepsychiatry is a proven medium for increasing psychiatric capacity at single facilities and across entire systems. Through telepsychiatry, more people than ever can have access to mental health care. Investing in telehealth supports the goals and objectives of health plans, allows plans to meet regulatory demands and results in better overall health of members.

Download this infographic.

Paul Olson of InSight Recognized among Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2019 CFOs of the Year

Paul Olson, CFO, Chief Financial Officer

MARLTON, NJ – Paul Olson, Chief Financial Officer of InSight Telepsychiatry, was recently named 2019 CFO of the Year by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

This award is given to financial executives in the Greater Philadelphia area in recognition of their financial stewardship and contributions to their respective organizations and communities.  Award recipients are selected based on their demonstrated commitment to fiscal integrity and accountability, contribution to their organization’s growth and profitability and strategic involvement in strengthening their organization’s competitive foothold in the market.

Olson has served as CFO at InSight Telepsychiatry since 2017.  During his tenure with InSight, Mr. Olson has led the separation of InSight from its former parent company, guided the organization’s growth strategies and led the organization’s successful recapitalization with Harbour Point Capital.

Mr. Olson is passionate about supporting the behavioral health community.  In addition to his work at InSight, he serves on the Board of Directors of Search for Change, a non-profit organization that provides services to individuals transitioning from behavioral health facilities to independent living.

“I am humbled to be recognized along with such an esteemed group of peers in the Greater Philadelphia business community and look forward to scaling InSight for growth and carrying out our mission alongside the most dedicated group of colleagues in behavioral healthcare,” said Olson.

Geoffrey Boyce, CEO of InSight Telepsychiatry, extended his congratulations and appreciation for the work Mr. Olson has done to position the organization for success now and in the future.  Boyce shared, “Paul is a trusted colleague, advisor, and strategic partner and is not only responsible for the financial integrity of our organization, but also for playing an instrumental role in shaping our strategy and advancing our mission to transform access to quality behavioral health care through technology.  This honor is well deserved.  Thank you to the Philadelphia Business Journal for recognizing his contributions as well as those of his peers at other area organizations.”

The Philadelphia Business Journal will present Olson with his award during their 2019 CFO of the Year Awards ceremony on July, 18, 2019, in Center City.

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. InSight’s psychiatry providers bring care into multiple settings on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has two decades of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

Telepsychiatry 101 | What Healthcare Organizations Need to Know

Telepsychiatry is a proven medium for increasing psychiatric capacity at single facilities and across entire systems. Through telemedicine, your organization can access psychiatric coverage without the recruiting, logistical and financial burdens that the onsite provision of those services would require. This white paper covers everything organizations implementing telebehavioral health need to know to make the most of this exciting development in health care service delivery.

Download this white paper.

Shawn Ball Named Chief Operating Officer at InSight Telepsychiatry

MARLTON, NJ – InSight Telepsychiatry has named telepsychiatry-industry leader Shawn Ball to its Chief Operating Officer position. Ball has served as the interim chief operating officer at InSight since August 2018.

Ball has extensive experience within the telepsychiatry industry, strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, change management and account management. He has a background in business consulting and has held leadership positions with organizations such as Dell, Motorola and JSA Health Telepsychiatry. He has a strong ability to lead strategic business development initiatives from conception to implementation and understands the technical aspects of business to develop models to drive key performance metrics.

At InSight, Ball oversees the talent, human resources, external operations and internal operations teams. He is responsible for aligning these departments to realize InSight’s mission of delivering quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. Under Ball’s leadership, InSight will meet its goals of providing best of class, solution-oriented services to its partners, providers and consumers.

“I’m honored to be on the InSight leadership team and look forward to InSight’s continued growth,” says Ball. “By aligning InSight’s operations in a way that meets the needs of our partners we are able to use telepsychiatry to transform access to behavioral health care at all stages of the care continuum.”

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has two decades of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.


InSight, Vituity Are Endorsed Telepsychiatry Partners Following Member-led Vetting Process

Originally published on hasc.com 

The Hospital Association of Southern California and the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California this week announce their endorsement of InSight Telepsychiatry and Vituity Telepsychiatry. As endorsed business partners, each is fully qualified to help member hospitals assist psychiatric patients in the ED and other care settings.

The Associations endorse both firms for on-demand patient consultations via two-way video conferencing. Both InSight’s and Vituity’s services include evaluation and support to resolve psychiatric crises – including 5150 holds and releases.

A committee of Association members convened to guide the RFP process and evaluate in-person presentations and written proposals. Following review, the committee unanimously selected InSight and Vituity as preferred telepsychiatry providers. The committee’s comprehensive vetting process evaluated each vendor on a range of criteria — including product and services features, staffing, technology, customer service and references, and compliance with state and local laws/regulations.

“Following a rigorous review of 10 telepsychiatry service applicants by the membership, we are proud to endorse InSight and Vituity,” said Scott Twomey, HASC Senior VP/CFO.

InSight and Vituity have experience complying with state and county regulations covering 5150 involuntary holds and releases and telepsychiatry operations. Each is familiar with the multi-week certification process that leads to fully-compliant telepsychiatry operations in individual facilities.

HASC and Hospital Council’s endorsed business partner program provides cutting-edge and cost-effective solutions for member hospitals. Selected partners meet high-quality standards and offer products or services that help facilities improve clinical quality, avoid costs, recover revenue, reduce operating and capital expenses, improve management, increase productivity, develop staff resources and apply new strategies.


Kimberly Johnson
Director of Association Services,
Hospital Association of Southern California
(213) 538-0772

Jan Murphey
Marketing Manager,
Hospital Council of Northern and Central California
(925) 746-1551

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight Telepsychiatry is a leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to transform access to behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. InSight has two decades of experience, serves hundreds of organizations, and is positioned to offer scalable telepsychiatry services in settings across the continuum of care. To learn more about InSight Telepsychiatry, visit http://insighttelepsychiatry.com, or contact Richard K. Field at RField@in-sight.net.

About Vituity Telepsychiatry

Emeryville, Calif.-based Vituity Telepsychiatry is part of Vituity — a physician-led and owned partnership founded as CEP in 1971. Core services include emergency medicine, acute psychiatry, acute neurology, hospital medicine, anesthesia, and critical care – in addition to telehealth solutions. To learn more about Vituity Telepsychiatry, visit www.vituity.com/services/acute-psychiatry, or contact Sumter Armstrong at sumter.armstrong@vituity.com.

Creating A Telebehavioral Health Strategy – Free White Paper

Originally published on OPEN MINDS

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (June 3, 2018) – InSight Telepsychiatry recently released a white paper, Creating A Telebehavioral Health Strategy, which is available for download free of charge – courtesy of InSight. This white paper is designed to assist organizations in the creation of a long-term strategy for telepsychiatry. It provides key questions to lead the discussion of where telepsychiatry fits in an organization’s strategy, case studies of organizations who have used telehealth to meet their strategic goals, and suggestions for how organizations can use telepsychiatry to meet their strategic goals. These suggestions include a discussion of using telepsychiatry to: help launch new programs or business lines, refine your reach or specialize your practice, customize treatment plans, integrate behavioral health into primary care, and engage consumers through technology.

Psychiatrists are in short supply, with 55% of counties in the continental U.S. without any psychiatrists and 77% of U.S. counties having “severe shortages” of psychiatrists and other behavioral health providers. Telepsychiatry is often thought of as a ‘band aid’ or temporary solution for an organization’s immediate needs; however telepsychiatry as a long-term solution can help organizations meet their short-term and long-term strategic priorities.

Telebehavioral health has been accepted as a proven medium for increasing access to psychiatric, mental and behavioral health care, by connecting individuals to providers through video calls. Today, in-home, mobile, outpatient and primary care models of telebehavioral health allow for community-based care that addresses behavioral health issues before they reach critical levels. On-demand models of care offer timely services to individuals in the emergency department (ED), psychiatric crisis centers, or in the community through mobile crisis teams.

There are more patients, employers, health systems and payers employing telehealth, as well as more providers becoming involved in telehealth work in a range of fields, like psychiatry. Current findings state that 71 percent of providers use telehealth or telemedicine tools to connect with patients.

For executive teams and clinical professionals at provider organizations, it is important to understand how telehealth fits into your organizational strategy and how telehealth can be used to reduce organizational “pain points.” InSight’s newly released white paper helps organizations navigate this technology, explaining its efficacy, how to create a long-term telepsychiatry strategy, and why more than ever, organizations cannot ignore this treatment medium.

To download this white paper, Creating A Telebehavioral Health Strategy, available free of charge courtesy of InSight Telepsychiatry, and learn more about how to develop a telebehavioral health strategy, please visit: https://www.openminds.com/market-intelligence/resources/creating-a-telebehavioral-health-strategy/.

About InSight Telepsychiatry, LLC

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to transform access to behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. InSight has over 18 years of experience with telepsychiatry and serves hundreds of organizations across the nation with its on-demand, scheduled, connected services and inpathy divisions. InSight is dedicated to quality care through telepsychiatry. The InSight team has designed and implemented telepsychiatry programs in nearly every setting across the spectrum of care. The InSight team is also active in thought-leadership, educational and adovacy work around telehealth. Last year, members of the InSight team presented at over 40 events, taught telepsychiatry best practices to a hundreds of psychiatry residents and providers via their telepsychiatry grand round series, and helped to advocate for important telehealth related regulations at both the state and federal level. Learn more at: http://insighttelepsychiatry.com/

Telepsychiatry: What to Look for in 2018

By: Geoffrey Boyce

Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of InSight Telepsychiatry

Originally published on Behavioral Healthcare Executive

In the world of telehealth, what a difference a few years can make. The industry has moved from burgeoning to mainstream and is seen as a viable model for behavioral healthcare. In fact, industry professional shortages are catapulting adoption and use of telepsychiatry to address unmet psychiatric needs in all states.

The field of telepsychiatry has much to celebrate in recent years, and the outlook ahead is brighter than ever. Here are five top predictions about where telepsychiatry is headed in 2018.

  1. Growth of direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry

Consumerism is taking healthcare by storm as individuals demand greater access, convenience and empowerment in their care choices. It’s why the American Telemedicine Association recently named uptake of consumer-driven technology as one of the top five trends for the telemedicine market in 2018.

Thus, it’s understandable why the “anywhere, anytime” access of telepsychiatry continues to drive growth of direct-to-consumer models. As individuals embrace the ability to access care at home or other comfortable locations where a reliable Internet connection exists, continued evolution of this trend is expected.

Consumers will increasingly recognize the advantages of heightened availability that enables scheduling of sessions outside of traditional office hours. Many increasingly find that video-conferencing models tear down communication barriers and reduce stigma—a key factor that otherwise keeps many from seeking behavioral health treatment. Additionally, individuals can look outside of local referral networks to access services, expanding provider options and consumer choice.

  1. Increased access through policy/legislation and coverage

Perhaps there is no greater confirmation of telemedicine’s positive impact on care delivery than recent policy and legislation developments. The clear majority of states have enacted or proposed some form of parity regarding insurance coverage of telemedicine.

This activity will likely continue as demand for greater access to behavioral health services soars and stakeholders recognize the benefits of telepsychiatry models.

Additionally, in efforts to address the growing opioid epidemic, President Donald Trump earlier this year declared a public health emergency, calling for expanded telehealth access for Americans in need of care. Telehealth is a valuable solution to help improve care and the overall outlook around this significant public health crisis. To ensure that the addiction and mental healthcare disciplines continue to advance and embrace telehealth, and in turn, increase access to much needed services surrounding this crisis, it will be important for states to closely monitor and enact legislation that considers all types of telehealth. For example, language written to curb the prescribing of schedule II drugs via telehealth might extend to the best-practice prescribing of medication for children with ADHD via telepsychiatry, causing unintended limitations.

  1. Positioning for value-based care

The premise of value-based care is higher quality, better outcomes and lower costs. Industry stakeholders increasingly recognize that care delivery must address the whole health of individuals—both physical and behavioral—to achieve sustainable “value.” Individuals are best engaged in their care plans and overall wellness when behavioral health is addressed in tandem with physical illness.

As providers and employers embrace this reality, they are finding that telepsychiatry effectively addresses fragmentation that often exists across the behavioral health continuum. Timely access to behavioral health services—whether emergent or ongoing—improves continuity of care and mitigates the need for higher cost interventions. Especially in multifaceted cases with complex pharmacology, video consultations improve access to multi-disciplinary treatment teams and direct telepsychiatry interventions to improve monitoring and provide ongoing patient engagement.

  1. Increased adoption of connected community models

In synch with positioning for value-based care, healthcare communities will continue to see growth of connected community models in 2018. This will be especially evident in progressive communities that recognize the need for a comprehensive, sustainable and multifaceted behavioral health strategy that increases access to care across the continuum.

For instance, communities will continue to realize notable gains in the coming year by integrating telepsychiatry across multiple settings including:

  • Emergency departments (EDs): ED physicians often lack the psychiatric resources needed for timely evaluations of critical-need patients. Telepsychiatry helps by speeding up access and ensuring quick triage to the most appropriate level of care.
  • Primary care: More than half of all psychiatric drugs today are prescribed by non-psychiatrists due to provider shortages. Telepsychiatrists can provide attractive referral options or a consultative partnership to primary care providers.
  • Community-based care settings: Mental health clinics and other community-based organizations often struggle to retain and recruit local psychiatrists. Telepsychiatry brings long-term access to psychiatry providers who are the best fit for an organization’s needs.
  • Inpatient units or residential program: Inpatient units or residential programs benefit from additional psychiatric support to make sure a unit has 24/7 coverage and consultative support.
  • Medical/surgical floors of hospitals: Medical floors of hospitals often need psychiatric consultations or evaluations to ensure providers are fully treating the patient’s comprehensive health.
  • Discharge planning: Telepsychiatry ensures timely continuation of services for discharge planners in need of referral options, where waiting lists in some clinics can reach upwards of 10 weeks.
  1. New settings embracing telepsychiatry

The industry is also witnessing significant uptake and use of telepsychiatry in areas outside of the healthcare setting as community organizations recognize the advantages. A few examples of new settings include:

  • Community agencies and correctional facilities: These organizations are increasingly engaging with telepsychiatrists to improve access to psychiatric evaluation and treatment.
  • Crisis response teams: mobile mental health crisis teams are leveraged to assist individuals in need, offer assessment and decide the best course of action. By bringing telepsychiatrists with them virtually with a tablet or mobile device, the situation can be assessed and managed in real time.
  • Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams: Designed as an intensive and highly-integrated approach, ACT teams support better transitions from hospital environments for individuals who are re-entering the community. Telepsychiatrists can attend home visits along with case managers virtually with a tablet or mobile device.
  • Schools and universities: Young people need convenient, timely access to mental health services, often requiring specialty providers that are difficult to find. Telepsychiatry is a great solution for meeting students where they are with the right resources.

Looking ahead, the opportunities for leveraging telepsychiatry in new settings are endless as communities creatively address behavioral health needs. The telemedicine industry has come a long way in just a few years, and great momentum exists going in to 2018.


Dena Ferrell: A Decade of Service, Leadership and Impact in Behavioral Health

Dena Ferrell, Operations Director of InSight Telepsychiatry

Over the course of a decade, the use of online health care has evolved rapidly both in popularity and technologically. Today, there is a widespread acceptance for easy access to care across the continuum through telehealth, especially with the treatment of behavioral health. Telepsychiatry has given those that have limited access to behavioral health care a chance to seek care at their convenience from any location. Dena Ferrell is no stranger to this progression. Celebrating her 10-year anniversary with the CFG Health Network and InSight Telepsychiatry this year, she has witnessed the expansion of telehealth and telepsychiatry, as well as the increased access to behavioral health treatment.

At the outset of her freshman year of college, Ferrell stepped onto the campus of Rutgers University with dreams of conquering the corporate business world. She enrolled in all of the pre-requisite classes she would need to pursue a business degree, as well as one psychology course.  Ferrell soon discovered business was not the right fit for her. She followed her gut and changed her major to what she knew she would enjoy more – psychology.

“I had some family members with mental illness and always wanted to help people in general, so it was a great fit,” said Ferrell.

Ferrell’s educational background provided the basis for what would result in a long career of service in the behavioral health field.  As InSight’s operations director, Dena is an influential and respected leader across the organization.

Ferrell’s first job out of Rutgers was at a partial care program in a community mental health center, where she worked with a small group of patients with severe and persistent mental illness in a vocational rehab setting. Ferrell continued her career in behavioral health at Newpoint Behavioral Health Care in 1995, where she spent 12 years as a New Jersey state Certified Mental Health Screener. She conducted evaluations of adults and children in emergency department (ED) psychiatric crises, consulted with psychiatrists and appropriate dispositions and provided 24 hour coverage on their suicide hotline. Newpoint was a partner of CFG and one of the first organizations to pilot telepsychiatry, so Ferrell was able to be an early telepsychiatry adopter during her work there.

“Telepsychiatry allowed me to establish a treatment plan for a crisis patient very quickly,” said Ferrell. “It was clear to me way back then that telepsychiatry was going to be a very important part in behavioral health moving forward.  Telepsychiatry was not widely used back then and it is so nice to see other programs and services utilizing it now.”

Today, Ferrell still has close ties to the team at NewPoint, who have remained a valued InSight Telepsychiatry and CFG partner since those early days.

Following her stint at Newpoint, Ferrell began her career with the CFG Health Network as an intake coordinator and ED case manager for Virtua Behavioral Health. She coordinated patient referrals to Virtua’s behavioral health unit from crisis centers, medical hospitals and clinicians, gathered all pertinent clinical, medial and demographic information and presented each case to the psychiatrist.

Overtime, Ferrell took on the role of managing CFG’s call center, the Access Center. The Access Center at that time primarily served CFG’s clients, while a small part of the call volume was dedicated to InSight Telepsychiatry, CFG’s growing telemedicine arm. However, as time passed and InSight expanded, a growing amount of the Access Center’s work was dedicated to InSight. InSight grew from serving just a few partners in surrounding states to a national operation with hundreds of partners across 28 states. Today, the Access Center is the main hub for monitoring InSight’s on-demand 24/7 telepsychiatry services.

In early 2017, the Access Center rolled-out a new telepsychiatry platform, AccessInSight. Partners generate requests via AccessInSight and cases are automatically assigned to the InSight telepsychiatry provider best suited for that interaction. AccessInSight improves efficiencies for telepsychiatry encounters and allows for advanced data tracking – certainly a big change from the Access Center’s early days!

“The technology for telepsychiatry and telehealth has improved so much since my start,” said Ferrell. “Years ago, we used large, cumbersome equipment that had to be plugged in to various outlets and at the time it was not the norm to talk to someone via video. Today the equipment is much more streamlined and a connection can be made by the click of a button.  Since many people use video in their day to day communications, it is much more accepted now.”

She expects the use of telepsychiatry will continue to grow, especially the direct to consumer services.

“Lawmakers, regulators and insurance payers are now recognizing telehealth as a covered benefit that provides a much-needed service,” said Ferrell. “It seems everyone is recognizing there are better ways of doing things, and telehealth is one of them.”

Along with the growing use of telepsychiatry in the past 10 years, Ferrell has seen growth within InSight as well. She described how InSight has become much more sophisticated in recruiting, onboarding new providers and implementing new programs. The addition of staff over the past decade has been beneficial in keeping up with the volume of partner sites and providers joining the InSight team. InSight has also smartly stayed focused on partnering with like-minded organizations that share InSight’s vision of increasing access to care.

Most people fail to realize what goes on behind the scenes, and the passion that goes into the work and dedication of providing access to behavioral health care. Ferrell’s motivation lies in knowing that in every contract InSight serves for any service line, there is a patient and their family in need of help during a very difficult time of their lives. “I am so happy to be part of that service,” said Ferrell.

Ferrell envisions a bright future for telepsychiatry. She believes the stigma for mental illnesses will decrease, and more people will be open to receiving behavioral health care both in-person and online.

Where does Ferrell see herself in the next 10 years? “I’d love to say retired! I will still be in the mental health field in some capacity.  I have a very good understanding of behavioral health needs and like using that experience to help the patients who need it most.”

InSight Telepsychiatry Hosts Webinar on the Implications of the Recently Passed New Jersey Telemedicine Legislation

telehealth advocacy

InSight Telepsychiatry Hosts Webinar on the Implications of the Recently Passed New Jersey Telemedicine Legislation

Marlton, NJ – On December 5th, 2017 InSight Telepsychiatry hosted a webinar titled “What NJ’s Telemedicine Policy Means for Behavioral Health.” The webinar recording can be accessed here.

After viewing the webinar, participants will:

  • Understand what changes for behavioral health care with NJ’s new telehealth policy
  • Look at how new NJ telehealth policy changes how your organization provides care
  • Learn how to provide care in the context of the state’s new policies

The webinar was presented by Geoffrey Boyce, the Executive Director of InSight Telepsychiatry and an advocate for the appropriate use and value of telebehavioral health. Boyce discussed the new telehealth law and how it differs from previous regulation and also reviewed the key aspects of the bill and how they will affect the behavioral health industry and organizations that partner with behavioral health organizations.

Finally, Boyce looked at how the law can be used to expand access to psychiatry, mental and behavioral health care across the care continuum. Attendees will learn how they can use this bill to be active participants in changing the behavioral health industry.

“We’re enthused by the opportunities for improved access to care that this new law brings to the telemedicine industry and to New Jersey,” says Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of InSight Telepsychiatry. “We’re happy to share these updates with stakeholders in the field so they can be applied at their respective organizations.”

Over the summer, New Jersey passed the telehealth legislation making it one of the most innovative and supportive telemedicine states in the country. The state is already home to a handful of telemedicine programs, and the new law provides the opportunity for the continued expansion of telemedicine.

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has 18+ years of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

Telehealth: Transforming Child Mental Health Care

By: Jeanine Miles, LPC

Original article published on NAMI

Unprecedented need exists for child and adolescent mental health services in today’s communities, however, parents have limited options at their disposal. Shortages of child psychologists and psychiatrists are leaving our most vulnerable populations without care. Currently, all U.S. states are facing high or severe shortages, with many communities lacking even one qualified child and adolescent psychiatrist.

We need an effective solution, and it might be telebehavioral health. This convenient, accessible model of care has been gaining traction: Studies consistently reveal high satisfaction rates for children, adolescents and parents, often reaching above 90%. In fact, a 2013 studydetermined that telebehavioral health might be better than in-person care for children and adolescents because this age group often expresses an unwillingness or reluctance to participate in traditional therapy sessions.

Telebehavioral health might be a natural solution for improving access to care, but that’s just one benefit. As a counselor who offers telesessions, I’ve seen many more. Consider the following:

Comfortable Surroundings

Clinical office settings often intimidate children and adolescents. I find that younger populations are more willing to open up when they are in their own environment surrounded by familiar possessions or in reach of pets who may offer comfort. With telebehavioral health, I also get clues and information from a home environment I never see in an office setting.

For example, one child was well-behaved during our traditional office appointments. Yet her mother described a very different child with erratic behaviors while at home. Through our telebehavioral health sessions, I could see family interactions that confirmed the mother’s assessment. I was then able to teach the young girl and her family healthy coping techniques right there “at home.”

Familiar Modes Of Communication

Younger generations have grown up with technology. In fact, a 2015 study shows 67% of teens own a smartphone and spend more than four hours daily engaged with it. Videoconferencing, therefore, is a natural fit for today’s youth. Many teens prefer telesessions compared to traditional office sessions because it’s familiar and helps build trust. Simply put: Today’s youth are more comfortable communicating through a screen.

Easier Scheduling

One of the greatest barriers to engaging younger populations in mental health treatment is stigma. Many adolescents fear their peers will find out they go to therapy and ask questions. Professional shortages and scheduling challenges often causes students to miss school to attend therapy sessions. When a student leaves school early or checks in late, their peers may ask questions or make them feel uncomfortable.

With telebehavioral health, scheduling becomes much easier, as sessions can take place outside of traditional office hours. Patients do not have to miss school, nor do they run the risk of running into someone they know in a waiting room.

When choosing a telebehavioral health care organization or provider for your child, it’s important to do research before pursuing treatment. Things to consider are whether or not they are HIPAA-compliant, if they offer technical or care navigation support, whether they have providers licensed in your state, and if you can pay with your insurance plan. A good place to start is a reference guide, such as the one created by Open Minds that lists reputable telebehavioral health organizations.

Telebehavioral health care is changing the way communities and families approach mental health services. At a time when the need for mental health care is soaring, this option holds great promise for addressing gaps in care and providing parents with a critical resource for addressing their child’s health and well-being.


Jeanine Miles, LPC, Cognitive Behavioral Therapist with Inpathy and the Director of Business Development and Training at the Center for Family Guidance. Jeanine is a New Jersey Licensed Professional Counselor and has over 20 years of administrative and management experience in healthcare and behavioral healthcare. She is responsible for the development and implementation of new programs including overseeing all start-up projects, social skills training and school based programs. Jeanine has provided therapy and other telebehavioral health services through Inpathy since the program was launched and has long been an advocate for telebehavioral health.



Delaware Takes Its ACT to the Next Level

A Delaware ACT team conducts a weekly briefing with its telepsychiatrist.

Delaware is known as the “First State” since it was the first colony to ratify the United States Constitution, but that motto can also apply to another bold step undertaken in the state more recently. A few years back, Delaware became the first state to merge telepsychiatry with assertive community treatment (ACT).

Two teams managed by the nonprofit Resources for Human Development (RHD) have been using telepsychiatry since 2014. The teams are known as RHD Kent ACT2 and RHD New Castle ACT2 and are based in Dover and Wilmington, respectively.

For some, it may seem an odd pairing. A core aspect of ACT—a proven therapy for severe mental illness such as schizophrenia—is the idea of face-to-face contact. Multidisciplinary ACT teams meet with patients both in clinics and in their communities (at home, at work while on lunch break, or at another similar location in the community) to help patients recover and reintegrate into society.

Could this model still work if the ACT psychiatrist was present via an iPad or similar device?

“I had some concerns about telepsychiatry coming in, since I thought many clients wouldn’t want to talk to a television, but it has not been a problem at all,” said Shelley Sellinger, M.D., a New York–based psychiatrist and mental health consultant for the Kent ACT team. “A couple of patients had some wariness initially, but they warmed quickly. I even had one patient with television-related paranoia, but he was totally fine with the arrangement.”

Laura Marvel, director of RHD Kent ACT2, agreed. “It doesn’t matter if the psychiatrist is in person or on a screen,” she told Psychiatric News. “If we have access to a good doctor, it doesn’t matter where the doctor is.”

The incorporation of telepsychiatry was born out of necessity. In 2012, Delaware awarded ACT contracts to RHD to help provide better outpatient care to people with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia. RHD found out quickly that getting psychiatrists involved was difficult given the time commitments; in addition to traveling across the state to make scheduled or emergency house visits, ACT team members meet weekly to discuss patient progress.

Around that time, Dan Khebzou, an account executive with the telepsychiatry firm InSight, was meeting with RHD administrators in Philadelphia to discuss service options. He heard about the difficulties RHD was having in hiring psychiatrists for the newly formed ACT teams and suggested the telepsychiatry option.

“I’ve encountered resistance in using telepsychiatry for vulnerable populations from regulators; they cite issues such as licensing, technical problems, or handling civil commitments through video,” said Khebzou. “But Delaware was willing to embrace telepsychiatry, so it presented an opportunity to prove this model.”

After a successful pilot program, RHD moved full steam ahead with telepsychiatry in 2014, and the program is still going strong today, Marvel said. Besides patient acceptance, she said that other ACT team members—which include case coordinators, nurses, and social workers—are on board with the technology. They have not seen Sellinger’s participation via video during their weekly team meetings as hindering the team dynamic.

If anything, Sellinger said, the remote aspect can help build some relationships with the team. “I can conduct most assessments remotely as well as in person, but there are elements that are difficult, such as testing AIMS (Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale) or rigidity,” she said. “In these cases, the on-site nurses are my eyes and ears, and we communicate about what’s going on. In addition, they will let me know about hygiene if it’s pertinent, so they also are my nose.”

There are occasional technical glitches as well, but Marvel said the teams have established back-up plans to reach Sellinger in case of some malfunction with the video monitor used in the clinic or the iPad used on the road. “I’ve found Dr. Sellinger is as accessible to me or the team as an on-site person would be,” she said. “Sometimes even more so; maybe there is a sense of overcompensating since she can’t be physically present.”

“ACT is a wonderful way to provide care to persistently ill folks who might not be able to get care otherwise,” Sellinger said. “However, it is a demanding job to go into communities every day and work with these individuals, and it can lead to psychiatrist burnout. This telepsychiatry model has allowed me to continue to practice and give care longer than I might have otherwise.”

Original article published on Psychiatric Times

InSight Listed as a Top Company to Look Out for in Tele-Psych

InSight Telepsychiatry was mentioned in the print version of Telemedicine Magazine’s article, “The Massive Benefits of Tele-Psych Have Yet to Be Realized.

The article, published in June 2017 (Issue #9), describes how the decrease in providers and increase in demand is causing healthcare companies to create tele-psych networks. It goes on to elaborate how telepsychiatry has grown exponentially within the past decade, especially in rural areas, and how investors are driving its rapid technology and platform development.

Telemedicine Magazine is a print publication distributed quarterly to approximately 30,000 readers, including physicians and C suite health tech executives. The magazine covers the telemedicine, digital health and virtual care markets.

InSight is listed under the “Market Watch” section of the print article as one of the top companies to look out for in the tele-psych space. Other organizations mentioned are Iris Telehealth, JSA Health, Brighter Day Health and We Counsel.

Read the full article here.

Crisis Behavioral Health Readiness

Behavioral health emergencies affecting whole communities can arise suddenly and can be as unpredictable as the weather. Recent natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria serve as reminders that all communities are vulnerable to the kind of crisis exposure that turns lives upside down and results in extensive emotional turmoil.

In such situations, the overall readiness of a healthcare provider organization is determined by its ability to respond not only to medical needs but also to psychiatric trauma within its community, with a solid plan of action in place. Implementation and deployment of mobile crisis teams are essential in addressing behavioral health needs at any time, but especially when a disaster strikes. By leveraging telepsychiatry and telebehavioral health within these care models, forward-thinking health systems can help ensure rapid response to mental health needs and the best outcomes.

Community Mental Health Response

To be able to respond quickly to community needs in a disaster, health systems should have dedicated mental health teams in place composed of specially trained professionals who know how to respond to specific mental health issues that develop as a result of a disaster or other community trauma, such as severe destruction or loss of life.

Another way health systems can act to support mental health response in a disaster is through the use of mental health mobile crisis teams. The purpose of such teams should be to intervene with individuals who may be experiencing or are about to experience a mental health crisis in the community by offering real-time support and determining the best course of action for these individuals.

All U.S. states are currently experiencing professional behavioral health shortages, however, making access to needed services and providers a challenge, especially in times of crisis when many people may need help quickly. An effective model for addressing this challenge is the use of telepsychiatry to improve access to care. Such a model also can provide support not only when a disaster hits, but also on an ongoing basis.

Telepsychiatry Advantage

Telepsychiatry allows sessions to be conducted from the anywhere in the community, including individuals’ homes, shelters, and other locations where privacy is possible. Crisis response teams who are deployed in the community can set up consultations with remote telepsychiatry providers on an iPad or other mobile device, allowing individuals in need of immediate evaluation to speak with remote providers on the spot.

Access Services, a not-for-profit organization in Pennsylvania that delivers support services for individuals with special needs, offers an example of how one mental health crisis team is improving its ability to respond to a mental health crisis. In 2014, the organization launched one of the nation’s first models of remote crisis behavioral health care.

According to Brenda Boorse, vice president of digital operations and communications at Access Services, the program reduces the time consumers spend awaiting care and lessens the strain on the psychiatric resources of area hospitals.

“Mobile crisis intervention paired with telehealth is a more immediate support for people,” Boorse says. “It helps resolve the immediate crisis in many cases without unnecessary and costly hospitalization.”

Telepsychiatry can empower local provider resources and elevate readiness strategies by complementing provided services through disaster relief organizations. Although critical to any response strategy, many national disaster relief organizations require a lengthy vetting processes for local behavioral health providers to volunteer their time, which can delay access. Leveraging telepsychiatry provides an effective means of ensuring behavioral healthcare providers will be available in the immediate aftermath of an emergency.

Getting Started

Hospitals or health systems considering a telepsychiatry response program can get started by working with local government officials to conduct a community needs assessment to identify current gaps and opportunities. An organization should look at its existing technological capabilities, define the profile of its population, evaluate the capacity of its existing provider network, make volume projections, identify funding sources, and create action plans around the potential disasters or crises their community may face.

Crisis situations are inevitable across any community, and effective response and remediation often hinges on readiness. Telepsychiatry offers a key resource for addressing the behavioral healthcare needs in emergency situations, and healthcare organizations should consider how to leverage the advantages of this emerging model to meet the mental health needs of their communities.

Geoffrey Boyce is executive director of InSight Telepsychiatry, Marlton, NJ.

Original article published on Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Stewart Memorial Community Hospital Launches Telepsychiatry Program

Lake City, IA – Stewart Memorial Community Hospital, a general medical and surgical hospital with 25 beds, launched a telepsychiatry program this week to increase access to psychiatric care. Located in Calhoun County, Lake City is a rural area with a shortage of mental health professionals, as designated by the Rural Health Clinics Program and the Federal Office of Rural Health.[1]

Telepsychiatry is the delivery of psychiatry through real time videoconferencing. It is proven to be an effective form of care delivery and a great way to expand the psychiatric support at a hospital, especially during difficult to staff hours like nights and weekends.

In a primarily rural state such as Iowa, patients often have limited or no access to timely, affordable and quality care. This is especially prevalent in regards to psychiatric care. With telepsychiatry, emergency departments can efficiently address each patient that comes in, reduce admissions and decrease patient wait times.  Having access to telepsychiatry can also help reduce psychiatric boarding and help make sure that those admitted to psychiatric beds actually need them. This is particularly useful in Iowa which, according to the Treatment Advocacy Center, ranks second worst in the country for number of inpatient psychiatric beds with just 64 in the entire state.[2]

The telepsychiatry program is launched in partnership with InSight, a national telepsychiatry service provider organization. Telepsychiatry services are provided in the emergency department to help ensure patients struggling with mental health issues are properly treated. This gives room for other patients that come into the emergency department that may have potentially life threatening illnesses.

“Partners like Stewart Memorial Community Hospital exemplify the great impact telepsychiatry can have at a community level. Telepsychiatry has been shown to increase access to mental health care in rural areas and we’re pleased to expand that within communities like Lake City,” said InSight’s Operations Director Dena Ferrell.

“Stewart Memorial is always looking to incorporate innovative new programs that help our patients achieve a healthy mind and body. Our partnership with InSight will help better address the behavioral health needs in our community,” said Cindy Carsten, CEO of Stewart Memorial.

Stewart Memorial is served by 13 InSight telepsychiatry providers. All InSight telepsychiatry providers are licensed in Iowa and trained to provide care to Stewart Memorial patients in the same way as all onsite providers. Stewart Memorial’s partnership with InSight will help transform care in the emergency department and increase efficiency so that all patients are able to receive the care they need.

About InSight Telepsychiatry
InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has 18+ years of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

About Stewart Memorial Community Hospital
Stewart Memorial is committed to quality health and wellness for you and your family. Our goal is to transform our communities by providing coordinated care and exceptional experiences.

[1] Rural Health. (n.d.). Retrieved August 07, 2017, from https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/am-i-rural/report?lat=42.26715&lng=-94.74603&addr=1301 W Main St%2C Lake City%2C IA 51449&exact=1

[2] Fuller, D. A., Sinclair, E., Geller, J., Quanbeck, C., & Snook, J. (n.d.). Going, Going, Gone TRENDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF ELIMINATING STATE PSYCHIATRIC BEDS, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2017, from http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/storage/documents/going-going-gone.pdf


Telepsychiatry: Advancing Connected Community Models

By Dr. James Varrell

The concept of “connected community” holds great potential for elevating and improving behavioral health outcomes for all patients. Connected communities proactively address a patient’s whole health—both physical and mental—and benefit from a comprehensive, multi-faceted behavioral health strategy.

Health care leaders recognize the potential of these models to positively impact clinical outcomes and reduce the need for higher-cost interventions by improving access to care at various points along the continuum. Yet, today’s communities often struggle to achieve this framework amid a severe shortage of psychiatric providers.

The reality is 96 percent of U.S. counties have unmet needs for mental and behavioral health services at a time when demand is soaring.1 Current shortages leave those needing care with less-than-optimal choices. People often turn to primary care doctors, or alternatively, opt for no treatment at all—leading to further deterioration or crisis situations that result in costly interventions.

The good news is that direct-to-consumer (D2C) telepsychiatry can help fill these gaps and improve the outlook on connected community models. While D2C is a relatively new concept, other settings across the care continuum have leveraged telepsychiatry for the past two decades, including hospitals, inpatient units, community-based case centers and correctional facilities.

Leveraged through easy-to-use videoconferencing technology, D2C offerings are opening new doors to psychiatric providers for evaluation, consultation and treatment.

D2C Telepsychiatry: Expanding Access And Referral Options

Growth of D2C telepsychiatry in recent years has expanded as patients become more empowered and seek out convenient ways of managing their care. Patients increasingly prefer “anywhere, anytime” options like the D2C model because it enables access to care from the comfort of home—or other private locations—on their own schedule.

This type of care allows providers to be more proactive and address issues before conditions reach what Mental Health America (MHA) refers to as a “stage four” level of severity. In effect, better patient engagement can trigger greater follow-through with care plans and minimize the potential for symptoms and issues to escalate.

Telepsychiatry often gives providers greater insights into their patients’ environments. For instance, a colleague of mine is a therapist in New Jersey, and she’s been treating one of her patients for years in person. When my colleague started using D2C Telepsychiatry, she was able to see her patient online through real-time video calls rather than in person, and noticed right away that her patient was hoarding her belongings. My colleague was able to learn about her patient’s living condition and other factors that influenced her treatment plans. Further, her patient reported feeling more comfortable and at-ease during their appointments.

D2C telepsychiatry also provides more referral options, enabling earlier interventions and greater access to services. While frequently sought out as a mental health alternative, many primary care providers are uncomfortable prescribing psychotropic medications or lack psychiatry expertise.

By providing a reliable behavioral health referral option, D2C telepsychiatry takes the pressure off of primary care providers. Moreover, collaboration and information exchange between the referring physician and D2C provider can allow for more comprehensive care.

Outside of primary care, D2C expands referral options for discharge planning from acute and inpatient settings. The current mental health provider shortage can slow down referral processes, leading to disjointed transitions where patients must “settle” on whatever is available in the nearby area instead of what is best.

Closing The Loop To A Connected Community

Even as health care leaders increasingly embrace telepsychiatry models, most are currently used in siloes across community settings. However, there’s opportunity to leverage existing resources and establish community-wide telepsychiatry networks to connect all appropriate care settings.

This connected community model improves both information sharing between providers and continuity of care for patients. Patients can use telepsychiatry to see the same provider or same network of providers across different care settings or from home with D2C care. In tandem, primary care doctors, community organizations and telepsychiatry providers can better collaborate on patient care.

Telepsychiatry networks not only improve care outcomes, but also create economies of scale. For instance, health care settings can benefit from sharing a telepsychiatry provider network. This option places less pressure on community resources to recruit and retain local behavioral health providers.

Communities can take steps to utilize a telepsychiatry network across care continuums by:

  • Bringing together payers, primary care, hospital systems, outpatient behavioral health, corrections, schools, skilled nursing and other community organizations
  • Assessing their current behavioral health resources to identify gaps and opportunities
  • Setting multiple locations up with technology to access telepsychiatry
  • Establishing a telebehavioral health network of licensed providers who are aware of community services and resources
  • Utilizing shared scheduling tools for booking psychiatric resources and appointments

Telepsychiatry helps address the gaps in behavioral health care across the continuum by proactively treating patients’ whole health through the concept of the connected community. By increasing patient access to care and referral options, this evolving model supports timely, proactive intervention, minimizing the potential need for more costly care and enabling better outcomes.

About The Author

James R. Varrell, M.D. is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who has been practicing telepsychiatry for 18 years and is the Medical Director of InSight Telepsychiatry. InSight’s direct-to-consumer division that accepts patient referrals for psychiatry and therapy is called Inpathy.

Original article published on Health IT Outcomes

Telepsychiatry: Closing Care Gaps for More Connected Health Care Communities

Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of InSight

By: Geoffrey Boyce

Value-based care and the concept of connected health care communities go hand-in-hand. It is simply not possible to extract the full “value” of forward-looking care delivery models without a strategy that addresses patients’ whole health—both physical and behavioral—across the entire continuum. Connected community models achieve this objective through a comprehensive, sustainable and multi-faceted behavioral health strategy that improves treatment access at key entry points and across all levels of care.

Health care stakeholders increasingly recognize the power of connected community models, yet behavioral health remains significantly fragmented due to supply and demand challenges. While rapid evolution of integrated delivery networks is increasing scale and synergies on the medical side of the house, behavioral health lags behind partially due to professional shortages that exist in all U.S. states. These shortages are felt across the continuum, beginning in the most acute settings and flowing into outpatient care and referral networks.

Telepsychiatry models have emerged as one solution that holds great promise for changing this dynamic. Through video conferencing sessions that enable anytime, anywhere access, this model is opening new gateways to care and disrupting traditional approaches to behavioral health.

The Telepsychiatry Advantage

Providers and patients are embracing telepsychiatry as a viable treatment alternative for good reason: it meets the standard of traditional in-office care for diagnostic accuracy and quality, while also improving care continuity, outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Patients appreciate the convenience and privacy afforded by direct-to-consumer (D2C) telepsychiatry sessions that can be accessed at home or other comfortable locations that are private. By empowering patients with greater choice in location and time, telepsychiatry models help tear down communication barriers and reduce stigma—a key factor that keeps many from seeking treatment. Appointments are easily scheduled outside of traditional office hours where a reliable Internet connection exists. Additionally, patients can look outside of local areas to access services, expanding provider options.

In tandem with patient benefits, behavioral health providers often find telepsychiatry a good fit for work-life balance. Today’s health care communities rely heavily on existing behavioral health professionals to fill care gaps. As such, it’s not uncommon for those in the field to have upwards of three to four different jobs. Telepsychiatry relieves some of the pressure by allowing existing providers to schedule sessions in more convenient, creative ways.

In addition, many providers want to address the urgent need for services in rural communities and desire to fill care gaps. Yet, they often prefer to live in urban areas or are unable to relocate. Telepsychiatry allows them an outlet to reach those locations where the greatest need exists without moving their practice or making long commutes.

Leveraging Telepsychiatry Across the Continuum

Communities are realizing notable gains by integrating telepsychiatry across the continuum in various ways including:

Emergency departments (EDs)

Busy ED physicians often lack the psychiatric resources needed for timely evaluations of critical-need patients. As a result, patients are stuck waiting in the ED or transferred to a med/surg unit until a qualified provider is available. This scenario leads to higher costs associated with longer wait times and inappropriate admissions. Telepsychiatry relieves this pressure by ensuring timely evaluation and quick triage to the most appropriate level of care.

Other hospital-based applications

Telepsychiatry can also be used on medical floors of the hospital for psychiatric assessments of medical patients. Some hospital inpatient units utilize telepsychiatry providers to augment their in-person staff and ensure units have 24/7 psychiatric coverage.

Discharge Planning

Telepsychiatry is increasingly an important resource for discharge planners, who are tasked with helping patients access post-discharge services in a timely manner. Consider, for example, that patients are often discharged from hospitals, correctional facilities or other residential programs with a 10-day “bridge” prescription and are required to continue treatment with a community-based psychiatrist. In these instances, discharge planners can face notable challenges to securing a timely follow-up appointment as waiting lists for psychiatrists at some community clinics can reach upwards of several months.

Medication lapses are common, and if the patient misses a follow-up appointment, the situation is exacerbated, opening the door for conditions to deteriorate. Ultimately, this scenario results in a vicious cycle of patient readmissions.

Community based referrals

For under-resourced clinics, telepsychiatry provides a lifeline of support through remote providers who serve a regular caseload of new and existing patients just like an in-person psychiatrist. This enhanced provider pool increases a clinic’s psychiatric capacity and potentially shortens the long wait periods for psychiatric appointments that exist in many communities.

Provider referrals

More than half of all psychiatric drugs today are actually prescribed by non-psychiatrists due to provider shortages. Primary care doctors are increasingly sought for psychiatric care, although many are uncomfortable with or lack expertise with psychotropic drugs. Telepsychiatrists provide both an attractive referral option and consultative partnership, where knowledge and expertise can be shared.

Forward looking

While telepsychiatry is not a “magic wand,” it does provide an effective option for improving the fragmented behavioral health continuum. Communities are wise to consider effective telepsychiatry partnerships that can bolster behavioral health service lines. When these services are effectively integrated, communities achieve a more connected health care continuum that drives better outcomes and lower costs.

Geoffrey Boyce is Executive Director of InSight Telepsychiatry.

Original article from Healthcare Business Today

InSight Sponsoring ATA Telehealth Capitol Connection Briefing

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is holding its bi-monthly Telehealth Capitol Connection (TCC) briefing on September 13, 2017, sponsored by InSight Telepsychiatry.

TCC was launched by ATA and their Senior Policy Consultant Neal Neuberger as a result of “growing interest in using telemedicine to improve health care delivery.” The briefing series is open to Congress, federal agencies, national organizations and other interested stakeholders.

This month’s briefing, titled “Bridging the Gap: Connecting Rural Communities to Care” will focus on the topics of major gaps in rural telehealth coverage and rural health broadband needs. Attendees will learn about the role of Medicare in rural areas, and how legislation like the HEART Act (H.R. 2291) can affect access among the occupying populations.

Residents of rural areas are often restricted in health care coverage and access including provider shortages, limited insurance and increased distance to quality care. Medicare plays a critical role in reducing these challenges and increasing access and convenience for underserved populations.

Speakers include:

  • Kathy Wynn, Vice President of Strategic Marketing & Telehealth at LifePoint Hospitals
  • Tim Koxlien, Chief Executive Officer of TeleQuality Communications
  • Diane Calmus, Government Affairs and Policy Manager at National Rural Health Association
  • A member of InSight’s managerial team

The briefing will be moderated by Chrystal A. Riley, PharmaD, MHA, MBA, Senior Manager of Healthcare Policy & Reimbursement, Baxter International, Inc.

The briefing will take place at the Top of the Hill Banquet & Conference Center in Washington, D.C. from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm.

Family Service Launches Outpatient Telepsychiatry Program

Philadelphia, PA – Family Service Association of Bucks County launched an outpatient telepsychiatry program to increase efficiency and access to psychiatric care for adults, children and adolescents across four of their locations in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The telepsychiatry program is launched in partnership with InSight, a national telepsychiatry service provider organization.

Telepsychiatry is the delivery of psychiatry through real time videoconferencing. It is proven to be an effective form of care delivery and a convenient, cost-effective way to safely expand the psychiatric support without the challenge of staffing an in-person psychiatry provider.family service

Prior to implementing a telepsychiatry program, Family Service staffed an onsite psychiatrist that would travel between Langhorne, Doylestown and Quakertown locations. With telepsychiatry, Family Service was able to increase efficiency and reduce costly, time consuming commutes.

“Telepsychiatry allows organizations like Family Service to reduce commute time for providers and patients. This allows for more valuable time with patients,” said InSight’s Operations Manager of Scheduled Services Nate Ortiz.

It is estimated that 1,051,490 individuals in Pennsylvania are living with serious psychological distress including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, panic disorder or anxiety.[1] Telepsychiatry is a great solution in Pennsylvania and in many other states across the nation where there is a shortage of psychiatry providers.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this innovative new service to our patients. We are dedicated to increasing psychiatric access to all consumers, and this is a smart way to ensure our patients are getting the care that they need on a consistent basis,” said Audrey J. Tucker, Chief Executive Officer.

InSight’s telepsychiatry provider will offer these services to patients in Family Service outpatient behavioral health programs, namely counseling.

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has 18+ years of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

About Family Service Association of Bucks County

Family Service Association of Bucks County is a nonprofit social service organization with locations throughout Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Family Service’s mission is to listen, care and help. Every day. For more than 60 years, Family Service has been improving the lives of children and their families, doing whatever it takes to help them overcome obstacles and reach their full potential. Visit www.fsabc.org to donate, volunteer or learn more about how Family Service helped more than 27,000 children, teens and adults last year.

[1] National Institutes of Mental Health, National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) 2015, and

NSDUH-MHSS 2008-2012.

How Telepsychiatry is Carving Out its Healthcare Niche

With a dwindling supply of psychiatrists nationwide, telepsychiatry services are starting to become more mainstream

It was nearly 20 years ago when a clinician (non-james-varrell-225x225psychiatrist) brought up the notion of telepsychiatry to James Varrell, M.D., a licensed psychiatrist himself who at the time didn’t know much about the telemedicine subsector. “This was 1999 and it was like voodoo to me,” Varrell says, adding that after that conversation he needed to do his due diligence and research.

What came from that conversation, and ensuing exploration into telepsychiatry, was a realization that there was more support for it than Varrell initially assumed. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) put out a significant paper in 1995 in support of telepsychiatry, and it was around that time when research began on its ability to facilitate access to care, overcome geographical obstacles and how it compared to in-person care. “All of the go-to organizations in the [industry] have always been supportive of it. Clinicians individually have been skeptical since they’ve never done it. But now, many [places] are incorporating into their residency programs,” Varrell says.

Indeed, folks might not be as familiar with telepsychiatry as they are with other forms of telemedicine, since behavioral health often flies under the radar compared to its physical health brethren. But according to the APA, by the 2000s, the field began to see it as effective, but slightly different, than in-person care, and research in outcome studies provided a platform for practice guidelines, via the American Telemedicine Association.

Varrell says that today’s mental health landscape is characterized by an increased need for services coupled with a dwindling supply of psychiatrists. Indeed, more than 55 percent of U.S. counties are currently without any psychiatrists, and the mental health landscape is facing shortages in more than 4,600 areas, according to Kaiser. Varrell, who has been practicing telepsychiatry for 18 years ever since it was brought up to him back in 1999, now works at telepsychiatry service provider organization InSight, a Marlton, N.J.-based company that he founded in 2008 and where he currently oversees a team of more than 200 psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners—many of whom work full-time doing telepsychiatry.

Speaking to the growth in the sector, Varrell says that his company began with telepsychiatry mostly in ERs where patients in crisis environments were prioritized. But, he notes, “The place more than anywhere where it started to develop was in rural environments, where access to basic psychiatry care would be otherwise inaccessible. That’s still growing,” he says. “Now, the new wave is that we are starting to do integrated care in medical offices, and that was a big push with Obamacare. We think the next trend is in-home services for consumers, which is telepsychiatry direct-to-patients in their homes or wherever they are [in a private space].”

The reason InSight started to provide telepsychiatry services was because it was located in a rural environment, but Varrell says beyond that, there have been valuable lessons learned since the organization’s inception: primarily that telepsychiatry works well for most people in most areas. “For people in crises, you don’t want to do an in-home visitation if they are psychotic or suicidal. You want them in more supported environments like outpatient mental centers or ERs if it’s very acute,” explains Varrell. “Over the years, we have learned that we can accommodate all types of people.”

Among these are: translations [for people who speak] different languages; the geriatric population, for which a great sound system is needed for older folks who have hearing issues; and also for those with cognitive and intellectual disabilities in which the patients’ families are present to make it easier and provide the psychiatrists with the necessary information, says Varrell.

Over the years, telepsychiatry has continued to grow both in volume and acceptance. Varrell notes how educating organizations such as the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University have big electives for all of their psychiatry residents who are mandated to learn telepsychiatry. And, InSight as a sole organization performed more than 100,000 encounters via telepsych in all settings last year (hospitals, clinics, treatment centers, universities), while its in-home platform, Inpathy, is still growing but has around 100 direct-to-consumer sessions in a week, according to officials.

“This is an area that used to be weird and hard, but now people are jumping into it,” says Varrell. “Doctors are calling us all of the time saying they want to work with us. That’s good since there’s a national shortage and we’re often begging doctors to work with us in person, but this is the opposite of that,” he says, noting how on one recent day alone, eight psychiatrists called looking for work.

Original article posted on Healthcare Informatics 

Geoffrey Boyce Speaks on InSight’s Role in Telepsychiatry Industry at NGA Rural Health Meeting

WASHINGTON, DC – Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of InSight Telepsychiatry, spoke at the National Governors Association (NGA) Rural Health Learning Collaborative meeting on August 9 in Washington, D.C.

A renowned national thought leader in the telemedicine industry, Boyce was invited to speak of a range of topics about InSight and telepsychiatry, which included:

  • InSight’s telepsychiatry models and service lines
  • Program level barriers and opportunities for telepsychiatry
  • Regulatory and legislative landscape
  • The state’s role in advancing telepsychiatry

I was honored to accept the invitation to speak to this group about the telepsychiatry industry,” says Boyce. “InSight prides itself on sharing industry level best practices and education for this growing field.”

The meeting took place at the Hall of the States on August 9 – 10. The NGA Center brought together leaders from five states: Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York and Nevada during a one-and-a-half-day meeting focused on strategies states may consider to meet behavioral health care needs in rural areas. State participants and attendees broke into teams and took part in sessions, where they met with speakers and NGA facilitators to ask questions and work on action plans. The teams presented their action plans and key takeaways at the end of the meeting.

Boyce spoke during a session called, “Using Telehealth and Telemedicine to Meet Behavioral Health Care Needs.” The session highlighted strategies to build and sustain successful telehealth models and addressed topics such as Medicaid reimbursement, the scope of practice policies and best practices and misconceptions about telehealth.

Other speakers during Boyce’s session included Latoya Thomas, Director of State and Policy Resources at the American Telemedicine Association and Brian Cooper, Telepsychiatry and Rural Health Specialist for the North Carolina Office of Rural Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has 18+ years of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

About the National Governors Association

The National Governors Association (NGA) is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, speak with a collective voice on national policy and develop innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.

Digital Health Direct-to-Consumer Telehealth: The Disruptive Solution to the Behavioral Health Provider Shortage

By: Scott Baker, MBA, InSight Business Innovations Manager

The link between behavioral health and medical outcomes is well understood. Providing behavioral health services can help keep some medical conditions in check and prevent hospitalizations and readmissions. However, more than half of US counties are currently without any psychiatrists, resulting in large care gaps and wait times of up to 3 to 6 months. As a result, many patients seek mental health services from primary care providers, who often lack both time and specialized psychiatric expertise to treat such conditions. A more dire situation arises when patients are discouraged from seeking treatment altogether, which can lead to further deterioration or crisis situations.

Amid this provider shortage and growing behavioral health crisis, telepsychiatry is emerging as an effective tool to meet providers’ referral needs. In addition, direct-to-consumer (D2C) telepsychiatry is becoming a more widely utilized treatment option—one that can fill gaps in care at a time when the need for services far outpaces provider supply and address issues before they escalate.

By enabling provider-patient interaction at any time from any location, D2C telehealth helps increase access to care and promotes a more comprehensive response to patient needs, whether physical or behavioral. Making care more convenient often leads to earlier interventions that help ensure patient needs are addressed before issues escalate and require higher-cost interventions.

D2C telepsychiatry: A natural fit for telehealth

The American Telemedicine Association defines telehealth as “the remote delivery of healthcare services and clinical information using telecommunications technology.” The more popular forms of telehealth rely on real-time videoconferencing to deliver services and address patients’ needs, emulating the kind of in-person exchange and connectivity experienced in a provider’s office setting. Continued growth of D2C telehealth underscores the attractiveness of the videoconferencing model, as patients—increasingly empowered in their own care choices—seek direct access to providers and alternative options to more conveniently manage their care.

When it comes to telehealth for behavioral health, telepsychiatry is now used for evaluation, consultation, and treatment throughout the care continuum, and it can be found in settings that range from acute inpatient settings and emergency departments (EDs) to community-based care environments and in-home referrals from primary care doctors and discharge planners.

D2C telepsychiatry takes the burden off primary care providers and expands referral options in areas lacking adequate psychiatric services. With additional providers available, patients are empowered with greater choice, rather than limited by what is within a drivable radius. Beyond primary care providers, community-based professionals such as referral coordinators, benefit managers, and discharge planners can leverage this option to help consumers access qualified behavioral health specialists in a timely manner.

Collaborative care between telepsychiatry providers and patients’ primary care and regular providers can also extend the value proposition of D2C telepsychiatry by improving coordination, increasing clinical exchanges and connecting a patient’s community of caretakers for more holistic care.

The advantages of D2C

D2C telepsychiatry delivers inherent advantages for both patients and providers, including:

Flexibility. Consumers can schedule appointments outside of traditional weekday time slots, including nights and weekends, and can often find available appointments within a few days of their request.

Convenience. Services can be accessed from any private location leading to better continuity of care. For example, consumers can continue treatment with the same psychiatric provider during life transitions, such as moving to a new city for college.

Privacy. Like in-person care, telepsychiatry protects the privacy of patients. In fact, confidentiality may be heightened since appointments are accessed from home, eliminating the potential that patients will see someone they know in a waiting room—a concern that keeps many from seeking out treatment.

High-quality care. Telepsychiatry meets the standard of traditional in-person care for diagnostic accuracy, treatment effectiveness, quality of care, and patient satisfaction. Along with all major national healthcare associations, the American Psychiatric Association supports the use of this model.

Implementing telepsychiatry

Healthcare organizations interested in utilizing D2C telehealth and telepsychiatry should, of course, consider situational nuances prior to determining the best course of treatment. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, stress, life transitions, childhood mood disorders, and ADHD align well with D2C telepsychiatry. However, it is not appropriate for patients who display suicidal, homicidal, delusional or paranoid symptoms.

In addition, providers should keep in mind that while most people have access to reliable internet connections and smart devices that can support telepsychiatry, not everyone has this luxury. Prior to making referrals, providers should assess a patient’s ability to follow through with the telepsychiatry option.

The potential of D2C telepsychiatry

D2C telehealth models, and specifically telepsychiatry, represent a disruptive care delivery movement that is laying the groundwork for a more connected community and collaborative care continuum. By improving access, these forward-thinking models of care promote early intervention, addressing issues before they escalate and require higher-cost interventions. Ultimately, it’s an optimal framework for improving outcomes and empowering consumers in their care.

Original article posted in Oliver Wyman Health.

Improving Access to Care via Telebehavioral Health


Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

By: Joel Friedman, PhD

For more than 25, years I have had the opportunity to provide outpatient behavioral healthcare services. During that time, I have observed the tremendous benefits thousands of individuals receive through access to care. My colleagues and I have the privilege of being a part of the process in which individuals make changes that significantly improve their quality of life. In some cases, these changes have literally been life-saving. We are becoming increasingly aware of how prevalent mental health disorders are in our communities, and through that awareness, we have come to realize that for each individual who is able to access effective behavioral healthcare, there are many others who are unable to do so.

Access to behavioral healthcare has been a challenge for decades. Dating back to the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, the vision people have had for access to behavioral healthcare has not been matched by the availability of services. The good intention of the community mental health center movement to “deinstitutionalize” individuals led to an increase in the need for treatment in the community. Unfortunately, the community resources were not nearly enough to keep pace with the growing need for treatment.

In addition to the insufficient number of available licensed behavioral healthcare providers and the limitations on insurance coverage for behavioral healthcare, there are many other factors that can influence accessibility of effective clinical services. People who utilize behavioral healthcare services frequently require sessions with their providers several times each month. The effective provision of treatment models such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) often involves dynamic interactions between the clinician and the patient on a regular basis. The application of CBT includes homework assignments that need to be reviewed and analyzed to ensure that progress is being made. Additionally, many psychotropic medications need to be closely monitored for side effects as well as their effectiveness in treating presenting symptoms, especially at the onset of treatment.

For some individuals, transportation to an office or facility in which behavioral healthcare is provided is not consistently available. Thus, they may not engage in treatment at all or receive insufficient treatment if they are required to travel to the clinician’s office. Other individuals may have access to reliable transportation but have young children and do not have childcare arrangements that will allow them to attend appointments at the clinician’s office.

Mental health disorders can affect individuals in a variety of ways. Some individuals suffer from intense symptoms of anxiety or panic. For those individuals, leaving their home on a regular basis is often not possible. Other individuals may suffer from paranoid ideation to the point that sitting in a waiting room among other patients while awaiting an appointment may be more than they can tolerate. Some individuals suffer from profound symptoms of depression and may not have the energy or motivation to leave their homes and travel, even for treatment of their symptoms.

While progress has been made in reducing the stigma associated with mental health disorders, a great deal of bias still exists. Many people elect not to pursue behavioral healthcare due to concerns about how they may be perceived by others if it becomes known they have received such services. In some cases, privacy may be crucial. For example, a teacher may not be uncomfortable sitting in a waiting room with one of their students while awaiting an appointment with an optometrist. However, that same teacher may feel very uncomfortable sitting in the waiting room of a psychiatrist or therapist and have a student walk in. Privacy in behavioral healthcare belongs to the patient—if he or she wishes to maintain it, our field is required to protect it as much as possible.

Over the past several years, I have observed the benefits that are associated with the provision of behavioral healthcare via telebehavioral health. Improved access to care is among the most significant of those benefits. Transportation issues that often prohibit individuals from receiving care at an office can be eliminated. Individuals with young children can often negotiate their childcare needs much more easily if their appointments do not involve travel to and from an office and dealing with a crowded waiting room. At some points during treatment the condition for which an individual is seeking treatment may be the reason why they do not access services. Symptoms of anxiety and/or panic, paranoid thoughts, or depression may be debilitating at times. If care is brought to the individual in their home, they may be able to progress to the point that they will then have the option of services provided at an office as well as in-home treatment. If in-home services are not available when the person is at a particularly difficult point in their ability to function, the risk of an undesired outcome is much greater.

We are continuing to make strides in our understanding of mental health disorders and in our ability to effectively treat those conditions. Expanding access to care for individuals who need behavioral healthcare treatment is not only an option we should pursue, it is an obligation if we are to reach those who may be in the most need of care.


Original article posted in Health Management Technology.

InSight Telepsychiatry Expert Presents Grand Rounds at Deborah Heart and Lung Center

BROWNS MILLS, NJ – Dr. Jim Varrell, InSight’s Medical Director spoke at the Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Brown Mills, NJ during grand rounds. Dr. Varrell gave a presentation on applications of telepsychiatry in hospital settings to an audience of doctors, residents and other behavioral health professionals.

Deborah Heart and Lung Center is a specialty hospital that sees heart and lung patients and has no emergency department. Deborah Heart and Lung Center is also a partner of InSight, where they utilize telepsychiatry on their medical floors.

Dr. Varrell’s presentation gave an in-depth outline of telepsychiatry, which included topics such as:

  • Overview of telepsychiatry
  • Telepsychiatry use in hospitals
  • How to set up a telepsychiatry program
  • Technological setup
  • Clinical workflow
  • Telepsychiatry regulations
  • Clinical best practices and case studies

“Our work at InSight has given us access to all the ins and outs of delivering behavioral healthcare via telemedicine,” said Dr. Varrell. “It is an honor to impart the knowledge we’ve gained from years of experience in the field, to a new generation of healthcare professionals.”

Dr. Varrell and other InSight leadership often present during grand rounds to educate medical professionals on the importance and best practices of telemedicine and its ability to increase access to quality care.

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has 18+ years of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. Forty percent of InSight’s telepsychiatry providers are child and adolescent psychiatrists. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

About Deborah Heart and Lung Center

The Deborah Vision means continuing to be the premier provider of cardiovascular and pulmonary services in the region. We will be known for excellent clinical outcomes and for supreme customer-driven service, and as the ultimate leader in patient safety and privacy. We will continue to partner with other quality providers and payers to ensure a seamless continuum of care to the patients we serve. We will continue to improve both service and quality in the most cost effective manners. This is our uncompromising standard of care.

InSight Brings Telepsychiatry Services to the Yellowstone County Detention Facility

BILLINGS, MT – Located in south central Montana, Yellowstone County is Montana’s most populous with an estimated 144,797 residents in 2009, according to the Montana Department of Commerce. The Yellowstone County Detention Facility brings six hours a week of InSight telepsychiatry services to their inmates from Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Renée Brunner Houser.

Renée Brunner Houser, PMHNP, MSN is a Montana licensed psychiatric nurse practitioner who has worked as a psychiatric nurse practitioner and registered nurse in a variety of settings such as psychiatric hospitals, inpatient/outpatient health centers, hospice facilities and public schools. InSight will provide first time evaluations, follow up care, medication management and more.

According the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at least 83% of jail inmates with a mental illness did not have access to needed treatment. In addition, telepsychiatry is found to improve access to mental health services for inmates and save correctional facilities from $12,000 to more than $1 million [1]. InSight brings years of experience in correctional facility psychiatric care to serve Yellowstone’s inmates and increase access to care when they need it the most.

[1] Deslich, S. (2013). Telepsychiatry in Correctional Facilities: Using Technology to Improve Access and Decrease Costs of Mental Health Care in Underserved Populations. The Permanente Journal,17(3), 80-86. doi:10.7812/tpp/12-123

The Psychiatrist Shortage in Virginia

By James Varrell, MD


Due to trends in mental health advocacy and growing clinical evidence, people are increasingly recognizing the benefits of psychiatry and behavioral health care. For example, a 2012 study published in Contingencies measured the cost of a single employee’s depression over a two-year period prior to that employee receiving depression treatment and found the cost to the business to be as high as $3,386 per affected employee.

Unfortunately, even with a cultural shift towards addressing mental illness in Lynchburg, employers and families are struggling to get convenient and timely access to care due to a significant shortage of psychiatrists. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, there are over a million Virginians who experience mental illness and about 300,000 of those illnesses are classified as serious. Even with 930 psychiatrists licensed in Virginia, there simply aren’t enough providers to go around. As a psychiatrist, the demands for services can be overwhelming.

Moreover, because most psychiatrists are concentrated in Virginia’s urban pockets (Northern Virginia, the Richmond metropolitan area and Hampton Roads) many individuals outside of these areas endure long commutes to reach the nearest psychiatrist who has available appointment times. Oftentimes, getting care for oneself or a family member can be off-putting and stressful.

How Telepsychiatry Can Help
Telepsychiatry is a growing and clinically effective way to provide psychiatry, mental and behavioral health care to individuals through online video calls. Telepsychiatry can be used to provide psychiatric evaluations, consultations and treatment to individuals in various settings including outpatient offices, correctional facilities, hospitals, emergency departments, crisis centers or even in homes.

Facility-based telepsychiatry has a decent foothold in the healthcare industry. Today one of telepsychiatry’s newer applications, direct-to-consumer (D2C) telepsychiatry, is quickly becoming popular. D2C telepsychiatry allows providers to give psychiatry, mental and behavioral health care to people directly in their homes or any other private space. This takes away the stress of commuting to and from in-person offices. It also means that the time individuals and their families spend getting care is shortened to only the duration of the session, making it easier to fit into a busy schedule.

An Individual’s Experience with D2C Telepsychiatry
For example, one of my patients, whom I will call Anna, suffers from severe anxiety and depression. As a result of her disorder, Anna struggled to leave her home, and her husband, Rick, often had to take time off of work to accompany her to appointments with her psychiatrist whose office was 50 minutes away.

The stress of her appointments made Anna’s symptoms worse, negatively impacted Rick’s work and put additional strain on their family life.

It was in their search for a better care solution that Anna started to receive psychiatric medication management from me and therapy from one of my colleagues all through telepsychiatry. Anna started to access her sessions from home in the evenings after her children had gone to bed. Using telepsychiatry allowed her to receive treatment independently and the reduced stress of receiving care has empowered her and helped her to better cope with her disorder.

The Benefits of D2C Telepsychiatry

Anna’s experience is one that is shared by many Virginians who struggle to find a convenient psychiatry or behavioral health solution for themselves or their loved ones. Here are some of the many ways people can benefit from D2C telepsychiatry:
• Convenience. People can schedule appointments outside of traditional weekday hours and can easily attend sessions using any computer, tablet or smartphone in any private space with a reliable internet connection.

• Increased access to care. Telepsychiatry expands choices for providers and specialists beyond those who are within driving distance. Any provider nationwide who is licensed in the individual’s state can offer services to them. Practicing online means providers can spend more time treating people instead of traveling between offices.

• High-quality care. With more providers to pick from, people can choose the one who best fits their personality, needs and schedule. Reputable D2C telepsychiatry programs will have their providers trained to deliver telehealth appropriately and effectively.

• Privacy. Telepsychiatry is safe and secure. Some individuals prefer seeking care from the privacy of home without the fear of running into a nosy neighbor in the waiting room.

Not only does this type of treatment make it possible for people like Anna to receive care in a comfortable environment, but it also removes stress from their work and personal relationships. Telepsychiatry improves lives and is an excellent tool for increasing access to psychiatry and behavioral health care in Virginia communities.

Original story posted in Lynchburg Business Magazine.

ATA President’s Award Winners: Pushing the Needle in Telehealth

By Christina Hernandez Sherwood

One is a father who knew there had to be a way to remotely diagnose his daughter’s chronic ear infections. Another is a metropolitan healthcare system expanding its reach through virtual care. There are telehealth advocates working to promote the field across the country, and a team of experts spreading the word to pediatrics.

These are the winners of this year’s American Telemedicine Association President’s Awards, which recognize substantial contributions in telehealth advancement. Discover how the awardees are propelling telehealth forward:

Innovation in Remote Healthcare: Tyto Care

Video conferencing with a doctor has significant value, but it can’t replicate the medical exams done in the doctor’s office, says Dedi Gilad, co-founder and chief executive. Tyto Care’s device can examine the ears, throat, heart, lungs, abdomen and skin, as well as record heart rate and temperature, then forward the data to a provider. It’s meant to replicate an in-office exam and consult, no matter the patient’s location.

“My daughter… suffered through chronic, painful ear infections at a young age, which resulted in countless middle-of-the-night and weekend trips to the emergency room,” Gilad says. “With all that hassle, the diagnosis and treatment always ended up the same.”

The technology not only has implications for harried parents and their oft-sick kids, but also for patients with chronic conditions, post-operative patients and patients who frequently visit the doctor and ER, Gilad says. “By enabling a comprehensive remote examination, the types of medical conditions that can be diagnosed using telehealth can greatly expand,” he says. “We envision a world where it is second nature for consumers to connect with their physician for a remote exam and diagnosis.”

The company received FDA clearance in the fall and is rolling out its solutions to health systems, telehealth providers and strategic partners. The launch for U.S. consumers is expected this year.

Transformation of Healthcare Delivery: NewYork-Presbyterian

NewYork-Presbyterian developed NYP OnDemand, a suite of telemedicine services, to expand its reach from beyond the Big Apple. Its offerings include:

  • Express Care: video care delivered to emergency department patients
  • Urgent Care: acute care delivered via smartphone, tablet or computer to patients in their homes in four states
  • Peer-to-Peer Consults: consults by specialist physicians in psychiatry, neurology and pediatric medicine to patients in NewYork-Presbyterian emergency departments
  • Second Opinions: Weill Cornell and Columbia physicians can asynchronously review labs, imaging and other data to deliver a second opinion
  • Mobile Stroke Unit: mobile unit allows potential stroke patients to receive curbside CT scans with results sent to a neurologist for reading and immediate treatment

The first five offerings of NYP OnDemand have proven the viability and potential for digital medicine, says Daniel Barchi, NewYork-Presbyterian’s chief information officer. Express Care, for instance, cut the average emergency department visit time from more than two hours to 30 minutes with a 95 percent patient satisfaction rating.

The medical center will now use the insights and lessons learned to expand direct patient and physician digital appointments for routine care, acute visits and both pre- and post-surgical visits, Barchi says. “NYP OnDemand has, in a matter of months, moved from vision to test to operational stages and is now a key part of NYP’s growth,” he says. “The program will continue in scope and, more importantly, in volume to meet the need of more patients nationally and globally.”

Individual Leadership: Elizabeth A. Krupinski, professor and vice chair of research, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University


Elizabeth Krupinski

The last year has been exciting for Krupinski, who works with colleagues at the University of Arizona to promote telehealth in the Southwest and recently joined the virtual patient care team at Emory in Atlanta, Georgia. As chair of the ATA’s Practice Guidelines Committee, she led the effort to produce important new guidelines and update others to better reflect the evolving field of telehealth. And as part of the ATA’s Human Factors Special-Interest Group, Krupinski helped initiate a series of “Telehealth Quick Guidelines” with easy steps to optimize telehealth encounters by focusing on the human side of the equation.

“The next big hurdle is to help delineate and guide the future directions of research efforts in telehealth,” Krupinski says. “Our goal should not be to simply assess the ‘tele’ part of telehealth care, but to study healthcare as a system and the optimal integration of the various tools and techniques that telemedicine offers.”

Industry Leader Award: Geoffrey Boyce, executive director of InSight Telepsychiatry

Geoffrey Boyce

Geoffrey Boyce

A national telepsychiatry organization, InSight Telepsychiatry works in 27 states across the country. “As InSight has grown into new states,” Boyce says, “we have often had to work with partners and state officials to update policies that were written before anyone ever contemplated telemedicine.” In fact, Boyce has spent much of the last year working with policymakers in the company’s home state of New Jersey to develop telemedicine friendly regulation.

Other accomplishments for Boyce include the growth of Inpathy, the company’s direct-to-consumer division, as well as significant work with the ATA, including helping to draft comments on the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act and reviewing the ATA’s Guidelines for Child and Adolescent Telemental Health.

While his work to expand telehealth reimbursement to new states and new applications, including direct-to-consumer telehealth, will continue, Boyce is also pushing for increased telehealth training and education.

“The industry has produced some great guidelines for telehealth best practices in the past year,” he says, “and I look forward to seeing more training programs and existing providers utilize these tools to stay up to date on the most appropriate ways to practice through this medium.”

Special-Interest Group (SIG) Achievement Award: Pediatric Telehealth


Kathy Webster

This year’s honor went to ATA’s Pediatric Telehealth SIG, which worked to strengthen its relationship with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ telehealth section, say chair Kathy Webster and co-chair James McElligott. “As our membership grows and becomes more active in both organizations, we focused this past year on SIG member engagement,” they say.

James McElligott

James McElligott


Subgroups structured around evidence and quality approaches that would be synergistic to the conversations in the AAP were formed to mobilize SIG members. Most of these subgroups remain active now — a year later — and the group has seen more engagement on its monthly calls. Each subgroup has a specific focus, leading to ongoing conversations among members that would otherwise occur only at annual meetings.

“Our research collaborative provides a platform for sharing ideas and advancing the evidence base for telehealth,” the chairs say, “while strong advocacy efforts help to educate lawmakers and promote legislation to remove barriers to telehealth, as well as educating members on how to spread these efforts both regionally and nationally.”


Original story posted on MedCity News.

Telepsychiatry Long-Term Partnership a Continued Success

InSight Telepsychiaty and NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare Continue to Reduce Emergency Department Wait Times with Telepsychiatry for 15 Years

MARLTON, NJ — After 15 years of service, InSight Telepsychiatry and NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare continue to provide successful telepsychiatry services to individuals requiring emergency behavioral healthcare.

Winona InSight

As a New Jersey designated screening center, NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare provides behavioral health services such as emergency assessments, crisis intervention and referrals to inpatient psychiatric organizations.

The services offered by NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare combine traditional treatment options with telepsychiatry. When an individual enters a screening center during a psychiatric crisis, an on-site behavioral health screener conducts an initial assessment. The screener then meets with an InSight provider through phone or videoconference to determine diagnosis and treatment options. This could include admission, prescribing of medication or referral to follow-up care.

“NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare screeners truly develop a strong rapport with InSight’s providers,” says InSight’s Director of Operations Dena Ferrell, who worked as a behavioral health screener for the organization prior to joining InSight in 2007. “InSight providers really enjoy a friendly and productive working relationship that adds value to this partnership,” she added.

The partnerships success is exemplified through conducting over 200 telepsychiatry sessions in 2015 alone. “We use telepsychiatry 24/7 and most feel just as satisfied as they are with face-to-face psychiatrist sessions,” said Vikki McFadden, NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare’s Clinical Coordinator of Psychiatric Emergency Screening. “Before we were able to utilize telepsychiatry clients in other emergency room settings would sometimes wait days to be sent to the screening host,” McFadden added.

“The technology has gotten better,” says Jennifer Plews, NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare’s Director of Psychiatric Emergency, describing how telepsychiatry used to be delivered on a heavy cart with a monitor versus a cart that can now be easily pushed with one hand.

As one of InSight’s longest partnerships, NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare has seen firsthand how telepsychiatry has evolved. With a mission to provide a spectrum of quality services to maximize individual potential through education and empowerment, NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare has served communities in New Jersey for nearly 60 years through more than 16 outpatient behavioral health programs offering effective, affordable psychiatric screenings.

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has 18+ years of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. Forty percent of InSight’s telepsychiatry providers are child and adolescent psychiatrists. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

About NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare

The mission of NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare is to provide a spectrum of quality services to maximize individual potential through education and empowerment. NewPoint Behavioral Healthcare is committed to be the leader of quality mental health services in the region.

Telepsychiatry: Raising the Bar on Access to Mental Health Care

By Dr. James Varrell, Telepsychiatrist and Medical Director of InSight

As May—Mental Health Awareness Month—rolls around each year, health care stakeholders are reminded to reflect on the notable achievements and strides made in mental health treatment. The industry continues to forge new paths in terms of technological advancement, research, discovery and awareness, leading to a more holistic approach to care delivery and improved health outcomes across U.S. communities.

In terms of improving access to care, one advancement in particular carries significant weight for expanding care options and lowering costs for patients, providers and communities: telepsychiatry. Telepsychiatry is a form of telemedicine that uses videoconferencing to provide psychiatric evaluation, consultation and treatment. A growing segment of telepsychiatry is direct-to-consumer care, which is working to tear down stigma-related barriers to treatment and open doors to expanded referral options and more timely care. In fact, industry stakeholders increasingly recognize direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry as a primary solution for filling mental health care gaps at a time when the need is soaring.

In tandem with the goals of value-based care, today’s patients and providers are no longer willing to settle for limited mental health treatment choices within their community. Similarly, communities should no longer view the long waits traditionally associated with accessing psychiatric care as acceptable, especially when telepsychiatry lays the foundation for more optimal, timely care delivery.

Recognizing the Need for Greater Access

Today’s mental health landscape is characterized by an increased need for services coupled with a dwindling supply of psychiatrists. The reality is that 42.5 million Americans struggle with mental health conditions including stress, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, mood disorders and other psychological concerns. Unfortunately, accessing effective treatment is not easily attainable given the following statistics:

  • More than 55 percent of U.S. counties are currently without any psychiatrists.
  • The mental health landscape is facing shortages in more than 4,600 areas.

In addition, referrals to community-based psychiatrists often have an average 3-6 month wait time—a fact that is especially true for specialty psychiatrists, such as those who have expertise in complex child conditions. To put this need into perspective, the number of child and adolescent psychiatrists in New Jersey would need to triple to adequately support the need in that state alone.

Primary care doctors are often sought out as a resource for filling these service gaps created by growing demand. Yet, many may be uncomfortable prescribing medication for mental health disorders or lack specific expertise on psychotropic medications.

Consider the following scenario:

A 53-year-old female has a history of refractory depression and has tried numerous antidepressant options through her primary care doctor, who is at a loss as to the correct formula for the patient’s needs. The patient’s history reveals that she has had discrete hypomanic episodes, characterized by sudden displays of energy, productivity and noticeably more creativity. These 1-2 week episodes were followed by a decline back to her usual depression. Looking for a second opinion regarding her care, her primary care doctor referred the patient to a telepsychiatrist.

When the telepsychiatrist reviewed her symptoms he made the conclusion that the patient has type two bipolar disorder and needed an appropriate medication regiment.

Fortunately, in this example, the patient suffering from type two bipolar disorder accessed the needed psychiatry expertise in a timely manner by using direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry. After an accurate diagnosis and subsequent follow-up visits with the telepsychiatrist, the patient’s medications were further adjusted, resulting in effective management of the disorder and a satisfied patient.

The Telepsychiatry Advantage

Direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry introduces notable opportunities to improve access to care. Through live, interactive communication with a licensed psychiatrist in a private setting of the patient’s choice, this treatment model diminishes many of the existing challenges to reaching patients in need.

For instance, patients who live in remote areas where mental health services are lacking have access to psychiatry expertise within a few days rather than several weeks or months. Also, stigma becomes less of an issue as patients are able to experience more privacy, and care is more conveniently accessed in the home or a private location.

Appointment scheduling options outside of traditional office hours address the roadblocks of busy lifestyles that are often a deterrent to consistent follow-up and treatment. In tandem, mental health providers can see more patients with this increased flexibility. Direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry can also support greater continuity of care. For instance, some patient populations, like teens and college students, are more willing to continue treatment if a relationship is maintained with the same psychiatric provider during life transitions like moving to a new city for college.

Telepsychiatry is clinically proven to deliver high-quality care that meets the standard of traditional in-person care for diagnostic accuracy, treatment, effectiveness, quality of care and patient satisfaction. Along with the majority of medical associations, the American Psychiatric Association supports the use of telepsychiatry as long as it is used in the best interest of the patient and complies with medical ethics and federal privacy and security regulations. For these reasons, telepsychiatry is increasingly becoming reimbursable by a number of insurance plans.

Forward Looking

Going forward, the industry must embrace the promise of direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry as a critical strategic component to improving access to care. Telepsychiatry is a viable option and an alternative to traditional in-person care for mental health issues that has the potential to better serve communities and improve population health.

Original story published in HIT Leaders & News.

Telepsychiatry Helps Businesses Realize Better Outcomes For All

By Barry Doan, MSW

In today’s busy, on-demand world, more employers are offering online or telemedicine services to employees to give them the ability to speak with a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner remotely. Telemedicine is not only convenient for employees who don’t have to take time off work for an appointment, but also helps employers reduce the cost of hospitalizations. While two-thirds of employers currently offer employees access to telemedicine services, that number is expected to increase to 90 percent by 2018.

One popular form of telemedicine is telepsychiatry, a clinical model that uses videoconferencing to provide psychiatry and mental health services, such as evaluations, consultations and ongoing treatment. It allows employees to receive mental health care through live, interactive communication with a licensed provider in a private setting, whether that’s at work, at home or in a healthcare facility. Telepsychiatry is particularly useful given the severe shortage of psychiatrists, which limits access to critical care and results in long wait times.

Impact of mental illness on employers

Mental illness is the leading cause of disability, accounting for one-third of new disability claims in 2015. Depression is among the top workplace challenges for employee assistance programs, along with family crisis and stress. While most employers provide coverage for mental health care, benefits and services aimed at preventing or reducing depression are often underutilized by employees for a variety of reasons. For example, they may have difficulty finding an in-network psychiatry provider in their area, trouble making an appointment that fits around their work schedule or employees may feel stigmatized or embarrassed by their condition.

Untreated mental health issues are costly to employers. The total economic burden of major depression, for example, is estimated to be $210.5 billion per year — nearly half of which is attributed to the workplace, including missed work days and reduced output. Further cost implications can also be attributed to treating medical conditions that often coexist with depression. Employees who suffer depression frequently have other medical conditions that occur at the same time, including diabetes, asthma, COPD, heart disease, chronic pain and insomnia. Treating these coexisting problems can significantly drive up costs. For example, researchers found that for every dollar spent treating depression, $1.55 was spend on depression workplace costs, while $2.13 was spent on treating coexisting disorders.

Advantages of offering a telepsychiatry benefit to employees

Investing in the mental wellbeing of employees creates measurable returns. Research by the American Psychiatric Foundation found that after only three weeks of mental health treatment, the number of work-impaired employees with behavioral health conditions was reduced by half, and after a little more than four months of treatment, two-thirds were no longer work-impaired.

Telepsychiatry can help employers improve productivity and profitability. Here are five reason why:

  1. Convenient

Providing convenient access to psychiatric and mental health care via telepsychiatry can help reduce absenteeism, tardiness and anger issues by allowing employees access to easy and convenient treatments thus enabling more consistent work attendance. Online appointments allow busy professionals to easily access specialty behavioral health services in a private and comfortable setting. Employees can also schedule appointments outside of traditional weekday time slots, such as weekends or in the evening, which reduces travel time and time away from work. By providing enhanced access to care, employees are more likely to engage in services more proactively and routinely.

  1. Prompt

When behavioral health issues are left untreated, they tend to get progressively worse. With telepsychiatry, employees have prompt access to routine care that reduces the chance of the condition becoming urgent or emergent. In light of the dramatic shortage of mental health providers, resources are scarce, driving up wait times to be seen in person. Telepsychiatry meets employees where they are, offering them faster access to care. Accessing telepsychiatry through online platforms not only allows for real-time diagnosis and treatment, but also provides more opportunities for communication between the employee and their mental health provider between sessions.

  1. Increased well-being

Employees who suffer from behavioral health issues cost employers $44 billion per year in lost productivity, mostly in the form of presenteeism — when employees are physically but not mentally present or working at full capacity. Offering mental health care not only reduces employee stress but improves morale. One study found employees who completed just one session with a mental health provider experienced significant improvement in work performance. Employers reported increased productivity and substantial improvement in overall mental health.

  1. Private

Telepsychiatry protects employee privacy and confidentiality just as in-person care does. Moreover, many find that not being in the same room as the provider actually enhances feelings of safety for many. Accessing appointments online also eliminates the possibility of running into co-workers in waiting rooms and/or psychiatry providers’ offices, which can be uncomfortable and contribute to anxiety.

  1. Quality care

Telepsychiatry is has been clinically proven to deliver high quality care that meets the standard of traditional in-person care for diagnostic accuracy, treatment, effectiveness, quality of care and patient satisfaction. Telepsychiatry offers enhanced access to care, which improves an employee’s ability to use services proactively and routinely, and providers can diagnose and prescribe medicine in the same way an in-person psychiatrist can.

Through telepsychiatry, employees and employers can experience better outcomes across the board.

Barry Doan has more than 30 years of behavioral health industry experience and now works for Inpathy, a division of the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization that delivers telepsychiatry directly to employees and other individuals online.

Original story published on BenefitsPro.com on 4/24/17.

InSight Executive Director Receives 2017 Industry Leader Award

The American Telemedicine Association recognizes Geoffrey Boyce as a proven leader in the advancement and advocacy of telemedicine.

g boyce headshot

Geoffrey Boyce- ATA Industry Partner Honoree 2017

MARLTON, NJ – Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of InSight Telepsychiatry, is the recipient of the American Telemedicine Association’s 2017 Industry Leader Award.

The Industry Leader Award is presented each year to an individual or company that has made significant contributions to the advancement of telemedicine a federal, state and international level.

“Geoffrey has worked extensively in the promotion of telemedicine in a number of arenas,” says Les Paschall, CEO of InSight’s sister company, CFG Health Network. “This award recognizes his many accomplishments and tireless work to champion telemedicine and transform access to health care.”

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is the largest telehealth-focused organization. The non-profit organization is the leading telehealth association helping to transform healthcare by improving the quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world.

InSight Telepsychiatry is the leading national telepsychiatry organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. InSight has been practicing telepsychiatry for the past 18 years and runs telepsychiatry programs in settings than span the continuum of care across 27 states.

As executive director of InSight, Boyce has been active in telemedicine advocacy, education and reform initiatives. At a federal level, Boyce is an active leader in advocating for telemedicine-friendly changes to the Ryan Haight Act. He’s met with the DEA about the issue, spoke on the issue at several events and helped lead an ATA committee that produced comments on the Act that would make it telemedicine-friendly.

At the state level, Boyce played a crucial role in drafting a proposed telemedicine bill in New Jersey, which introduced significant regulations for the efficient delivery of health care services through telemedicine. He was among experts to testify before the New Jersey state Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on the current and potential applications of telemedicine services and has continued to be a resource to the policy makers throughout the process.

Boyce also played a key role in advocating for New Jersey’s change in commitment laws to allow for electronic signatures in 2012. The revision represented significant improvement to the logistical challenges faced when screening and placing individuals appropriately, particularly in the delivery of the psychiatrist’s screen certificate.

Boyce worked with the Delaware Telehealth Coalition and the Delaware Medical Society to draft legislation making telemedicine more accessible through Delaware’s House Bill 69. He also helped design several innovative telemedicine partnerships within the state, including a 2014 pilot with the DSCYF to bring child and adolescent psychiatry to southern Delaware.

Through his work at InSight, Boyce has developed and implemented a number of innovative telepsychiatry and telebehavioral health programs for hospitals, health systems, outpatient health facilities and various other healthcare organizations. He launched the Adult Mobile Crisis Program and Children’s Crisis Psychiatry Program, allowing trained crisis support specialists to bring laptops equipped to connect a telepsychiatrist to the homes of callers experiencing psychiatric crisis in Pennsylvania. He launched the first ACT program to utilize telepsychiatry in Delaware. He also played a key role in the design of Inpathy, one of the nation’s first direct-to-consumer telebehavioral health platforms, and is currently working to expand into new areas through partnerships with health plans and insurance companies.

Boyce is an active public speaker on telehealth through presentations, webinars and events. Boyce has spoken on the topic of telemedicine at over 25 events in the past 5 years including presentations on the topic of Telepsychiatry to the American Telemedicine Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the National Association of Rural Health Associations, The Center for Telehealth and e-Law and many others.

Boyce also serves on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center.

“I’m humbled by this honor. I’ve been involved with ATA for close to ten years and seen the organization and the telemedicine industry come into its own,” says Boyce. “We are no longer spending time convincing people that telemedicine isn’t voodoo and are now seeing real change. Telehealth is at that tipping point.”

Boyce will be presented with his award during the Industry Council Meeting at the 2017 International American Telemedicine Association Conference in Orlando, FL on Sunday, April 23.

InSight Telepsychiatry to Present at the American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference

InSight Telepsychiatry representatives are presenting at the American Telemedicine Association’s Annual Conference and Trade Show in Orlando. Their presentations, will address innovative telebehavioral health programs in a variety of settings, drawing on InSight’s experience as the leading national telepsychiatry provider organization.

ORLANDO, FL – InSight Telepsychiatry, the leading national telepsychiatry provider organization with a mission to increase access to behavioral health care, today announced thought leaders from the company, along with CFG Health Network and InSight partner, Access Services, will give presentations on a variety of telepsychiatry topics during the American Telemedicine Association’s (ATA) Annual Conference and Trade Show, taking place in Orlando, FL from April 23 to 25. ATA is the industry’s leading event for insights into the latest telemedicine and mobile health trends.

On Monday, April 24, representatives from InSight, CFG and Access Services will present during the session called The Use of Consumer-Based Telemental Health for Acute and Long-Term Needs. This session will feature “Bringing Help Home: The Use of Telepsychiatry in a Mobile Crisis Program” presented by Dan Khebzou and Jessica Fenchel, and “Getting Ahead of the Curve: Layering Home-Based Telehealth into an Existing Outpatient Mental Health Clinic” presented by Joel Freidman, PhD, that discusses the use of Inpathy, InSight’s direct-to-consumer division.

Dan Khebzou, a regional account executive for InSight, and Jess Fenchel, the senior director for adult behavioral health and crisis at Access Services, will give details on the partnership that facilitated the nation’s first mobile crisis program to utilize telepsychiatry.

Access Services and InSight work together to connect individuals in crisis and crisis team members with a remote telepsychiatry provider who is able to rapidly meet the person where they are – all through telehealth. This case study will review the implementation steps the partners went through to develop and roll out a successful program including designing workflows, selecting providers, overcoming hurdles, informing payers, choosing their technology and educating their teams. In addition, they will discuss lessons learned.
In the second presentation, Joel Friedman, PhD., the clinical director of CFG Health Network, will give details on how Center for Family Guidance, an outpatient mental health organization with three offices, is utilizing Inpathy, in order to meet the increasing needs of consumers.

Additionally, InSight Executive Director Geoffrey Boyce will present the e-poster, “Do You Know Ryan Haight?” on April 23. This poster will break down the confusing elements of the Ryan Haight Act into digestible and applicable pieces.

Visit booth 1506 for more information and to connect with InSight. To schedule a time for a meeting, contact Olivia Boyce at oboyce@in-sight.net or 770.713.4161.

InSight Telepsychiatry is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology.

Winona Health’s Telepsychiatry Program Proves Successful In First Few Months

Winona Health recently implemented a telepsychiatry program in partnership with InSight Telepsychiatry. The program has received praise from both patients and staff.

WINONA, Minn.— Winona Health recently launched a telepsychiatry program in their outpatient department as part of a partnership with InSight Telepsychiatry.

Winona InSightTelepsychiatry is the application of telemedicine to the specialty field of psychiatry. The term typically describes the delivery of psychiatric assessment and care through secure videoconferencing.

Winona Health’s outpatient telepsychiatry program increases access to psychiatric appointments for people in the Winona community seeking mental health treatment. There are more than 4,600 health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) in the U.S. today, and in Minnesota, only 30 percent of mental health HPSAs are met.

Patients who have received treatment through the new telepsychiatry program have praised this delivery of care in post-appointment surveys, noting the ease of use of the technology and satisfaction with InSight provider, Dr. Maaz Siddiqui.

“This new program is essential in providing the best quality care to our mental health patients,” said John Rislove, Co-Director of Inpatient Medical Services at Winona Health. “We have 100 percent approval ratings for the new telepsychiatry program so far, which attests to the quality and effectiveness of care Winona and InSight’s Dr. Maaz Siddiqui provides.”

In the survey, 90 percent of patients surveyed reported that they were “Comfortable” or “Very Comfortable” with the telemental health technology they used and 100 percent planned to return to the service. Additionally, 98 percent of respondents reported that their treatment by Dr. Siddiqui and the onsite staff was either “Very Good” or “Good.”

Over 50 percent of adults in Minnesota with a mental illness do not receive treatment or counseling. The telepsychiatry program at Winona has provided care for over 200 patient visits since December.

“We’re excited to supplement Winona Health’s current system of mental health care in the treatment and support of individuals in the Winona community,” said Geoffrey Boyce, executive director of InSight Telepsychiatry. “Our goals are to maintain the high quality of care we’ve seen so far while continuing to increase access to psychiatry through our partnership.”

About Winona Health

Winona Health is a community-owned, not-for-profit healthcare system nestled among the bluffs along the Mississippi River in picturesque Winona, Minn. The healthcare system provides comprehensive care for individuals through all stages of life. In addition to a primary care and multi-specialty clinic in Winona, Winona Health has a primary care clinic in Rushford, Minn. Winona Health also provides care for the community through its 99-bed hospital and senior services including assisted living, long-term care and hospice services. For more information about Winona Health, visit www.winonahealth.org.

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has 18+ years of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

St. Joseph’s Villa Receives Telehealth Innovation Award

Telehealth Innovation Award from the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center recognizes effective use of telepyschiatry in the Villa’s Crisis Stabilization Unit.

RICHMOND, VA — St. Joseph’s Villa (SJV) of Richmond, VA received the prestigious Telehealth Innovation Award from the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center (MATRC). The award recipients were announced on April 3, 2017 during the 2017 MATRC Telehealth Summit. The award is given to organizations that demonstrate an innovative application of telehealth and contribute to improved health outcomes and/or quality of life in the Mid-Atlantic region.

SJV partners with InSight to bring telepsychiatry to children receiving mental health services at their facility. One of SJV’s many innovative and effective programs is their Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU), where children experiencing mental health crises can receive treatment in an environment that feels like home — all with the goal of preventing costly, unnecessary hospitalization. Since opening in 2012, the CSU has served nearly 500 children and has successfully diverted nearly 90 percent of them from hospitalization. InSight has helped the CSU work toward this goal for nearly two years with the help of telepsychiatrist Dr. Ashika Kapoor.

As one of the first crisis stabilization units for children and adolescents in Virginia, and one of the first crisis stabilization units in the country to use telepsychiatry, St. Joseph’s Villa exemplifies how combining modern technology and a personal touch can offer a meaningful and potentially life-changing service to patients and families in their time of need. The Villa is able to help children and families through a difficult time in their lives and provide them with opportunities to succeed because they have a telepsychiatry provider.

“St. Joseph’s Villa is committed to providing high quality behavioral health services to children and their families in innovative new settings. Our partnership with InSight has allowed us to expand our provider capacity,” said Kathleen Burke Barrett, CEO of St. Joseph’s Villa.  “We’re delighted that our efforts to provide care beyond the confines of an office were recognized by MATRC.”

Telepsychiatry allows children in the CSU to see psychiatry providers through videoconferencing. It has been proven an effective and cost-conscious way to bring psychiatric care to children and many other populations.[1]  With the option to utilize remote providers, telepsychiatry and other telemedicine services represent unprecedented access to specialists who are typically difficult to staff in rural and underserved areas. When the CSU opened in partnership with the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) Region IV, SJV found that it was challenging to locate a qualified local child psychiatrist. In terms of mental health providers, several of the counties SJV’s CSU serves are Designated Health Professional Shortage Areas, according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.  Ultimately, SJV turned to telepsychiatry as the solution for bringing psychiatric care to their facility.

“InSight prides itself on developing partnerships with innovative, like-minded organizations and works hard to find the right fit between our telepsychiatry providers and our partners,” says Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of InSight. “Congratulations to St. Joseph’s Villa on this accomplishment and we look forward to sustaining a productive partnership.”

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has 18+ years of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. Forty percent of InSight’s telepsychiatry providers are child and adolescent psychiatrists. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

About St. Joseph’s Villa

Established in 1834, St. Joseph’s Villa is the longest serving nonprofit for children in the country.  The Villa impacts 3,000 children and families each year facing homelessness, autism and developmental disabilities, mental illness, and other challenges.  Villa programs help them believe in themselves while providing them with the tools they need for long-term independence, stability, and success. For more information, visit www.NeverStopBelieving.org.

[1] Myers, K. M., Valentine, J. M., & Melzer, S. M. (2008). Child and Adolescent Telepsychiatry: Utilization and Satisfaction. Telemedicine and EHealth, 14(2), 131-137. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2007.0035

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.’

Boyce TCC

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.

Live & Practice: Small Towns and Cities

(Original story published in PracticeLink Magazine—Spring 2017)

Marlton, New Jersey

Just 30 minutes from Philidelphia, 90 minutes from New York City and 2 hours from Baltimore, Marlton is popular among people who want to be near family in one of these major geographic areas while enjoying a small-town lifestyle. Marlton has strong community spirit, with several annual festivals sponsored by local government and scores of free exercise facilities, family activities and classes such as yoga and karate for residents.

Small towns and rural areas sometimes present a challenge for health care providers. That was the case when a rural southern New Jersey community first contracted with CFG Health Network, which is based in Marlton.

The community asked CFG to cover its psychiatry needs. But a week before the contract was to begin, there was a new requirement: all physicians had to be able to get to the facility within an hour of getting a call.

To continue reading, click here.

PracticeLink article



Telepsychiatry: Reaching More Patients For Better Outcomes

By Dr. Jim Varrell, Medical Director, InSight Telepsychiatry

(Originally Published 3/17/17 on Health IT Outcomes)

A 42-year-old woman with chronic anxiety and agoraphobia found herself unable to leave her apartment. She reached out to her primary care doctor who prescribed Xanax, but the medication was only making her feel worse. Unable to go out in public, she found a telepsychiatry provider who adjusted her medication and dosage, connected her with cognitive behavioral therapy, and helped her reclaim her life.

Health IT Outcomes Every year, about 42.5 million Americans struggle with mental illness — enduring stress, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, mood disorders or other psychological concerns. Despite the availability of treatment most people don’t get the help they need, not necessarily due to stigma or denial, but because they can’t: it’s inconvenient or mental healthcare providers aren’t available in their area or within the time frame they need an appointment. To increase access to behavioral healthcare, people need an alternative to traditional doctor referrals, and telepsychiatry can help. Telepsychiatry is a type of telemedicine that uses videoconferencing to provide psychiatric evaluation, consultation, and treatment.

A Growing Market
A key driver of telepsychiatry is the serious shortage of psychiatry providers and other mental health professionals in the U.S. Today there are more than 4,600 mental health professional shortage areas making it difficult, if not impossible, for patients to access services. People referred to psychiatry providers by their primary care doctors face long and potentially dangerous wait times — often three to seven months or longer.

The situation is even worse for those in need of specialty providers, such as child and adolescent psychiatry providers. Currently, there are only about 8,200 practicing child and adolescent psychiatry providers nationally. To put this in perspective, New Jersey alone would need three times as many practitioners as it now has to adequately support the number of children in the state.

Telepsychiatry also offers the promise of delivering more effective mental healthcare in primary care practices. The burden of mental healthcare often falls on primary care doctors, yet many are unable to provide the most appropriate behavioral health resources. Adequately assessing and treating behavioral health issues requires more time with the patient than many doctors or nurse practitioners are able to spend. Moreover, while it is perfectly acceptable for primary care doctors to not know the ins and outs of mental healthcare, many don’t feel equipped to treat behavioral health conditions themselves because they lack specialized training. But without referral options, primary care doctors are often forced to do so. Many practices are overwhelmed with changes in how care is delivered and reimbursed, and under pressure to maximize time with patients, making it difficult for doctors to do it all.

Meeting Behavioral Healthcare Needs

Quality: Telepsychiatry is leading the way in telemedicine for delivering high quality care that meets the standard of traditional in-person care. The American Psychiatric Association supports the use of telepsychiatry as long as it is used in the best interest of the patient and complies with medical ethics and federal privacy and security regulations. It supports the patient-doctor relationship required by law to prescribe medications with documentation — a process identical to the traditional outpatient setting. For these reasons as well, it is increasingly reimbursable by insurance plans.

Continuity of care: In addition to meeting care standards, telepsychiatry positively impacts continuity of care by providing greater accessibility to psychiatry providers. It meets patients where they are. Many patient populations including children, college students, and veterans respond well to this form of treatment, especially since they can maintain the relationship with their same psychiatric provider regardless of location. Other studies have found telepsychiatry can positively impact care for seniors and nursing home residents, reducing costs for the facility as well as improving access to needed care. Age has not been found to be a barrier to acceptance and most seniors readily accept the format.

Access to care: Telepsychiatry is one of the most effective ways to increase access to care for individuals who might otherwise go without. Providing access to specialists for people in rural and remote areas is a challenge. Telepsychiatry offers a practical and cost-efficient way for psychiatry providers to reach these patients. The logistical benefits extend to those in urban centers as well. In light of the dramatic provider shortage, resources are scarce in all settings driving up wait times and commutes to be seen in-person. Telepsychiatry allows existing behavioral health providers to see more people at more flexible times. Many providers who offer telepsychiatry services do so during off-hours to meet the needs of consumers who have trouble finding time for commutes and waiting rooms, or who have trouble leaving their homes.

Cost-effective: Behavioral health issues cost $135 billion every year — almost as much as heart disease and cancer treatment combined. Telepsychiatry can help lower costs for both psychiatry providers and their patients. Studies have found telepsychiatry incurs fewer direct and indirect costs than in-person services saving on provider time, medical supplies, technology, and reimbursement, as well as costs associated with the clinical space, administrative support, travel, and time off work. Nowhere is this savings more pronounced than in the rural setting where telepsychiatry has been found to reduce costs by as much as 40 percent. For hospitals and inpatient residential programs required to provide patients with follow-up care options, telepsychiatry can help ensure a seamless care transition with proactive post-discharge outreach, reducing potential penalties for providers under value-based care.

A Solution For Better Outcomes
Telepsychiatry meets patients’ needs for convenient, flexible, and accessible mental health services, helping improve patient outcomes. The convenience of online appointments makes patients more likely to attend their behavioral health sessions than if they were seeing a provider in person — and when people are consistent in managing their behavioral health, their physical health also improves. It also gives patients more options to find the right provider for them and the care that meets their specific needs, and allows typically underserved groups to access care. This combined with less travel time, less time off work and shorter wait times for services means people get the care they need sooner, are more engaged in their health and happier with their experience of care.

About The Author
James R. Varrell, M.D. has been practicing telepsychiatry for 18 years and is the Medical Director of InSight Telepsychiatry.

Inpathy Gets a Makeover – New Website Makes it Easier to Get Online Psychiatry and Therapy Anytime, Anywhere

Online Therapy and Psychiatry

WASHINGTON, DC (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 20, 2017 – Inpathy has launched a new look for its website, http://www.Inpathy.com. Inpathy is dedicated to making it easy for people to get access to psychiatric, behavioral and mental health care through convenient, online video calls. Inpathy is the newest division of InSight Telepsychiatry, the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with nearly two decades of experience delivering online behavioral health care safely and securely.

While InSight’s other divisions bring psychiatrists and mental health providers to community-based facilities and organizations through telehealth, Inpathy uniquely brings life-changing behavioral care directly into people’s home or any other private place. While the website makes it easy for people to self-direct themselves, Inpathy also has a team of care navigators for users to call or email if they would like the extra assistance finding and connecting with a provider.

Online Sessions Make Care Convenient

“Inpathy allows me to help people who have mobility issues, anxiety around commuting or those who just don’t have the time to get to their in-person appointments,” says Jeanine Miles, a New Jersey licensed professional counselor.

There are many reasons people prefer online therapy and psychiatry services.

  • It’s convenient: Be seen when and where it works for you without the hassle of taking time off work or sitting in waiting rooms. Inpathy providers often have next-day appointments and are available evenings and weekends.
  • It provides options: Find the right provider who fits your needs and preferences — whether or not they live in your community. Access licensed counselors, therapists and psychiatry providers who are licensed in your state.
  • It’s safe and secure: Unlike Skype or FaceTime, our technology is HIPAA-compliant and protects your personal information.
  • It’s completely private: Your session on Inpathy is strictly confidential. Inpathy sessions are never recorded and you have control over whether you invite family or friends to join your online video call.
  • It’s easy to use: Inpathy works on any computer, tablet or smartphone with internet and a webcam. Plus, we offer 24/7 support for tech issues, test calls and troubleshooting.
  • It’s flexible to schedule: Weekdays a no-go? Need to do a session after the kids go to bed? No problem. Appointments are available 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. — and it often only takes a few days from your request before you can meet with a provider.
  • It’s effective: Numerous studies have also shown that it is highly effective as a form of treatment and sometimes more effective than traditional in-person care.

According to Dr. Varrell, Medical Director of Inpathy and a child and adolescent psychiatrist who has been doing video sessions with people for the past 18 years, “Many people, especially children, are able to talk to me more easily through televideo than in person. Online care is more comfortable, less intimidating and it removes some of the power dynamics so people are more likely to open up more quickly than in-person care.”
Insurance companies and employers are also recognizing the advantages of online care and are starting to include services like Inpathy as a benefit.

Referring to Online Psychiatry and Therapy Saves Time and Money

In addition to convenience for individuals seeking care, Inpathy also acts as a non-traditional resource for health care providers or organizations that would like to use it as a referral option.

In a recent webinar on expanding referral options through online psychiatry, Inpathy’s Practice Liaison, Anne Marie Jones, explains its benefits: “With a network of over 300 behavioral health care providers, Inpathy can help reduce opportunity costs in terms of time, transportation and absenteeism.”

The New Inpathy Website

The Inpathy new website is a resource for people who want to connect with licensed professional therapists, counselors and psychiatry providers. It offers:

  • Online assessments
  • Information on the types of behavioral health care providers and the services they offer
  • Explanations on how to sign up, find a provider and book a session
  • A searchable directory of providers who offer online sessions
  • Access to care navigators who can answer questions and help you sign up
  • 24/7 technical support

“We wanted this new website to be helpful for people seeking care and give them hope that receiving behavioral health care doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal every time they meet with their provider. It can be as easy as a Skype call and as private as online banking,” says Olivia Boyce, InSight’s Marketing and Communications Manager.

Inpathy services are available is most states. Inpathy has its largest provider and insurance networks in California, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Missouri.

Read the original press release here.


Billings Clinic is now Bringing After-hours Psychiatric Care to its Emergency Department and Inpatient Unit Through Partnership with InSight Telepsychiatry

Jan. 17, 2017 | Billings Clinic of Billings, Montana, has partnered with InSight Telepsychiatry to bring after-hours telepsychiatry services to their emergency department and inpatient unit, an innovative program which will ensure individuals in need of psychiatric treatment at Billings Clinic will have access to timely, quality care.

BILLINGS, MT — Billings Clinic, Montana’s largest healthcare organization, and InSight Telepsychiatry are pleased to announce a new partnership to increase inpatient and emergency psychiatric coverage.

The program is designed to lessen wait times for psychiatric evaluations, admission, and treatment decisions.  The partnership gives Billings Clinic staff access to a team of remote psychiatrists who can do psychiatric evaluations, follow-up consultations and medical consultations through telehealth using video calls. Nurses and emergency department physicians can now connect patients with a remote telepsychiatry provider in as little as an hour.

The telepsychiatry program runs from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., 7 days per week. Since, psychiatric emergencies often happen at night or on weekends, this schedule means that individuals in crisis are able to get the care they need more quickly.

The program is a result of a partnership between Billings Clinic and InSight Telepsychiatry, the leading national telepsychiatry organization and partner of MHA Ventures, a subsidiary of the Montana Hospital Association. Montana, like many other states across the country, struggles to have sufficient psychiatric coverage in its hospitals and clinics due to a national shortage of psychiatrists.

At nearly double the national average, Montana has the highest suicide rate in the United States with more than 23 suicides per 100,000 people[1]. Additionally, over 75% of Montana’s population has inadequate access to psychiatry[2]. So with the option to utilize remote providers, telepsychiatry and other telemedicine services represent unprecedented access to specialists who are typically difficult to recruit in rural and underserved areas.

“Really, the best thing about a program like this one,” says InSight’s Medical Director Jim Varrell, MD, “is that Montanans now have access to psychiatric services where they may not have had previously.”

”This partnership is another step for Billings Clinic toward improving mental health care for people in crisis,” said Lyle Seavy, Billings Clinic Director of Psychiatry, “We are addressing those peak times when staffing is a challenge to help meet the needs of our patients, help reduce strain on our staff and help improve the experience for people in a mental health crisis.”

As a result of the partnership, the telepsychiatry program is expected to expand into additional Billings Clinic facilities.

In addition to facility-based models of telepsychiatry, InSight is also working with the Montana chapter of Mental Health America to offer telemental health care to individuals in their home or other private spaces online.

About Billings Clinic

Billings Clinic is Montana’s largest health system serving Montana, Wyoming and the western Dakotas. A not-for-profit organization led by a physician CEO, Billings Clinic is governed by a board of community members, nurses and physicians. At its core, Billings Clinic is a physician-led, integrated multispecialty group practice with a 285-bed hospital and Level II trauma center. Billings Clinic has more than 4,000 employees, including more than 400 physicians and advanced practitioners offering more than 50 specialties. More information can be found at www.billingsclinic.com.

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has 18+ years of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.


[1] Suicide: Montana 2016 Facts and Figures. (2016). In American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Retrieved January 12, 2017, from https://afsp.org/about-suicide/state-fact-sheets/#Montana

[2] Mental Health Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). (2016, September 8). In Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved January 12, 2017, from http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/mental-health-care-health-professional-shortage-areas-hpsas/?currentTimeframe=0

InSight Telepsychiatry Presents at American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Annual Meeting

October 28, 2016 │ InSight Telepsychiatry was proud to present on the legal, regulatory and financial realities of telepsychiatry at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s 63rd Annual Meeting.

New York, NY – InSight Telepsychiatry’s Executive Director, Geoffrey Boyce, and Medical Director, Dr. Jim Varrell, presented at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP) 63rd Annual Meeting held in New York City. The AACAP annual meetings are a gathering place for leaders in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry, children’s mental health and other allied disciplines.

Boyce and Dr. Varrell’s presentation, entitled Legal, Regulatory and Financial Realities of Telepsychiatry, was delivered during the “Road Map to Establish and Sustain a Telepsychiatry Practice” clinical breakout session organized by Dr. Kathleen Myers and attended by over 100 child and adolescent psychiatrists. Their presentation covered topics including models of telepsychiatry, reimbursement, licensure, the provider-patient relationship and emergency protocol. Other presentations during this breakout session included Media Training to Develop and Authentic Patient-Doctor Relationship presented by Dr. David E. Roth and Competencies in Telepsychiatry: Residency Training and Maintenance of Skills presented by Dr. Daniel A. Alicata.

Additionally, Dr. Varrell presented on the entrepreneurial side of telepsychiatry during the breakout’s TED-talk style session. He discussed being a thought leader in telepsychiatry and telepsychiatry best practices. Dr. Varrell has been providing telepsychiatry services since 1999 and is one of the founding members of InSight Telepsychiatry, the national leading telepsychiatry service provider.

Boyce and Dr. Varrell also took part in the breakout session’s ‘Genius Bar.’ They hosted a “Careers in Telepsychiatry: Choose Your Own Adventure” station where attendees were encouraged to ask them questions about what a career in telepsychiatry looks like. Telepsychiatry provides a unique opportunity for psychiatric providers because it allows them to work from home, extending their hours to nights and weekends.

Geoffrey Boyce is the Executive Director of InSight Telepsychiatry and an active participant in telemedicine advocacy, education and reform initiatives.

Jim Varrell, MD is the President and Medical Director of the CFG Health Network and InSight Telepsychiatry who has been at the forefront of telepsychiatry across the nation and continues to educate the medical community regarding the benefits of telepsychiatry.

InSight Telepsychiatry is the national leading telepsychiatry provider organization with a mission to increase access to behavioral health care.

New Psychiatric Practice in New York Allows Individuals to Get Their Mental Wellness On(line)

Telebehavioral health allows individuals to attend sessions with behavioral and mental health providers online through secure videoconferencing. Inpathy is a division of InSight Telepsychiatry, the largest telebehavioral health organization in the nation.

Inpathy providers include adult and child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners that are available for psychiatric assessments, medication management and prescriptions when appropriate. Therapists and counselors are also available for talk therapy sessions through telehealth.

Many of the Inpathy telebehavioral health providers offer night and weekend appointments, which can be accessed through the internet from home using a smartphone, tablet or a computer with a webcamera. This makes managing behavioral health care more convenient by eliminating the need to travel to in-person appointments and sit in waiting rooms. Another benefit of telebehavioral health is that it is a more private way to access behavioral health services, which makes it a good option for individuals who are worried about a stigma on behavioral or mental health care.

Just like in an in-person office, the telebehavioral health providers who deliver services through Inpathy are fully supported by a clinical and administrative staff that handles their scheduling, billing, intake, general operations and clinical oversight.
Inpathy accepts insurance from several major insurance companies, including Aetna. For in-network telebehavioral health sessions, individuals are only charged their co-pay just like they would be for an in-person session. Inpathy providers are also available for out-of-network and cash-pay appointments.

“There is a huge shortage of psychiatrists across the nation,” says Geoffrey Boyce, executive director at InSight. “Telepsychiatry and telebehavioral health offer a unique solution for making psychiatry appointments easier to book and attend.”

Inpathy has telebehavioral health appointments available with many New York-licensed providers, including the following:

  • Doug Ikelheimer, MD- an extremely experienced telepsychiatrist with expertise in the psychopharmacologic management of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, chronic mental illness and addictions
  • Catherine Newton, LCSW – a licesnsed clinical social worker who specializes in working with individuals who have experienced trauma and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitiazation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Ragy Girgis, MD – a board certified psychiatrist with an interest in the psychopharmalcologic management of schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and eating disorders in adults
  • Hinna Shah, MD – a board certified adult and child and adolescent psychiatrist with experience working with individuals who have depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder and ADHD
  • Liz Espinoza, LCSW – a Spanish-speaking licensed clinical social worker who is interested in helping individuals achieve life goals and specializes in anger management, relationship, communication and life transition issues

Telehealth is a rapidly growing industry and more and more insurance companies and providers are offering this form of care. Numerous studies have shown telebehavioral health to be as effective as in-person behavioral health services in most situations.

To get started as an individual using telebehavioral health care, individuals can visit http://www.inpathy.com to search the Inpathy provider directory, sign up, select an appropriate provider and schedule a session. Inpathy has a 24-hour technical support line and care navigation team that can be reached at 1.800.442.8938.

InSight is also in the process of developing referral relationships with a number of New York organizations that could benefit from additional behavioral health services for their clients. To learn more about this or connect individuals you know to care, visit http://www.inpathy.com.

Cathy Newton

Telebehavioral Health Practice Launches in Delaware and New York

AUGUST 21, 2016 | Mental health providers, including psychiatrists are now available for assessment, therapy and medication management through a newly launched behavioral health practice in Delaware and New York called Inpathy. Inpathy is unique in that it operates entirely through telebehavioral health- a convenient, private and effective medium of care that is rapidly growing in popularity.

Telebehavioral health allows individuals to attend sessions with behavioral and mental health providers online through secure videoconferencing. Inpathy is a division of InSight Telepsychiatry, the largest telebehavioral health organization in the nation.

Inpathy providers include adult and child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners that are available for psychiatric assessments, medication management and prescriptions when appropriate. Therapists and counselors are also available for talk therapy sessions through telehealth.

Many of the Inpathy telebehavioral health providers offer night and weekend appointments, which can be accessed through the internet from home using a smartphone, tablet or a computer with a camera. This makes managing behavioral health care more convenient by eliminating the need to travel to in-person appointments and sit in waiting rooms. Another benefit of telebehavioral health is that it is a more private way to access behavioral health services, which makes it a good option for individuals who are worried about a stigma on behavioral or mental health care.

Just like in an in-person office, the telebehavioral health providers who deliver services through Inpathy are fully supported by a clinical and administrative staff that handles their scheduling, billing, intake, general operations and clinical oversight.

Inpathy accepts insurance from several major insurance companies, including Aetna. For in-network telebehavioral health sessions, individuals are only charged their co-pay just like they would be for an in-person session. Inpathy providers are also available for out-of-network and cash-pay appointments.

“There is a huge shortage of psychiatrists across the nation,” says Geoffrey Boyce, executive director at InSight. “Telepsychiatry and telebehavioral health offer a unique solution for making psychiatry appointments easier to book and attend.”

Inpathy has telebehavioral health appointments available with many Delaware and New York licensed providers, including the following:

  • Doug Ikelheimer, MD- an extremely experienced telepsychiatrist with expertise in the psychopharmacologic management of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, chronic mental illness and addictions
  • Lamont Josey, LCSW- a clinical social worker who offers therapy to individuals 8 years old and up and has a specialty in trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Humberto Quinanata, MD- a Spanish-speaking child and adolescent psychiatrist with an interest in psychopharmacology
  • Patti Rodgers, PMHNP- a board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner who serves adults and aims to educate and empower the people with whom she works
  • Catherine Newton, LCSW – a licesnsed clinical social worker who specializes in working with individuals who have experienced trauma and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitiazation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Ragy Girgis, MD – a board certified psychiatrist with an interest in the psychopharmalcologic management of schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and eating disrders in adults
  • Hinna Shah, MD – a board certified adult and child and adolescent psychiatrist with experience working with individuals who have depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder and ADHD
  • Liz Espinoza, LCSW – a Spanish-speaking licensed clinical social worker who is interested in helping individuals achieve life goals and specializes in anger management, relationship, communication and life transition issues

Telehealth is a rapidly growing industry and more and more insurance companies and providers are offering this form of care. Numerous studies have shown telebehavioral health to be as effective as in-person behavioral health services in most situations.

To get started as an individual using telebehavioral health care, individuals can visit www.Inpathy.com to search the Inpathy provider directory, sign up, select an appropriate provider and schedule a session. Inpathy has a 24-hour technical support line and care navigation team that can be reached at 1.800.442.8938.

InSight is also in the process of developing referral relationships with a number of Delaware and New York organizations that could benefit from additional behavioral health services for their clients. To learn more about this or connect individuals you know to care, visit www.Inpathy.com

Innovative ACT Program Utilizing Telepsychiatry to Be Highlighted at American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference

May 17, 2016 | Representatives from Resources for Human Development and InSight Telepsychiatry will discuss a first-of-its-kind program that brings telepsychiatry to individuals with severe mental illness receiving care through assertive community treatment programs in Delaware.

InSight RHD

Speakers representing Resources for Human Development (RHD) and InSight Telepsychiatry will highlight their unique use of telepsychiatry in two Delaware assertive community treatment (ACT) programs at the American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference on May 17.

InSight telepsychiatrist Shelley Sellinger, MD, and RHD’s Unit Director in Delaware Laura Marvel will present a case study detailing the organizations’ development of a telepsychiatry program for RHD’s ACT teams in Wilmington and Dover, Del., the first program of its kind in the nation. Marvel, who has spent the past 15 years working in Delaware’s mental health system, was a driving force behind the creation of the program. Dr. Sellinger provides 32 hours of scheduled telepsychiatry services per week to RHD’s Dover program from her home office in New York.

Using 4G-enabled laptops and tablets, RHD social workers can bring remote telepsychiatry providers directly to the homes of individuals with severe mental illness participating in RHD’s ACT programs. These in-home visits are used in conjunction with office visits where a telepsychiatrists is also a part of the care team.

ACT programs bring together counselors, psychiatrists, registered nurses, case managers and vocational specialists to help individuals whose mental health conditions cause them significant challenges in working, maintaining social relationships, living independently and managing their health. These providers work with individuals to identify what is preventing them from living a successful life and facilitate independence. The ACT model of care was developed in the early 1970s and was widely adopted in communities across the countries by the end of the decade.

In 2012, Delaware awarded ACT contracts in Dover and Wilmington to RHD, a national human services nonprofit organization, with the goal of discharging consumers from inpatient units and providing them with intensive, 24/7 outpatient care. However, Delaware’s shortage of available psychiatry providers, which reflects national shortages, made it challenging for members RHD’s ACT provider team to come together regularly.

To address this problem, RHD took a unique approach, partnering with InSight the next year to incorporate telepsychiatry into their ACT programs.

The two organizations created a telepsychiatry pilot with two groups of 100 individuals, who were transported to RHD’s two ACT offices to meet with a psychiatrist via videoconference. By using telepsychiatry, RHD maintains a team approach to care, and psychiatry providers maximize the number of individuals they see, since they no longer have to spend time traveling from site to site.

Once RHD and InSight established the efficacy and acceptability of telepsychiatry with individuals in the office-based pilot program, they expanded the program to be able to meet individuals in the community. Instead of bringing individuals to see a telepsychiatrist in their offices, RHD could bring the telepsychiatrist to individuals in their homes or other community spaces using 4G-enabled laptops and tablets.

Today, RHD’s Delaware ACT programs use telepsychiatry both in and outside of their offices. Dr. Sellinger sees individuals in their homes a few times a week via telepsychiatry. She says that iPads have helped increase the volume of in-home telepsychiatry encounters and that individuals love it when she comes to them via the devices.

Seeing individuals in their home environments helps more accurately assess their needs, says Dr. Sellinger. “When you see them in their home, you see if it’s clean or messy, and their family is there,” Dr. Sellinger says. “You really get a sense of what’s going on with them.”

Dr. Sellinger can then use these environmental and social cues as clinical indicators to help her prescribe the best possible treatment for that particular individual.

“Despite the fact that individuals and Dr. Sellinger do not meet in the same location, both parties tend to forget that they’re seeing each other through screens,” says Kathleen Gainey, a registered nurse at RHD’s ACT office in Dover who works with Dr. Sellinger. “It’s as if she’s there in person,” she says of Dr. Sellinger and her ability to connect with individuals.

In-home telepsychiatry from InSight isn’t limited to ACT programs. InSight’s Inpathy network makes it possible for consumers to connect with behavioral health professionals, including many psychiatrists from home.

InSight and RHD’s ATA presentation will take place on May 17 at 4:15 p.m. in room 205A.

InSight will also have two booths at ATA, booth 1909 and booth 515.

For more information, to connect with InSight at ATA, or to schedule a time for a meeting with an InSight representative, contact Olivia Boyce at oboyce(at)in-sight(dot)net or 770.713.4161.

InSight Telepsychiatry to Present at American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference

May 15, 2016 | InSight Telepsychiatry leaders, providers and partners are presenting this week at the American Telemedicine Association’s Annual Conference and Trade Show in Minneapolis. Their presentations, which will address practicing telebehavioral health in a variety of settings and marketing telebehavioral health to consumers, will draw on InSight’s experience as the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization.

MINNEAPOLIS — Representatives from InSight Telepsychiatry will give presentations on a variety of telepsychiatry topics during the American Telemedicine Association’s (ATA) Annual Conference and Trade Show May 15 to 17.

On May 17, two InSight providers will present during one of ATA’s 75+ peer-reviewed sessions. The session, called How-To Telemental Health in Non-Institutional Settings, will feature “Fast-Paced Work from the Comfort of Home: Clinical Considerations for Crisis Telepsychiatry,” presented by Doug Ikelheimer, MD and “ACT Now for Innovation: Develop a Telemental Health Program for ACT Teams,” presented by Shelley Sellinger, MD.

Dr. Ikelheimer, a board-certified psychiatrist, will draw on his experience as an InSight on-demand telepsychiatry provider to discuss the benefits of challenges of working in an emergency department (ED) from home.

On-demand telepsychiatry providers offer much-needed psychiatric expertise that can reduce the amount of time consumers in crisis wait for proper care. Dr. Ikelheimer’s presentation will review the steps that need to be taken to establish a successful emergency telepsychiatry program and examine case studies in which individuals were able to receive timely, appropriate care through telepsychiatry in emergency departments.

Dr. Sellinger, also a board-certified psychiatrist, will present a case study that details InSight’s partnership with Resources for Human Development (RHD) to establish a telepsychiatry program with mobile capabilities for two assertive community treatment (ACT) teams in Delaware. The program is the first in the nation to use telepsychiatry in an ACT program and serves as a model for implementing telepsychiatry into ACT programs nationwide.

The program brings a combination of on-site and in-home telepsychiatry services to individuals whose mental health conditions prevent them from working or living independently. With 4G-enabled tablets and laptops, RHD social workers to travel to individuals’ homes or other community spaces to connect them with a remote psychiatry provider.

Laura Marvel, the Unit Director for RHD’s Delaware assertive community treatment teams, will present alongside Dr. Sellinger.

InSight Marketing and Communications Manager Olivia Boyce will present the e-poster, “Telemarketing: It’s Not What You Think — A How-To Guide for Promoting Direct-to-Consumer Telehealth,” on May 15.

Additionally, InSight Business Innovations Manager Scott Baker will moderate the session, “Effectiveness of Automated Speech Recognition Apps,” on May 17. The session will focus on the use of speech recognition apps in behavioral health services, including telepsychiatry.

ATA 2016 is the industry’s leading event for insights into the latest telemedicine and mobile health trends.

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology.

For more information and to connect with InSight at ATA, visit booth 1909 or booth 515, where InSight will exhibit alongside Carenection, a telehealth marketplace that offers a scalable, unified telemedicine solution for organizations and systems implementing telehealth. To schedule a time for a meeting, contact Olivia Boyce at oboyce@in-sight.net or 770.713.4161.

InSight Telepsychiatry Selected as Industry Partner of Washington Hospital Services

February 3, 2016 | Olympia, WA — Washington Hospital Services (WHS) has recently partnered with InSight Telepsychiatry, the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization. Washington Hospital Services exists to support hospitals and health systems through the delivery of services and products that support organization’s operations. WHS is a subsidiary of the Washington State Hospital Association and aims to help members achieve their missions and improve the health of communities across the state and region.

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with over 17 years of industry experience and background implementing telepsychiatry programs across the spectrum of care. InSight also recently launched a branch of the organization dedicated to allowing consumers to select and connect with a mental health provider of their choice entirely from home, called Inpathy.

Telepsychiatry has been proven an effective and cost-conscious way to bring psychiatrists, especially those with specialties like child and adolescent, into areas where there may be a shortage. With telepsychiatry, organizations can access psychiatrists even during difficult to staff hours like nights and weekends.

WHS and InSight view telepsychiatry as a potential solution for many of Washington State’s recent struggles with high youth suicide rates and high instances of psychiatric boarding.

InSight went through a significant vetting process before being selected as a WHS Industry Partner. InSight is offering excellent pricing for WHS members and also exploring opportunities to create unique consortiums so that remote hospitals and other clinics can leverage their buying power and increase access to psychiatrists across multiple Washington locations.

“We are excited by this partnership’s ability to bring care to Washington communities that have been struggling with psychiatric boarding and inadequate psychiatric support,” says Dr. Jim Varrell, Medical Director of InSight. “With on-demand telepsychiatry, hospitals can have access to psychiatrists who can make admission or treatment decisions within about an hour on average. Other locations like clinics, primary care offices or even individuals homes, can also benefit from our scheduled telepsychiatry services since so many communities have a shortage of local psychiatrists. With telepsychiatry psychiatrists can offer care to anyone, anywhere as long as there is adequate internet connectivity.”

As part of the partnership, InSight will host several webinars exclusively for WHS members, covering topics like clinical best practices for telepsychiatry, implementing successful telepsychiatry programs and understanding telepsychiatry-related regulatory and policy updates. Telepsychiatry is a hot topic across the country right now and members of the InSight team regularly speak on similar topics at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Telemedicine Association, NAMI and other annual conferences.

InSight and WHS will also share telepsychiatry-related resources including white papers and articles with WHS members.

“InSight offers a unique product that helps solve the complex issue of providing access to psychiatric care in a cost effective manner,” said Tom Evert, President of WHS. “We are pleased to bring Washington Hospitals a potential solution to increase access to psychiatric specialists through this partnership.”

Spectrum Health & Wellness Partners with InSight Telepsychiatry to Increase Access to Psychiatric Care in Franklin County

December 18, 2016 | Spectrum Health and Wellness of Chambersburg, PA has launched a new program to enhance their existing psychiatric services with telepsychiatry providers from InSight Telepsychiatry. This innovative program will ensure that individuals seeking psychiatric treatment at Spectrum Health & Wellness have access to the quality psychiatric care they need.

Chambersburg, PA— Spectrum Health & Wellness is pleased to announce that they now have increased psychiatric coverage in their outpatient behavioral health services. Spectrum Health & Wellness, LTD offers a range of psychiatric and behavioral health services including psychiatric evaluations and psychotherapy in a community setting.

The new scheduled telepsychiatry services allow coverage for psychiatric evaluations, follow-up consultations and medication monitoring for Franklin County residents.

The program is a result of a collaboration between Spectrum Health & Wellness and InSight Telepsychiatry. When an individual comes to Spectrum Health & Wellness requiring psychiatric care, the onsite staff can now connect them with a remote telepsychiatry provider from InSight for regularly scheduled services. InSight’s telepsychiatry provider will be available in regularly scheduled blocks of time to meet with healthcare consumers for services or with onsite staff for consultation.

The relationship between the InSight telepsychiatry provider and onsite staff is vital to the success of this program. Since June 2015, telepsychiatry provider Melanie Pointer, MD has been working with the Spectrum Health & Wellness team.

“InSight believes in the importance of integrating our services into the existing model of care and works hard to find the right fit between our psychiatrists and the partners they serve,” says Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of InSight. “Integrating Dr. Pointer onto the Spectrum team has been a wonderful success.”

“Dr. Pointer has been a wonderful complement to our telepsychiatry services. She quickly related to both our unique member population and our staff. Her professionalism and dedication to our agency is beyond comparison,” said Dinen Sanders, Clinical Director at Spectrum.

Because of the option to utilize remote providers, telepsychiatry and other telemedicine services represent unprecedented access to specialists who are typically difficult to staff in rural and underserved areas. A striking 96% of US counties, including Franklin County, where Spectrum Health & Wellness is located, have a shortage of psychiatric prescribers . With the new telepsychiatry program, individuals will not only have more access to high-quality care, but to care that’s appropriate for their specific needs.

Sanders says the program is focused primarily on being able to offer the same quality of care as the onsite doctor services, but with a quicker turnaround time for the patient who is willing to accept telepsychiatry services.

“We’re excited that this program will reduce the stress put on our internal team and help the people we treat get care that meets their needs. “

“Because we’re rural, our system of care has to make use of every viable option,” says Sanders. “Since implementing this program we’ve seen a definitive increase in the amount of people we are able to help.”

InSight Telepsychiatry is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider with a mission to increase access to appropriate behavioral health care.

InSight Applauds Changes to Delaware Telemedicine Guidelines Supporting Further Access to Behavioral Health

July 6, 2015 | Delaware recently amended its legislation to mandate parity for private insurers’ coverage of telemedicine services and to further clarify the scope of practice for several kinds of healthcare providers. The legislation was put forward and promoted by a team of leaders and regulators from several notable Delaware organizations.

With recent regulatory changes, Delaware will now require private insurers to reimburse for telemedicine services at the same rates for which they cover in-person services. They also have expanded the scope of practice provisions of telemedicine service delivery for a range of health care providers licensed in Delaware.

The changes were put forth as two amendments to House Bill 69, the “Delaware Code of Relating to Telemedicine Services,” and were sponsored by House Rep. Bryon Short and Sen. Bethany Hall-Long in the Senate. The amendments were the result of collaboration from several key players in healthcare best practices and legislation including the Delaware Medical Society, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, the Delaware House of Representatives and the Delaware Telehealth Coalition.

House Bill 69 was introduced this past March and passed by the House in early April and by the Senate in early May, both by unanimous votes. The amendment changes will go into effect January 1, 2016.

The bill synopsis cites multiple factors as motivating reasons to support and promote greater use of telemedicine and placed particular emphasis on expanded access to behavioral health services. “Geography, weather, availability of specialists, transportation, and other factors can create barriers to accessing appropriate health care, including behavioral health care, and one way to provide, ensure, or enhance access to care given these barriers is through the appropriate use of technology to allow health care consumers access to qualified health care providers.”

“The gist of the legislation really is about parity, where an office visit or a visit through your health-care professional provided through an approved electronic means is treated the same in terms of reimbursement from the insurance company,” Rep. Bryon Short, primary sponsor for the bill, said.

The other change to the telemedicine code expanded practice standards for physicians who practice telehealth as well as physician’s assistants, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and several other types of health care providers as well. The amendment makes technical corrections referring to health services corporations and code references, adds the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse profession and includes definitions of several key terms for understanding telemedicine regulations.

“While the mandate for private-pay reimbursement is terrific, what stands out most about this bill is that it seeks to explicitly remove ambiguity or doubt that telemedicine is a valid form of practice for multiple professions,” Dan Khebzou, a member of the Delaware Telehealth Coalition and account executive with InSight Telepsychiatry said.

While many states have updated their language about telemedicine in the last few years, Delaware’s changes are unique in that they provide clear guidelines for appropriate use. “This bill is particularly forward thinking in that it clarifies telemedicine use for so many professions,” says Khebzou.

Delaware has been a particularly telemedicine-friendly state since House Bill 69’s first passing in 2004, but received an “F” in a 2014 study of telemedicine use under private insurance coverage by the American Telemedicine Association. The changes to this legislation demonstrates a willingness to take recommendations for improvement seriously and positions the state as a leader in the widespread adoption of a telemedicine.

Along with House Rep. Bryon Short and leadership from the Delaware Telehealth Coalition including, Andrew Wilson of the Delaware State Medical Board, Carol Morris of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and several other members of Delaware’s leadership organizations worked together to ensure that the language added in the amendments was sufficient and appropriate for meeting the goals of both the parties involved in writing the legislation and those of organizations and regulatory bodies who would be affected by it.

Contributions from the Delaware Medical Society ensured that the amendments stayed in line with regulations from organizations like the Division of Professional Regulation and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

“The Delaware Medical Society’s support of this bill puts them ahead of the curve when compared to their peer medical societies in other states who have yet to acknowledge the inevitability of telemedicine as a rapidly-growing trend in healthcare,” said Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of InSight.

Delaware already has several telemedicine programs that will benefit from the changes in House Bill 69.
InSight Telepsychiatry has partnered with healthcare organizations throughout the state that have recognized an acute need for telemedicine, and particularly telepsychiatry services. The programs range from hospital emergency departments to substance use treatment facilities for children and adolescents to federally qualified health centers.

As part of a Governor’s Initiative to get more psychiatric care into underserved regions, a pilot program with several community health centers utilizes psychiatrists from InSight Telepsychiatry for psychiatric consultation.

The updated legislation will make it easier for Delaware to make decisions about incorporating other new developments in healthcare access more readily. In writing the amendments, special consideration was given to leaving room for further expansion of telemedicine use down the line while being mindful of the original scope of the bill.

“With mandated private insurance reimbursement and updated language covering the scope of practice for many health care providers, it will be easier for consumers and the providers who treat them to embrace telemedicine as a practical solution to issues of proximity and availability for appropriate healthcare services,” says Boyce.

InSight Joins Forces with Mental Health America’s #B4Stage4 Campaign

July 2015 | InSight Telepsychiatry and Mental Health America have worked together on #B4Stage4, a new campaign that promotes identifying and treating mental illnesses before they reach the oftentimes dangerous Stage 4. From this collaboration comes a video that highlights the benefits of Inpathy, InSight’s new online behavioral health care marketplace.

Alexandria, VA- InSight recently collaborated with Mental Health America on a new initiative called #B4Stage4, a campaign which focuses on early identification and intervention of mental health conditions.

From this collaboration comes the #B4Stage4 video, an extensive news-style program that contains both interviews from influential figures in the behavioral health industry and profiles on the leading organizations in the field.

The program first aired at the Mental Health of America’s 2015 Conference and features Inpathy the new online behavioral health care marketplace by InSight. Currently serving more than 150 sites across the nation with a team of over 200 psychiatric prescribers, InSight Telepsychiatry has been practicing since 1999 and is considered the leading national telepsychiatry service provider company. Inpathy is a marketplace for connecting individuals with behavioral health care providers for online sessions.

The video features InSight’s Medical Director Jim Varrell and Executive Director Geoffrey Boyce discussing the benefits of connecting behavioral health care with technology. Varrell, cofounder of InSight, has found that“the human connection made during online sessions is identical in nature to those made during in-person appointments.” Jeanine Miles, a provider on Inpathy, echoes this sentiment.

“I really see the same relationship as I would in an office,” Miles said. “We still work on changing behaviors and increasing self-awareness to bring about positive change and that happens whether it’s in person in the office or through Inpathy.”

“Inpathy gives individuals more choice in who they’re working with, said Geoffrey Boyce, InSight’s Executive Director of InSight. “It’s giving consumers more voice to be engaged in the overall therapeutic process and giving them the ability to work with a provider that they feel good about in an environment and setting where they feel comfortable.”

Inpathy allows individuals to conveniently access providers who fit their personal needs in the comfort of their own home, while serving as a part of the solution to common issues like the national shortage of behavioral health providers, unavailability of specialists or the stigma on receiving treatment.

InSight and Mental Health America came together for the #B4Stage4 campaign to address the warning signs of mental illnesses before individuals enter into Stage 4, the stage of mental health that has potential to turn into a crisis event.

Paul Gionfriddo, Mental Health of America CEO describes the campaign as “not just a title or a hashtag,” but instead a movement to address mental health in a more effective way. Gionfriddo believes that, similar to the way other medical diseases are treated, mental health symptoms should be identified early, treated and met with appropriate course of action on a path towards overall health.

Inpathy, and its directory of diverse, licensed providers, is a way for consumers to receive early identification and treatment, expanding the consumer’s access to behavioral health care while preventing the potential for crisis. Both InSight and Mental Health of America are committed to catching mental illnesses before they enter stage 4.


InSight and Carenection Announce Collaboration at American Telemedicine Association’s 2015 Expo

May 5, 2015 | LOS ANGELES (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Carenection, a telehealth marketplace with a mission to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of healthcare is pleased to announce a collaboration with InSight, the leading national telepsychiatry provider company.

The collaboration was made official at this year’s American Telemedicine Association Expo in Los Angeles, California.

Carenection provides a private, HIPAA-compliant broadband network that offers a scalable, unified telemedicine solution for organizations and systems implementing telehealth.

“We are excited to work with a validated telehealth platform and experienced partner like Carenection,” says Geoffrey Boyce, InSight’s Executive Director.

InSight’s mission is to increase access to behavioral health care through thought-leadership and advocacy, and both InSight and Carenection share a commitment to using technology to appropriately bring care into the organizations with which they partner.

“We make a point to work with leaders in the field who are transforming their respective industries. InSight’s history of advocacy, quality care and diverse telebehavioral health experience make them a great fit for the Carenection network,” says Jamey Edwards, CEO of Carenection.

“Our goal is to be able to integrate a variety of quality telehealth services through one fluid network and device.”

Other members of the Carenection network include best in class telemedicine organizations like Advanced ICU Care, Language Access Network and Telespecialists.

Carenection currently has over 350 hospitals, clinics and health systems within its network. “We see a lot of clients looking for a solution to improve their behavioral health services, so we are enthused to be able to offer InSight’s services and provider network as an option,” says Chip McIntosh, General Manager of Carenection.

“With InSight there are options for behavioral health services from all levels of behavioral health providers across all settings.”

InSight has been in the telebehavioral health space for the past 16 years and works with organizations across the continuum including hospitals, health systems, ACOs, clinics, correctional facilities, residential programs, skilled nursing facilities and beyond. InSight also recently launched a resource-based program to share telepsychiatry best practices with health systems, ACOs and individual hospitals.

“We are looking forward to increasing access to behavioral health services in settings across the continuum through this connection with Carenection’s delivery network and telehealth marketplace,” says Branden Robinson, Sales Manager at InSight.

“ACOs and large health systems benefit from being able to access a myriad of telehealth services through a single network, especially as they grow in scope, scale and complexity.”

Both InSight and Carenection are exhibiting at this year’s American Telemedicine Associations Expo. You can visit InSight at booth #1909 and Carenection at booth #1440, to learn more about this innovative collaboration and each partner’s industry leadership.


Telepsychiatry Leader Predicts Major Industry Changes

Telepsychiatry, or psychiatric care provided through real-time videoconferencing, is a widely used medium for bringing psychiatric care into locations with limited access to mental health professionals. Telepsychiatry is allowing individuals to access behavioral health services like never before.

In this white paper, telebehavioral health leader James R. Varrell, M.D. details exciting developments he foresees for the telepsychiatry industry.

Download this white paper.

InSight Telepsychiatry Launches New Telepsychiatry Resource-Driven Campaign for ACOs, Health Systems and Hospital Systems

March 27, 2015 | InSight Telepsychiatry, the leading national telepsychiatry service providers have launched a new campaign aimed at helping health systems, hospital systems and ACOs utilize telepsychiatry best practices to expand their psychiatric capacity and increase access to care.

Marlton, NJ— InSight Telepsychiatry is launching a special campaign on telepsychiatry for large healthcare systems, large hospital systems and accountable care organizations (ACOs). Telepsychiatry, or the application of technology to field of psychiatry, can help healthcare organizations increase their psychiatric capacity and increase access to care.

InSight has been working with large health systems, hospital systems and ACOs for several years and has learned a number of lessons along the way that they apply to new programs. Their experience proves that connecting an entire system through telepsychiatry results in better outcomes, reduced costs and increased consumer engagement. The InSight team has compiled many of their best practices into the resources created for this campaign.

The campaign to connect healthcare organizations with viable, usable telepsychiatry-related resources includes a live webinar series and a white paper series as well as opportunities to meet and discuss an organization’s specific needs through easily competed registration on the InSight website.

Resources will offer insight into individualized telepsychiatry program design, improving ED throughput with on-demand assessments, evaluating direct and indirect cost benefits in different settings, overcoming regulatory and protocol barriers to new programs and engaging consumers to facilitate care across a community.

For large hospital systems, registration is now open for the live webinar, “Reducing Readmissions and Improving ED Throughput with Sustainable Telepsychiatry Strategies” on April 1st at 2PM EST. Interested parties can also download a copy of a white paper, request a meeting with a telepsychiatry expert or request a complimentary ROI audit for their organization.

For large health systems, registration is now open for the live webinar, “Reducing Readmissions, Improving ED Throughput and Expanding Behavioral Health Services Across a System Using Sustainable Telepsychiatry Strategies” on April 2nd at 2PM EST. Interested parties can also download a copy of a white paperrequest a meeting with a telepsychiatry expert or request a complimentary ROI audit for their organization.

For ACOs, registration is now open for the live webinar, “Improving Behavioral Health Services Across a System Using Sustainable Telepsychiatry Strategies” on April 3rd at 2PM EST. Interested parties can also download a copy of a white paper, request a meeting with a telepsychiatry expert or request and complimentary ROI audit for their organization.

InSight is the telepsychiatry arm of the CFG Health Network, a broad based healthcare provider dedicated to increasing access to care via innovative applications of technology. Its current leaders, Dr. Jim Varrell MD, Medical Director and Les Paschall, CEO established the CFG Health Network in 1997. CFG’s first model for telepsychiatry was developed with South Jersey Hospital of southern New Jersey in 1999.

InSight is now the leading national telepsychiatry provider company with a mission to increase access to behavioral health care. InSight is currently delivering services in 23 states and rapidly expanding into new states and settings across the country. InSight employs over 200 psychiatric prescribers who serve partner organizations throughout the nation and also runs Inpathy, an online network of behavioral health providers who conduct services entirely online.

St. Anthony Hospital Expands Its Telemedicine Program With Telepsychiatry

June 19, 2014 | St. Anthony Hospital’s newly launched telepsychiatry program provides eight rural Oklahoma hospitals with needed access to a child and adolescent psychiatrist and aims to improve psychiatric services across the state. St. Anthony’s telepsychiatry program is an expansion of their existing telemedicine program, the largest in the state, which has been used for radiology, cardiology, endocrinology, and dermatology for the past 4 years.

Mobile Crisis Telepsychiatry Program Enhances Consumer Care

February 20, 2014 | Access Services of the Southeastern Pennsylvania region has launched a new program to enhance their existing crisis management services that connects consumers in psychiatric crisis to behavioral health providers through videoconferencing technology in their home. This mobile crisis telepsychiatry program aims to effectively utilize resources within Montgomery County, and is one of the nation’s first models of remote crisis behavioral health care.

Telepsychiatry Delivers Help to Far-flung Patients

October 23, 2013 | By Kay Manning, Special to the Tribune
See the original article at the Chicago Tribune.

Practice is increasingly used to serve people in rural areas, the deaf and military veterans.

The 17-year-old girl had just been released from a Streamwood hospital after threatening suicide, psychiatrist Dan Martinez remembers.


He asked the girl to look her caseworker in the eye and promise that she would not harm herself.


She did, Martinez said. But watching her on a large-screen TV in Des Plaines as the teen spoke from a youth facility about 100 miles west of there, he was unconvinced. He asked her if she really meant it and when she hesitated, he tweaked the commitment — from open-ended to not hurting herself for a week, and if she had suicidal thoughts, to reach out to him, her parents or her caseworker.


“I told her, we’re not mind readers,” said Martinez, who was using telepsychiatry to treat youths sent to the facility in Nachusa, Ill., for substance abuse or behavioral issues.

Portrait of psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Martinez, who runs a telepsychiatry program to serve clients in rural areas and to help alleviate waiting lists, Wednesday, October 2, 2013 in Lombard. He is in his offices at Comprehensive Clinical Services. (Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune) B583231690Z.1 ....OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS, NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV, CHICAGO OUT, NO DIGITAL MANIPULATION...

Portrait of psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Martinez, who runs a telepsychiatry program to serve clients in rural areas and to help alleviate waiting lists

Telepsychiatry, which connects patient and doctor through technology, is poised to expand in Illinois under legislation being negotiated to mandate its coverage by private insurers.



Used for years to treat military veterans, the deaf and patients in rural areas where

psychiatrists tend to be scarce, telepsychiatry is increasingly being considered for other underserved areas — including poorer parts of cities like Chicago — as a way to provide needed mental health services and reduce medical costs.


It’s also used in prisons, where the number of inmates with mental health issues is steadily growing. A recent report on Illinois’ youth prisons in response to a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union found the system to be violating the constitutional rights of youths by failing to provide adequate mental health care.


Insurance coverage of mental health issues, including substance abuse, has been spotty, but that changes under provisions of the Affordable Care Act taking effect next year. Insurance plans offered in the new marketplaces must have a core set of services and include behavioral health treatment, counseling and psychotherapy.


Studies by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and others have shown telepsychiatry to be as effective as face-to-face treatment and sometimes more efficient in monitoring medications and symptoms because sessions are easier to schedule and involve other doctors, parents and caregivers.


Private companies and nonprofits — such as Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, which operates the Nachusa facility — offer telepsychiatry. So do psychiatrists in private practice and primary care physicians, who treat the majority of mental health patients.


Still, telepsychiatry has been held back, say proponents, because of the expense and security of videoconferencing equipment, licensing requirements and the lack of reimbursement for patients with private insurance. Legislation proposed in Congress in late September addresses one of those hurdles. It would allow the treatment of Medicare patients via telemedicine without doctors being required to have multiple state licenses, which has been a financial and administrative burden.


And in Illinois, the Illinois Psychiatric Society and Blue Cross Blue Shield have drafted a bill that would mandate the coverage of telepsychiatry by private insurers. Now, doctors treating Medicaid patients can be reimbursed, but patients who pay premiums can’t choose telepsychiatry and recover the cost, said Meryl Sosa, executive director of the society.


“So they get less care if they have private insurance,” she said.


Blue Cross Blue Shield, which has about half of the private insurance market in Illinois, sees the trend toward telemedicine, said Dana Popish, director of government affairs, and “because it affects our business, we wanted to be involved. When something new is coming out, we want to make sure it’s implemented properly.”


The shortage of psychiatrists is well known — with an estimated 70 percent of rural counties in the state lacking any — which leads to care by nonmental health specialists or no care at all. Lutheran Services stepped in to help at the Nachusa home because no psychiatrist could be found to visit there, Martinez said.


“I’ve worked in rural Illinois, and often patients get less quality care and are seen less frequently,” said Martinez, who operates Comprehensive Clinical Services, based in Lombard. “To ask individuals to travel one to two hours is impractical and unreasonable.”


Vets Got Support


Geography played a big role in why veterans decades ago were offered telemedicine, which includes counseling by psychologists or social workers. The VA recognized that specialists in substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder tended to be at facilities in metropolitan areas while many patients sought help at smaller clinics.


“Telemental health services have revolutionized mental health care delivery in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by expanding access to services through use of remote videoconferencing,” said a 2012 article in a psychiatric journal outlining results of a study of almost 100,000 veterans using telemedicine from 2006 to 2010.


The study found that psychiatric admissions to hospitals decreased by an average of 24.2 percent among patients six months after beginning remote videoconferencing compared with the six months before. In addition, the days of hospitalization dropped by an average of 26.6 percent for those who had to be admitted. The study’s authors suggested more detailed study of the cost savings and outcomes of telemedicine patients compared with those getting face-to-face care.


Quality and frequency of care have long been reasons why telepsychiatry is effective for the deaf and hard of hearing, said Lisa Foster, a clinical therapist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s behavioral health services department.


“Use of a videophone has really given us an option to continue to provide services to the deaf and hard of hearing who truly need mental health and psychiatric medication services, but cannot secure transportation or find services closer to home,” Foster, who is hard of hearing, wrote in an email.


Clients for the center’s deaf and hard of hearing program, for which she works, are in Chicago and the suburbs.


While the psychiatrist in the program does not use American Sign Language, a licensed ASL interpreter sits in on sessions. There are too few such interpreters, she said, and if they had to travel throughout the region for appointments, fewer people could be seen.


With “deafness an invisible disability that is often overlooked,” Foster said, it’s important that therapists be sensitive to issues particular to the deaf, something generally not possible in offices or facilities serving few deaf patients. Concentrating services and specialists in one place and connecting them to patients via technology is very efficient, she said.


Telepsychiatry takes some getting used to, said Martinez and Olivia Boyce, marketing coordinator for InSight Telepsychiatry LLC, a New Jersey-based private provider.


“We offer training on how virtual encounters are slightly different,” Boyce said. Doctors have to look into the camera and learn to compensate for not having the ability to see — or smell — details such as whether the patient has poor hygiene. “But we’ve found it’s as effective as face to face,” Boyce said. “Children, in particular, are very receptive; they use technology for everything.”


Martinez said he’s learned to pay more attention because this “”is a setting where one needs to be glued to the TV.”


He’s mastered the controls to allow him to observe a patient from closer up than if he maintained typical personal space in a room.


“This is never ideal and should never substitute for face to face,” he said. “But I’ve come to feel very comfortable and in some ways better,” because he has more information — from a nurse, case manager or parent, if the patient is a child or adolescent.


“I have never felt like the patient or family had qualms about inadequacy of the service,” he said.


Martinez believes the system he uses to communicate is secure. Yet he is dissuaded from using telepsychiatry in his private practice, where he supervises 10 psychiatrists, because of the cost of the equipment and the measures needed to ensure security.


He and others do see telepsychiatry evolving, especially in underserved urban settings and in hospital emergency departments where mental health patients either have to wait hours for an evaluation or are admitted without one because of uncertainty over their condition. In an era of cost containment, quicker and more precise evaluations make sense, Martinez said.


InSight Telepsychiatry was hired earlier this year to provide consultations 24/7 for patients in the emergency departments of hospitals in two Illinois cities — Galena and Freeport — as part of a pilot program funded by a grant channeled through the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council.


And, according to Boyce, MCHC and InSight recently have developed a “telepsychiatry solution to support the substantial demand for services at Chicago-area hospitals.”


School Had Help


Advocate Illinois Masonic provided telepsychiatry services to Ames Middle School in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood for about three years until the spring, when grant funds ran out. The need was great, said Odalinda Avila, who was a counselor with Illinois Masonic at the school for five years.


“There were a lot of issues in these families that were struggling with limited finances,” Avila said, with students suffering attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, dysfunction and the inability to handle certain situations.


Up to 20 percent of children and adolescents in the U.S. are said to suffer from significant mental health disorders and it’s estimated only 1 in 5 is receiving treatment, experts say.


A psychiatrist was brought in when the problems of an Ames student were affecting school and interrupting sleep, Avila said. If medication was advised to stabilize the situation, a parent had to be involved, but often that didn’t happen, causing treatment to be truncated.


“There was a lot of frustration on my part, the school’s part and the child’s part,” Avila said. “There was a real need to reach out to parents and educate them. Some were just not involved, and in some Latino families, there were myths and stereotypes on what it means to take medication.”


Denise Shaeffer, a clinical psychologist and coordinator of outpatient services for Illinois Masonic’s behavioral health services, said telepsychiatry at the school’s medical clinic seemed like a good answer, but in the end it was underused.


“Of those who used it, they overwhelmingly loved it,” Shaeffer said, but too few parents of students referred for the services followed through and there was no care in the summer.


Carroll Cradock, a psychologist and telemedicine consultant in Chicago, was involved early on with trying to bring telemedicine to school-based clinics.


“The need is growing in urban areas,” she said, because of language barriers, transportation issues and the very real fact that some children find it dangerous to cross gang boundaries to try and reach a mental health clinic. “Some kids will use school-based services because they don’t have to go somewhere else,” she said. “They think of the school clinic as their medical home.”


Telemedicine also helps adult patients in urban areas, she said, by integrating mental health care with medical care. She cited a new mother who may have post-delivery physical issues and postpartum depression. Her care for both can be coordinated via technology.


Dr. James Varrell, medical director of InSight Telepsychiatry, has been using the technology for almost 15 years and also knows the possibilities.


“The increased access to care from telepsychiatry makes it easier to address behavioral health concerns before they reach a level of crisis or tragedy,: he said in an email. “Telepsychiatry may seem like an innovative model of care today, but in a few years, it will be commonplace.”



See the original article at the Chicago Tribune.

Solutions CCRC Launches a Telemedicine Program to Connect SPMI Consumers with a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

July 29, 2013 | Using televideoconferencing technology, The Solutions Community Counseling and Recovery Centers (Solutions CCRC) outpatient center in Wilmington, OH connects adult consumers who have severe and persistent mental illness with a psychiatric nurse practitioner – Patti Rodgers. The telemedicine program launched July 1, 2013 through a partnership with InSight Telepsychiatry; so far, the program has successfully linked Solutions CCRC with a needed psychiatric prescriber who collaborates with onsite staff to provide high-quality care.

Leaders from CFG Health Network Slated to Speak at the ATA

August 31, 2012 |

How can technology be used to improve behavioral health care? The CFG Health Network, a comprehensive behavioral health company, has always looked to technology as a tool. Adding to its successful telepsychiatry branch, InSight Telepsychiatry, the CFG Health Network expanded into telemedicine applications that can be used to improve counseling and therapy sessions. At the ATA Forum, two of CFG’s behavioral health clinicians and leaders will demonstrate how virtual world software, provided by CFG’s InWorld Solutions can be used within the care continuum.

InSight Telepsychiatry and Diamond Healthcare Corporation Announce Strategic Partnership

April 4, 2013 |

InSight Telepsychiatry and Diamond Healthcare Corporation are working together to improve the treatment of behavioral health consumers who present in emergency departments. This partnership with InSight Telepsychiatry, a leading national telepsychiatry provider makes Diamond Direct the preferred solution for improving emergency behavioral healthcare and assisting hospitals in meeting the Joint Commission’s standards for improved patient flow.

Kent Sussex Counseling Services Utilizes Telemedicine to Enhance Patient Treatment and Streamline Psychiatric Appointments

July 26, 2012 | Delaware, like many other states, suffers from a shortage of psychiatric professionals, particularly those specializing in addictions. Recognizing this strain on organizational operations, Kent Sussex Counseling Services turned to telepsychiatry in order to improve patients’ access and experience with addiction-specific psychiatric care. Patients and providers quickly adapted to telepsychiatry and now enjoy seeing telepsychiatrist, Dr. Christina Vaglica on screen.

The Delaware Rural Health Initative (DRHI) Annual Conference Emphasized Telemedicine As a Tool for Increasing and Improving Behavioral Healthcare

June 1, 2012 | Over 140 people attended the annual conference entitled “Continuing the Journey Towards Access & Excellence in the Southern Delaware Mental Health System.” Medical, governmental, educational, and business leaders updated attendees on innovations in relevant Delaware healthcare realms. The conference served as the forum for Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services Rita Landgraf to officially announce that Delaware will begin to reimburse for telemedicine starting July 1. In the spirit of this announcement, many of the presentations, including one from leaders at InSight Telepsychiatry, stressed technology as a tool for improving rural health care.


Adolescents Respond Positively to Behavioral Healthcare Delivered through Televideo Equipment

May 22, 2012 |

Three months ago, the Developmental Adolescent Residential Treatment Program (DART) at Hope Network began beaming in a remote psychiatrist to do intake evaluations and follow up medication management for their young residents. Both staff and consumers are pleased with the level of care provided via telepsychiatry from InSight Telepsychiatry; Young people find safety and amusement in seeing psychiatrists on a television screen rather than in person, while staff enjoys the efficient and consistent physician telepresence.

Other Telebehavioral Health Services


In addition to psychiatry, InSight can offer all other levels of behavioral health services through telehealth. InSight has a large network of behavioral health providers including counselors, therapists, social workers and psychologists who we work with to service the comprehensive behavioral health needs of any organization or individual, all through telehealth. With InSight’s Inpathy division, individuals can directly access these professionals from the comfort and convenience of their own homes or other private spaces. Insurance companies, employers and EAPs can also partner with InSight to offer Inpathy behavioral health services to members or employees.



Telepsychiatry for Primary Care Centers

primary care telepsychiatry

Many primary care providers face difficulty in finding a referral option when their clients present mental health concerns. InSight’s telepsychiatry services are a useful solution to this issue and have increased access to mental health care.  InSight’s telebehavioral health providers can give consultations, participate in treatment team meetings, provide regularly scheduled behavioral health appointments, and more. Our providers collaborate and communicate effectively with PCPs to ensure quality and continuum of care.

InSight does and has always proactively communicated with consenting consumers’ primary care providers. The intent of this communication is threefold: to provide education and support to PCP staff on how to select and educate patients on the option for referral to telebehavioral health providers, to secure relevant medical history as part of our intake, and to offer regular updates on treatment plans, progress and results.  Our system for coordination involves a field-based team of practice liaisons who establish in-person relationships with PCPs and work to establish tailored workflows for the exchange of information, supported by back-office care navigation and operations staff which execute the exchanges.

Primary care offices can arrange for scheduled services with InSight. Through this service model, InSight assigns a consistent provider or small group of providers to serve a regular caseload of consumers during scheduled hours. These providers can be available in blocks of time for anything an onsite provider would do including assessment, medication management, treatment team meetings or supervision. Adult psychiatrists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners and all other levels of behavioral health professionals are all available under the scheduled telepsychiatry model at an hourly rate.

Scheduled Telepsychiatry Positions

scheduled telepsychiatry

InSight’s scheduled telepsychiatrists work regularly scheduled hours and build lasting relationships with a consistent patient base. Scheduled telepsychiatrists work with diverse consumers who often would not receive psychiatric care without telepsychiatry. Scheduled telepsychiatrists work with onsite professionals to fully integrate behavioral health into the larger system of care of the facility and the community. InSight is hiring psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners for scheduled telepsychiatry positions in multiple states.
Scheduled Telepsychiatrist Job Description

To start the process, read through our InSight Employment FAQ, then Connect with us!