Tag Archives: mental health

InSight Launches Child and Adolescent Telepsychiatry Services at Youth Crisis Center, Inc. in Florida

Jacksonville, FL – Youth Crisis Center, Inc. (YCC), which provides short-term crisis care, mental health counseling, skills-based group training and transitional living services for children, teens, young adults and their families, and InSight Telepsychiatry are pleased to announce a new partnership to increase psychiatric coverage for individuals seeking mental health care.

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

The services provided through the telepsychiatry program will include the same services someone would receive in-person, with the goal of treating children and adolescents so they achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Mental health is a top concern in Florida. Florida has approximately 400,000 children who need mental health services, but 55% of them do not get any treatment.[1] Across the state, there are only 412 child and adolescent psychiatrists. This means there are 10 child and adolescent providers per 100,000 individuals.[2]

A survey done by the Florida Department of Health ranked mental health care as the third-hardest health care service to obtain in Duval County, where YCC is located. In the county, there is one mental health professional per 153 individuals seeking mental health treatment.[3]

“There is a strong need for child and adolescent mental health services in our community and we’re excited to supplement our program with telepsychiatry,” said Cecelia Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs, Chief Clinical Officer at YCC.

“Telepsychiatry gives communities unprecedented access to mental health care specialists. We are pleased to partner with Youth Crisis Center, Inc. to offer this service.  Telepsychiatry is a great solution, not only in Florida, but also in many other states across the nation where there is significant mental health need and a shortage of psychiatry providers,” said Jonathan Posten, Senior Director of Operations.

 

About Youth Crisis Center, Inc.

Founded in 1974 as Florida’s first runaway program, Youth Crisis Center has grown to one of the largest and best-known providers of services for youth and families. YCC’s emphasis on care is for those who have been exposed to traumatic situations such as divorce, homelessness, relocation, loss of life, bullying and abuse. YCC provides a variety of services for children, adolescents, young adults, parents and families.

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 has over two decades of telepsychiatry experience and serves hundreds of organizations across the country with its on-demand, scheduled services and Inpathy divisions. InSight is uniquely positioned to offer scalable telepsychiatry services in settings across the continuum of care. InSight has a diverse team of psychiatry providers, a robust internal infrastructure and a history of adapting its programs to fit the needs of a variety of different settings and populations.  InSight has led the growth of the telepsychiatry industry and remains an industry thought leader and advocate.  InSight Telepsychiatry and Regroup Telehealth recently merged to become the largest and most comprehensive telepsychiatry service provider in the US.  To learn more about telepsychiatry and how it can benefit you or your organization, visit www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

 

[1] https://www.wptv.com/news/state/more-mental-health-treatment-sought-for-children-in-florida

[2] https://www.aacap.org/aacap/Advocacy/Federal_and_State_Initiatives/Workforce_Maps/Home.aspx

[3] https://thecoastal.com/community/mental-health-jacksonville/

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.

InSight Raises Mental Health Awareness with “Starts with Us” Campaign

Marlton, NJ – InSight Telepsychiatry is joining the nationwide effort to increase awareness about the importance of mental health. This year, in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are embracing the idea of “Mental Health Starts with Us.” In that spirit, InSight is providing resources, strategies and information to highlight the importance of mental wellness for everyone, including mental health professionals, healthcare organizations and individuals looking to learn more.

The Importance of Mental Health Care

One in six individuals live with a mental illness. It is estimated that approximately 44.7 million American adults are affected by a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder (NIMH). 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.

Why Does Mental Health Matter?

Mental health includes emotional, psychological and social well-being and impacts how we think, feel and act. It is also a key component to managing overall wellness since mental health and physical health are very closely linked. Unfortunately, many people do not or are unable to seek mental health care due to stigma, lack of mental health providers and other barriers such as location.

Why Does Mental Wellness Matter for Mental Health Care Professionals?

Not prioritizing mental health can lead to hospitalization, lost productivity at work and absenteeism (NIMH). Mental health care professionals are just as likely to have mental health disorders as other individuals. It may be even more important for them to take care of their mental wellness, as they are expected to provide the care that those living with mental health conditions need.

Lack of mental wellness practices can also lead to burnout among physicians, nurses and other mental health care professionals, which is associated with increased depression, anxiety, sleep problems and impaired memory (NIH).

Importance of Addressing Mental Health in Communities

It is important for healthcare organizations to provide mental health resources for individuals in their communities. With telepsychiatry, organizations can further increase access to mental health care for their community with the use of innovative applications of technology.  Telepsychiatry is a proven medium for increasing psychiatric capacity at single facilities and across entire systems. Through telemedicine, organizations can access psychiatric coverage without the recruiting, logistical and financial burdens that the onsite provision of those services would require.

We invite you to join us in our quest to raise awareness of the importance of mental wellness and to expand and transform access to quality behavioral health care, particularly among underserved populations and communities.  Mental health awareness is much bigger than a month long campaign. Join our conversation this month and all year long, using the hashtag #StartsWithUs on social media whenever discussing mental health.

Mental Health Resources

Click here for tips, tools, and support you need to help take care of your mental health this month, and every month.

Telepsychiatry 101

Click here to download our Telepsychiatry 101 white paper, which covers everything organizations interested in implementing telebehavioral health need to know to make the most of this exciting development in health care service delivery.

About InSight Telespychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight has two decades of telepsychiatry experience, and serves hundreds of organizations across the country with its on-demand, scheduled, connected services and Inpathy divisions. InSight is uniquely positioned to offer scalable telepsychiatry services in settings across the continuum of care. To learn more about our services and solutions, visit www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

Emergency Mental Health Care Benefits from Telepsychiatry (Podcast)

Seconds count when it comes to a suicidal patient and getting them to the care they need. EMS personnel often find themselves dealing with mental health patients. Because they do not have psychiatry expertise, EMS often has to transport these patients to the ER where they will sit until they can get a correct diagnosis. However, this could take hours and leads to the emergency vehicles being tied up while they may be needed for more urgent needs in their county.

This is why in Charleston County, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and Emergency Medical Services(EMS) have partnered to create a Mobile Crisis program. Together, they get mental health patients to the correct facilities faster than ever before. By using telepsychiatry, paramedics connect to a psychiatrist by using a computer in their EMS vehicle. Once connected, the psychiatrist can see the patient and assess their mental state.

According to Olivia Boyce at Insight, the nation’s leading telepsychiatry provider, more programs like the Mobile Crisis teams are being created to give emergency personnel extra backing when it comes to addressing multiple health issues in the communities particularly those with in remote areas.

Listen to the full podcast here.

Mental Health in the Workplace

Written by Nate Ortiz. Originally published in Lynchburg Business Magazine 

Nate Ortiz, InSight Telepsychiatry Manager of Scheduled Services

Mental Illness can cause serious disruption in everyday life.

In any given year, approximately one in 25 adults in the United States experiences a serious mental illness that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities and one in 10 employees suffers from depression. This includes the ability to perform effectively or efficiently at work.

In my role, I am responsible for managing a large team of behavioral health care providers, as well as several administrative team members. Being surrounded by behavioral health care all day means my team is usually more knowledgeable about mental health, but being knowledgeable about mental health and actively prioritizing it in your life can be two different things. My team deals with the stress of the patients and administrators we work with day to day, and if we are not careful, that can weigh heavy on us and lead to burnout.

As a manager, I acknowledge the struggles that my team faces and make an effort to provide mental health and emotional support, in addition to leadership. Specifically, our providers spend all day listening and often do not always have the opportunity to be heard. They are also spread throughout the country, so we provide many opportunities for providers who are remote to interact with their peers and administrators, to help them not feel alone in this, along with the rest of the team.

While I certainly do not have this all perfectly figured out, I have learned some valuable lessons about making mental health a priority along the way:
One of my methods is to get the team together on a regular basis, so my assistance is consistent and the team can understand who we are collectively.
By getting together regularly, we are getting to the same mission: we celebrate wins for each other, share the next month’s big picture goals, as well as ways we can help one another to reach those goals. We have found that it is important to have a culture of celebration, of each other, along with small wins.

Creating a culture of collaboration is also very important and I have learned to put in an extra effort to create new ways to collaborate and work together with remote team members. I spend a great deal of my time reaching out to the remote team, to open up those communication and collaboration channels as much as possible, to make that the culture. My team also consistently communicates by video, which removes that distance.

I keep an open door policy both for my in person team members and remote colleagues. With these open door meetings, my goal is not only to be available to coach professionally, so each person can become the best employee, but to help each person become their best selves.

I also like to preach the importance of work/life balance, which is a part of my practice for mental wellness and self-care. Personally, I have to weigh opportunity costs and be ok with being less connected to work at times. I have had to make a clean break between work and home life, and it has benefited my well-being and my family. I am not the only person preaching work/life balance here at our Lynchburg office, but not everyone is naturally like that.

I do my best to lead others in discovering that balance, by learning to build appropriate boundaries, before potentially more things enter their lives, such as marriage and children. I describe work/life balance as having a quality of life, of looking at the whole thing. If there is not a balance, then your whole life is affected. Whether you are a younger or an older employee, work remotely or in-person, we are all dealing with the same issues at work.

You are also the same person whether you are or are not at work; you cannot just turn off who you are personally. If you are going through a tough time at work, you need to give yourself the grace to know you will not always be “on.”

What else can you do? Take that 10-minute walk. It is something small, but see it as an investment rather than a break. There is a tendency to think 10 minutes away from your desk is a break or slacking, but it is more of an investment of time to come back and do what needs to be done, for both yourself and others, because you will be less stressed and therefore more productive.

This applies to both administrative team members and the providers I supervise. If you’re not keeping yourself cared for, if you’re not well at work, not only do you suffer, but the people depending on you suffer as well.

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.

 

 

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

 

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

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.

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.

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.

New Jersey Awards Virtua $290,000 to Serve Veterans Via Telehealth

Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Health announced a $290,000 telehealth grant to Virtua Health on January 27 that will assist veterans who need access to primary and behavioral healthcare services but may face mobility or transportation challenges.

By coordinating care with Oaks Integrated Care, Legacy Treatment Services and InSight Telepsychiatry, Virtua will offer primary and behavioral health visits conducted via online technology starting February 1.

Stigma, negative ideas about seeking help, perceptions of the Veterans Administration (VA) and a lack of access due to geography and transportation issues make it difficult for veterans to visit a doctor in person. Some medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), brain injury, spinal cord injury and other psychiatric disorders further complicate the ability for travel. 

“For many veterans, travel to see a healthcare provider can be complicated and overwhelming, particularly in areas where transportation options might be limited,” Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett said. “Telehealth can ease the burden by offering long-distance virtual care to veterans while they remain in a comfortable environment.”

Telehealth includes telepsychology, telepsychiatry, telebehavioral health, e-counseling, e-therapy, online therapy and cybercounseling. If veterans have other needs such as housing, employment or transportation, Virtua will seek to connect them to appropriate services.

One in five homeless Americans are veterans. One in three homeless men are veterans, and about 60 percent of homeless veterans are minorities. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have an unemployment rate approximately 40 percent greater than the general population.

Veterans have disproportionate rates of mental illness, particularly PTSD, substance abuse disorders, depression and anxiety. Nearly half of combat veterans from Iraq report that they have suffered from PTSD, and about 40 percent of these veterans report problems with alcohol use.

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter at twitter.com/NJDeptofHealth and on Facebook at facebook.com/NJDeptofHealth.

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

MHA Ventures Partners with InSight Telepsychiatry

Dec. 19, 2016 | MHA Ventures and InSight Telepsychiatry are partnering to help bring on-demand, scheduled and direct to consumer care to hospitals in the state of Montana. These efforts will improve access to mental health care and providers.

Helena, MT — A new partnership between MHA Ventures and InSight Telepsychiatry will improve care options throughout communities in Montana. MHA Ventures (MHAV), the for-profit subsidiary of the Montana Hospital Association, works with successful healthcare organizations to help Montana become a “Top 10 Healthy State.”  InSight has been endorsed by MHAV to help members of the association improve mental health in the communities they serve through telepsychiatry.

Telepsychiatry is psychiatric care delivered through secure videoconferencing.

Members of the Montana Hospital Association provide the full spectrum of health care services, including hospital inpatient and outpatient, skilled nursing facility, home health, hospice, physician, assisted living, senior housing and insurance services.

Mental health is an important topic to address across the state as Montana has the highest suicide rate among any state in the United States at nearly twice the national average. Approximately 54 of 56 counties in Montana are designated as mental health professional shortage areas meaning those counties do not meet the criteria of having at least one mental health professional per 10,000 people. Psychiatric providers are particularly hard to come by in Montana outside of a few cities.

“We are excited by this partnership’s ability to help bring care to Montana communities that have been struggling with acute needs for psychiatric care,” 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 an hour on average. Other locations like clinics, primary care offices or correctional facilities can also benefit from our scheduled telepsychiatry services. With telepsychiatry, psychiatry providers can offer care to anyone, anywhere as long as there is adequate internet connectivity.”

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.

InSight is already working with the Billings Clinic in Montana to provide on-demand, after-hours telepsychiatry services in the emergency department.

Telepsychiatry is an effective, cost-conscious and proven way to bring psychiatry providers, especially those with hard-to-find specialties, into areas where there may be a shortage like Montana rural and frontier land.

For nearly 30 years, MHAV has improved consumer care and reduce operating costs by tailoring flexible programs to fit the needs of each individual hospital.

InSight, the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization, has over 17 years of industry experience, serves over 225 organizations across 26 states and has implemented telepsychiatry programs across the spectrum of care. Together, MHAV and InSight will work to improve the mental health of communities throughout Montana.

 

InSight Telepsychiatry Supports Creativity and Innovation During Psychiatry Innovation Lab Event

Oct. 19, 2016 | InSight Telepsychiatry was proud to support three awards during the Psychiatry Innovation Lab at IPS: The Mental Health Services Conference organized by the American Psychiatric Association.

Washington, D.C. — InSight Telepsychiatry awarded three finalists for innovative ideas in the advancement of behavioral health care during the Psychiatry Innovation Lab at IPS: The Mental Health Services Conference organized by the American Psychiatric Association.

Chaired by psychiatrist and author Dr. Nina Vasan, the Psychiatry Innovation Lab is an educational workshop that fosters the advancement of health care delivery. The lab offers the opportunity for professionals in technology, business, medicine, government and nonprofits to connect and collaborate with psychiatrists and mental health professionals.

On Oct. 8, participants pitched ideas for the advancement of behavioral health care delivery by way of entrepreneurship, policy, systems redesign, education, collaboration, technology and more. InSight awarded a total of three of the six awards presented at the event.

A team of neuropsychiatry-minded high school students was awarded Outstanding Progress for their work on AlzHelp, an augmented-reality and intelligent personal assistant app that keeps individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease safe. The app was designed by Akanksha Jain, Michelle Koh and Priscilla Siow.

Presented by mental health care entrepreneur April Koh, Spring.com was awarded the Most Promising Innovation for enabling the prediction of treatment outcomes for depression by way of machine-learning and big data.

The last award supported by InSight went to a group called Beacon led by Shrenik Jain for the Most Disruptive Innovation. Beacon is a mobile application for chat-based group therapy that has participated in a diverse selection of health care technology initiatives. A consistent group of anonymous users come together in judgement-free communities with this group therapy app.

Other winners included: The grand prize winner Joseph Insler for his “overdose recovery bracelet” and the audience choice Swathi Krishna for SPECTRUM, an app for children with autism spectrum disorder.

As the leading national telepsychiatry organization, InSight is proud to support a workshop that cultivates the advancement of behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. InSight provides psychiatric care through innovative applications of technology by providing telepsychiatry services to hospitals, outpatient clinics and other health care organizations nationwide.

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

August 21, 2016 | Mental health providers, including psychiatrists are now available for assessment, therapy and medication management through a newly launched Delaware-area behavioral health practice 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.

WILLMINGTON, DE Psychiatry appointments from the comfort and convenience of home are now available to Delaware residents through the launch of a new telebehavioral health practice – Inpathy.

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 Delaware and 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 the following Delaware-licensed providers:

  • 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

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 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.

Hospital to Decline Inpatient Psychiatric Unit Grant

ptleader

April 27, 2016 | By Allison Arthur

Jefferson Healthcare may return a $1.5 million grant it was awarded to build a seven-bed inpatient psychiatric facility and instead, head in a less costly direction that involves two safe rooms and telepsychiatric consulting services.

Jefferson Healthcare CEO Mike Glenn told hospital commissioners April 20 that the cost of building a seven-bed unit would be $2 million–$2.5 million on top of the $1.5 million grant and result in annual income losses of $2 million.

After receiving the grant last year from the state Department of Commerce, hospital officials had lobbied for an additional $1 million in capital funding. The hospital was notified recently that its request wasn’t in the state’s budget.

Hospital Commissioners Jill Buhler, Matt Ready and Kees Kolff thanked Glenn for trying to find a “way to yes,” as Glenn had phrased his hope for the project in early March.

A formal vote on Glenn’s recommendation to return the funding is expected at the May 18 board of commissioners meeting. If the board votes to decline the funding in mid-May, Glenn said, it would go back into a fund earmarked for mental health programs, and some other organization could apply. If the board were to wait longer, Glenn said, the money would go into the state’s general fund.

Instead of moving forward on the inpatient facility, Glenn proposed construction of a two-bed crisis and stabilization unit, which would include the development of programming and a policy and procedure manual as well as continued partnership with Jefferson Mental Health Services.

DISAPPOINTMENT

Commissioner Buhler said Glenn and others had done a “noble and exhaustive” effort and that hospital officials fought for it, too.

Glenn wondered aloud about the merit of “dangling a $1.5 million grant” in front of small hospitals to build a $4 million inpatient facility that would then result in annual losses of $2 million.

That’s when Ready spoke up, saying he, too, applauded the work of hospital officials for “slaving away” to try to make things work. He said the way health care is funded is essentially “criminal.”

As Glenn had explained in March, a concern is Jefferson Healthcare’s status as a critical access hospital (CAH). It’s a designation that helps keep the rural hospital afloat, bringing in more revenue for care than other hospitals might get. But not so with an inpatient psychiatric unit, officials learned.

And although the state had provided money for startup costs of an inpatient unit, the hospital would have had to spend more than the state gave it not only to design and build the unit, but to pay for staff and maintenance. And with the unit, the hospital wouldn’t have received the same level of reimbursement from Medicare as it does now for other services it provides, officials said.

Glenn called it a “penalty,” and said it was unlikely the funding challenges of a critical access hospital would change soon.

He also said that while the state has seen increased funding for mental health projects in the past few years, the state faces a $2 billion–$3 billion shortfall for funding education and so the revenue stream for mental health programs might start to dwindle.

Currently, there are no hospitals in the state with the CAH designation that have inpatient psychiatric units; Jefferson Healthcare would have been the first.

AN OPTION, TELEPSYCH

Seeming to sense earlier this year that “getting to yes” was going to be difficult, Glenn and former Chief Nursing Officer Joyce Cardinal visited Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, which has two “safe” rooms, which are used for temporary inpatient psychiatric care.

A mental health task force has already started to work on guidelines for the safe rooms as well as a design for converting two existing acute-care units into safe rooms.

The task force includes registered nurses and others on the Jefferson Healthcare staff, but not Dr. Sue Ehrlich, a psychiatrist. Ehrlich divides her time between Jefferson Healthcare and Jefferson Mental Health Services. Officials said she had been consulted, although she hadn’t been named to the task force; she could not be reached for comment by Leader press time.

No one from Jefferson Mental Health Services spoke out at the meeting. Glenn said the two entities are continuing to collaborate and may be hiring more help together.

The in-hospital task force also has started to look at telepsychiatric consulting services, including one operated by Swedish Medical Center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and one called InSight Telepsychiatry.

Current Chief Nursing Officer Jackie Mossakowski said that telepsychiatric programs have worked elsewhere.

She said that nurses and staff at Jefferson Healthcare have had concerns about safety and such issues as using restraints to protect patients. A safe room where someone could sit and watch a patient going through a mental health crisis is needed, she said.

Mossakowski said goals for the safe rooms would be: increased resources for staff and patient; consistent care; better treatment options, including using less restraint; and increased consultation to improve medication management and help patients through their crisis.

She said it often takes 24-48 hours to stabilize someone in a crisis.

BOARDING QUESTION

To bolster the idea of moving from a seven-bed inpatient facility to a unit with two safe rooms, Glenn also noted that the number of acute psychiatric care (APC) clients in Jefferson County has dropped in the past few years and that roughly 1.5-2 patients a day in Jefferson County seek inpatient care.

Steve Workman, an advocate for people with mental health issues, noted that the state was trying to get away from “boarding” people in hospitals and he said that the two safe rooms seemed like “psychiatric boarding enhanced.”

“The enhancements are particularly profound,” responded Glenn, noting that having a psychiatrist available to consult with staff would be an improvement over what the hospital staff has now, which is a shared psychiatrist.

Glenn also said Jefferson Healthcare has been improving its access to care for people in crisis.

In 2012, according to market-share statistics Glenn presented, St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, Fairfax Hospital in Kirkland and MultiCare Auburn Medical Center saw 50 percent of patients from Jefferson County who needed inpatient psychiatric care.

In 2014, those hospitals had 22 percent of the patients, and Jefferson Healthcare’s “market share” had more than doubled to 22 percent as well, up from the 8 percent the hospital had had two years earlier.

After the meeting, Glenn said that the health care system spent roughly $2,500 to assist in the grant application and spent another $3,000-$5,000 to assist developing the grant and a feasibility study. It is unlikely that money can be recouped.

Glenn also said he expects the room revisions to cost less than $100,000. Glenn said he knew going in that it would be difficult to develop a seven-bed facility, but there was hope it could be pulled off. He said that he, too, was disappointed he couldn’t “get to yes.”

See the original article at ptleader.com.