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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.

Sto-Rox Family Health Center Launches New Telepsychiatry Program

Sto-Rox Telepsychiatry Room

McKees Rocks, PA – Sto-Rox Family Health Center is launching a new telepsychiatry program in March 2019. InSight Telepsychiatry will bring 16 hours a week of scheduled adult psychiatry services.

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 psychiatric support without the challenge of staffing an in-person psychiatry provider.

The telepsychiatry program is launched in partnership with InSight, a national telepsychiatry service provider organization. The program is also partly funded by the AIMS Grant which provides technical assistance funding. The services provided to Sto-Rox Family Health Center will include  the same services someone would receive in-person, with the goal of treating the behavioral health needs of adolescents and adults so that they can achieve their potential through a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Sto-Rox Telepsychiatry Room

“Our team at Sto-Rox is excited to provide telepsychiatry to additionally help our neighborhood and the patients we are honored to serve, while simultaneously taking a step forward to embrace the future of healthcare delivery,” says Dr. John Barczynski, CEO of Sto-Rox Family Health Center. “As we adjust to changing times, we remain committed to our unchanging mission.”

Increased access to mental health services is growing need as 57.7 million – one-in-four – people live with mental illness of some sort across the country. The new telepsychiatry program will bring additional access to mental health services to the McKees Rocks community and surrounding areas.

About Sto-Rox Family Health Center

Sto-Rox Family Health Center‘s staff includes a psychiatrist and licensed clinical social worker. Our services include Diagnosis and Follow-Up, Anxiety, Depression, Grief Support, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, such as those needed to manage chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, and Stress Management. More information can be found at http://www.storoxfqhc.org/behavioral-health/

About InSight Telepsychiatry

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. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com

InSight CEO Returns to NatCon for Panel Presentation

geoffrey boyce

NASHVILLE, TN – Geoffrey Boyce, Chief Executive Officer of InSight Telepsychiatry, is returning to this year’s National Council for Behavioral Health NatCon Conference as a panel presentation speaker.

Boyce will be speaking on a panel titled, “Are We at a Telehealth Tipping Point?” which will take place on Monday, March 25, 2019 at the Opryland Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville.

The panel will discuss “the tailwinds in telehealth today and the existing hurdles to true scaled penetration of telehealth.” Learning objectives include:

  • Discuss and dispel the myths and misconceptions around the application of telepsychiatry
  • Identify the core areas of true telepsychiatry penetration and where opportunity still exists for further growth
  • Discuss the key hurdles to exponential telepsychiatry growth and what changes are needed to overcome them

Boyce spoke at the NatCon 2018 Conference in Washington, DC, on a panel titled, “Creating a Telebehavioral Health Strategy.” He will be joined on this year’s panel by Jonathan Evans, MA, President and CEO of InnovaTel Telepsychiatry, as well as Samir Malik, MBA, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Telepsychiatry of Genoa Healthcare.

The panel will take place from 4:15 – 5:15 pm in the Ryman Ballroom C, Level 0. InSight will also be exhibiting at the conference at booth 309 in the Solutions Pavilion Exhibit Hall.

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.

5 Reasons Why Telepsychiatry is a Natural Choice for Busy Parents and Tech Savvy Kids

By Holli Stayton, psychiatric nurse practitioner for Inpathy, the direct-to-consumer division of InSight Telepsychiatry 

A 13-year-old girl diagnosed with depression is responding well to anti-depressant medication prescribed three months ago. She’s involved in numerous extra-curricular after-school activities, and her parents both work full time. A busy family schedule makes it challenging to book regular check-in appointments with her doctor during traditional office hours.

Concerned that inconsistent appointments will negatively impact their daughter’s progress, her parents opt to try direct-to-consumer (D2C) telepsychiatry—online therapy delivered through videoconferencing technology. The girl can now meet with a licensed child and adolescent provider on her family computer directly from the comfort of her own home following school and her extra-curricular activities—all before her nightly family dinner.

Meet the new face of behavioral health care that is fast becoming a viable—and often preferred—option for today’s children and teens. Conducted remotely through any computer, tablet or smartphone, D2C models offer an alternative for more convenient care amid current behavioral health challenges.

The demand for child and adolescent behavioral health care is soaring, and specialty provider shortages have reached severe levels throughout the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A simple math equation paints a grim and telling picture: In California, there are only 1,135 child and adolescent behavioral health providers to serve more than nine million children and teens—7 percent of who struggle with a behavioral health disorder severe enough to impact daily life.

Couple those stats with busy family schedules, and the access to care challenge for the nation’s children appears bleak. The good news is that telepsychiatry is proving to be an effective choice embraced by today’s youth and in some cases, a better option.

Here are five reasons why families are increasingly turning to telepsychiatry.

  1. Timely access and improved overall health. With provider shortages, it’s not uncommon to wait several months to get an appointment with a child and adolescent specialist. In the case of D2C telepsychiatry, appointments can be scheduled in just a few days. Consistent and timely access to telepsychiatrists allows children and adolescents to get the care they need sooner.
  1. Flexibility. Busy schedules can often be deterrents to children and adolescents getting the help they need. Traditional 9-to-5 workdays can create challenges for working parents as well as children involved in extra-curricular activities. Plus, appointments scheduled during school hours can create additional stressors for parents and young patients. D2C telepsychiatry solves this obstacle by offering flexible scheduling options during times that fit into a family’s lifestyle, such as after dinner or during weekends.
  2. Preferred communication mode. Today’s children and teens have grown up using videoconferencing technology like FaceTime and Skype, making telepsychiatry a natural fit for them. Interactions with telepsychiatrists can take place in a familiar setting where children feel safe and comfortable, leading to greater willingness to open up during sessions.
  1. Reduced stigma. Mental health stigma is still an unfortunate reality for today’s patients and can be especially difficult for children and teens. When services can be accessed from the comfort of home, children don’t have to worry about running into friends or classmates in a waiting room and feeling stigmatized for seeking help.
  2. More care options. Children and adolescent provider shortages can limit options available to parents. It can mean settling for the provider with the shortest wait time, traveling long distances or turning to professionals outside of the child and adolescent specialty. Because telepsychiatry is not bound by geography, families have greater choice in quality providers and the flexibility to book appointments with different providers until the very best fit is made for the child.

A new door is opening for child and adolescent behavioral health care, and the benefits are unlimited. With options like telepsychiatry becoming more widely available, families are no longer bound by the limitations of traditional health care and can take greater control of their children’s behavioral health needs—without the hassle. For today’s parents, telepsychiatry offers a positive step towards more consumer-friendly options to improve children and adolescent health.

InSight Supports ATA’s Recommendations to the DEA for Special Registration

Marlton, NJ, January 9, 2019: InSight Telepsychiatry has written to support recommendations for the special registration process for telemedicine under Ryan Haight. The recommendations were recently created and shared by the American Telemedicine Association with several key members at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). With the creation of a special registration for telemedicine, more providers would have the opportunity to help address the opioid crisis and other public health concerns. The recommendations in summary are:

1. Update the current DEA registration process to specify distinctions between traditional and telemedicine prescribing privileges
2. Allow both sites and prescribers to register for telemedicine
3. Allow for a public comment period within the one-year timeline for special registration activation
4. Ensure that telemedicine special registration is not restricted to any single discipline
5. Allow telemedicine prescribers to apply for DEA registration numbers in multiple states at once

Due to restrictions set forth by the Ryan Haight Act, hundreds of providers who are passionate about leveraging telemedicine to improve access to care have been limited in their ability to provide their full range of services. This includes appropriately prescribing controlled substances like buprenorphine through Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Programs that leverage telemedicine to combat the opioid crisis. It also includes the services of child and adolescent psychiatry providers who practice via telehealth and often serve children who would benefit from the appropriate prescribing of stimulants—
a controlled substance that is restricted by the Ryan Haight Act and that is also considered to be the best practice for treating ADHD. InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry organization and employs hundreds of psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners who would be able to utilize the special registration to provide much-needed care to more people.

With the passage of the Substance Use–Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act of 2018, the DEA has the explicit deadline of October 24, 2019 to create this long-promised special registration for telemedicine. DEA has the opportunity to make several measured changes that would catapult the reach of telemedicine providers like those at InSight to help resolve critical public health needs.

Read InSight’s letter of support and the full ATA recommendations here.

Telepsychiatry Trends to Expect in 2019

InSight Telepsychiatry is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to transform access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. InSight has 2 decades of experience with telepsychiatry, 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. InSight has a diverse provider team, a robust internal infrastructure and a history of adapting its programs to fit the needs of a variety of different settings and populations.
The upward growth trajectory and expanded reach of telepsychiatry models remain strong. As telemedicine continues to open new doors to access in healthcare, a bird’s eye view of current trends suggests that behavioral health is the healthcare sector that has experienced the most positive impact. The telepsychiatry market is beginning to mature and industry leaders are emerging and continuously raising the bar.

Telepsychiatry plays a crucial role in not only improving the outlook on severe psychiatric professional shortages, but also in aligning with consumer expectations and the evolving demands of value-based care. As healthcare closes the book on 2018, here are trends and changes the industry can expect to see on the telepsychiatry front in 2019.

New Policies Expand the Reach of Telepsychiatry for Opioid Use Disorder   
Telepsychiatry has the potential to help address one of the nation’s most significant crises: opioid use disorder. However, policy changes are needed first. In 2019, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is expected to establish special registration for telemedicine, as required by the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act of 2018.

The prescribing of controlled substances is necessary for a common treatment of opioid use disorder: medication assisted treatment (MAT). However, current federal regulation—the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008—limits the prescribing of controlled substances via telemedicine. By creating the long-awaited special registration for telemedicine in 2019, the DEA will help open doors for the appropriate prescribing of controlled substances via telemedicine, and thus allow for telepsychiatry to help address the opioid epidemic.

Additionally, another impactful way the special registration for telemedicine would improve access to needed care is with child and adolescent psychiatry—a discipline where certain controlled substances are the preferred treatment for common disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

New Policies Expand the Reach of Telepsychiatry for Medicare Populations    
Another exciting policy development for telemental health is the Mental Health Telemedicine Expansion Act that was introduced this year, which, if enacted in 2019, would have a significant impact on America’s aging population. The bill would eliminate the originating site requirement for Medicare reimbursement for telemental health services. Currently, there are 8 originating site requirements for Medicare reimbursement, including provider offices, hospitals, critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers, skilled nursing facilities, community mental health centers, and hospital-based or critical access hospital-based renal dialysis centers. By eliminating this requirement, Medicare beneficiaries would be able to be reimbursed for telemental health services they receive in their home and other settings.

Growth of Telepsychiatry in Collaborative Care Models
In recent years, the use of team-based approaches like the IMPACT model have proven successful for a wide range of behavioral health conditions. Telepsychiatry helps advance the use of these models by removing the need for care teams to colocate. Providers can conveniently interact and seamlessly deliver care via televideo.

Payers are particularly invested in the expanded use of collaborative care models and are increasingly looking for creative ways to partner with telepsychiatry providers or practices leveraging telepsychiatry to achieve the greatest value in care. With the recent addition of collaborative care codes for reimbursement, providers will also be encouraged to incorporate more team-based treatments into care.

Harbour Point Capital Completes Recapitalization of InSight Telepsychiatry

MARLTON, NJ and GREENWICH, CT – Harbour Point Capital (Harbour Point) announced that they have led a growth recapitalization of InSight Telepsychiatry (InSight or the Company), the leading national telepsychiatry services provider organization.  The Company’s founders, including Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Varrell, and InSight CEO Geoffrey Boyce, have reinvested the majority of their holdings and will remain significant shareholders in InSight.

“The InSight team has done a fantastic job of building a clinically-focused organization that is highly regarded by both the mental health provider community and InSight’s facility partners. We are excited to partner with Geoffrey and the management team for this next phase of growth and to help InSight continue to improve access to mental health care for underserved individuals, facilities and communities,” said Robert Juneja, Co-Founder and Partner of Harbour Point Capital.

“This is a momentous step for InSight as we gain financial support and operational expertise from Harbour Point that will help us further our mission of using technology to transform access to timely, quality psychiatric care for all,” says InSight CEO Geoffrey Boyce.

InSight addresses fundamental challenges related to timely access to mental health care for both emergency departments (EDs) and community mental health centers (CMHCs). The company’s on-demand telepsychiatry division provides emergency departments with timely psychiatric consults, enabling quicker access to care and significantly improving the throughput of EDs. InSight’s scheduled telepsychiatry services division provides CMHCs and other community-based settings with much needed access to psychiatric services and specialists in underserved communities. InSight also has a direct-to-consumer telebehavioral health division, Inpathy, that offers psychiatry and behavioral health services directly to non-acute individuals in their homes or other private settings.

The InSight team began providing telepsychiatry services in 1999 within the CFG Health Network, an organization that remains an InSight partner. Since then, InSight has established itself as a clear market leader within the telepsychiatry sector with the company serving patients in hundreds of facilities and care settings across the country. With Harbour Point Capital’s investment, InSight will continue to build upon its market leading position by accelerating growth in both existing and new geographies and increasing its established base of psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Organizations in partnership with InSight can continue to expect consistent and quality service, with additional resources that will be laser focused on delivering dependable, best-of-class 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 two decades of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

About Harbour Point Capital

Harbour Point Capital is a private equity investment firm that partners with the founders and executives of innovative, high-growth healthcare services companies. Harbour Point Capital invests in companies that deliver value to the healthcare system by improving access and enabling the provision of higher quality care at lower unit cost. For more information, please visit: www.harbourpointcapital.com

About CFG Health Network

CFG is a broad based healthcare provider that is dedicated to increasing access to care via innovative applications of technology like telepsychiatry and virtual environments. The CFG Health Network includes Center for Family Guidance, CFG Health Systems and CFG Residentials. For more information please visit: www.cfghealthnetwork.com

 
Media Contacts
For InSight Telepsychiatry
Stephanie Clark
240.252.9286
sclark@in-sight.net

For Harbour Point Capital
Ashish Sharma
212.751.8690
asharma@sixpointpartners.com

Telehealth Brings Psychiatrists into Inspira Health’s Emergency Rooms

Original article published on Healthcare IT News

Inspira Health Network, a nonprofit, three-hospital health system serving communities across southern New Jersey, lacked psychiatric providers, resulting in delays in service. Consults have a 24-hour window, which led to bed, intervention and recommendation delays for medical patients.

THE PROBLEM

As a result, it was not unusual for patients to wait longer than 24 hours for psychiatric consults due to a lack of available psychiatrists. Because many patients were accessing services through the emergency department, this protracted wait period created bottlenecks and bed delays. In addition, needed psychiatric interventions and medication therapies were delayed that could help stabilize patient conditions as emergency department staff waited on the direction of specialists with the right expertise.

PROPOSAL

Inspira Health Network chose to work with the Center for Family Guidance and its sister company, InSight Telepsychiatry, a national service provider that aims to improve access to behavioral healthcare through telehealth technology.

“We opted to use telepsychiatry for psychiatric consultation of medical inpatients to promote efficiency, access and throughput,” said Sarah Seabrook-DeJong, RN, director of psychiatry services at Inspira Health Network. “The expectation was that around-the-clock, real-time access to psychiatric resources would improve patient throughput and speed care delivery processes.”

Patients would receive needed interventions quicker, resulting in better outcomes and higher levels of satisfaction, she explained. The new technology-enabled process would also create workflow efficiencies and lend to less bottleneck in the emergency department, ultimately improving the hospitals’ bottom line, she added.

In addition, around-the-clock access to psychiatric consults would improve provider satisfaction as patients would receive high quality, “whole person” care in a timely manner, said Seabrook DeJong.

“This would allow for 24/7 access to a psychiatrist through a remote video conferencing model, which would promote interventions, recommendations and dispositions to transpire much more quickly and effectively,” she explained.

MARKETPLACE

There are many vendors on the market today offering telemedicine technology, including American Well, Avizia, GlobalMed, MDLive, Novotalk, SnapMD, Teladoc, TeleHealth Services, Tellus and Tyto Care.

MEETING THE CHALLENGE

Inspira Health provided iPads on mobile carts and a Bluetooth speaker that go directly to a patient’s bedside for a consultation. This new workflow was designed to address inpatient admissions going to the medical floors at two of Inspira’s hospitals. While the system does not currently offer inpatient psychiatric services, some patients require psychiatric consultation prior to leaving the emergency department.

“The telepsychiatry iPad is managed by the nursing supervisor, who deploys the cart when requested,” said Seabrook-de Jong. “The consultation with the patient is monitored by either a medical technician or nurse to ensure patient safety while not affecting confidentiality.”

“By creating a clear, efficient process, modeled after an existing one for teleneurology, staff were educated on the flow and steps to accomplish a consistent experience and expectation for patients.”

Sarah Seabrook-DeJong, RN, Inspira Health Network

The telepsychiatry system is a separate, HIPAA-compliant app with the telepsychiatrists documenting directly into Inspira’s EHR. The telepsychiatry service is integrated with Inspira’s Cerner EHR. InSight’s telepsychiatrists document into Cerner, improving workflow efficiencies and allowing information to be shared in near-real time, she said.

“By creating a clear, efficient process, modeled after an existing one for teleneurology, staff were educated on the flow and steps to accomplish a consistent experience and expectation for patients,” she explained. “Having a designated liaison between Inspira Health Network and InSight telepsychiatry was critical to the success of the innovative technology and new process.”

RESULTS

Inspira Health has seen response times around two hours from request of consult to completion of the assessment. It is able to secure a disposition from a specialist, enabling the hospital attendings to determine treatment care directives, consideration of psychiatric admission, discharge, initiation of effective psychotropics, and more.

“Nearly 100 percent of behavioral health consults are now completed through the telepsychiatry provider,” said Seabrook-de Jong. “Only in rare cases are alternative options employed. For instance, a face-to-face consult was ordered for a deaf patient who used a hearing device. This new technology-enabled approach to care processes has allowed us to substantially reduce wait times and improve throughput.”

Notably, pushback from medical staff has been minimal, she added.

“Hospital physicians appreciate having near-real-time access to psychiatric consult information and the fact that patients receive interventions in a timelier fashion,” she said. “The fact that all staff are agreeable to this change speaks to the initiative’s success.”

This model was so successful in its initial implementations that Inspira Health Network has selected it for their newest hospital, to open in November 2019, as it fits the future needs and use of technology perfectly, she said.

A Parallel Revolution: Telepsychiatry Comes Of Age In Tandem With Consumerism In Healthcare

By Geoffrey Boyce, Originally published on Health IT Outcomes Telehealth Superior To Inconvenient Office Visits

The sleeping giant in healthcare has awakened in recent years. While patients always have been the epicenter of care delivery, they clearly understand the power of that position today and are readily embracing it.

The age of consumerism has arrived, and patients are demanding a more active role in decision making as it pertains to the design and delivery of their care. Transparency, convenience and access are increasingly paramount, and technology is fast becoming a critical enabler of the value today’s consumers desire in their healthcare.

It’s one reason why telehealth, and more specifically telepsychiatry, has become increasingly popular as a behavioral healthcare model that is often preferred by today’s consumers. In particular, direct-to-consumer (D2C) telepsychiatry allows patients to engage with providers through videoconferencing technology from the comfort of their home or another private location of their choosing, making it an ideal option in today’s healthcare landscape.

With nearly 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 owning a tablet, and over 90 percent of American households possessing a laptop computer, the reality is that digital communication and interaction reaches into every area of life. Consequently, consumers naturally expect their healthcare providers to follow suit and align care delivery with how people manage their lives—with the help of technology.

Emerging as an ideal care approach to meet new consumer expectations for “service anytime, anywhere,” telepsychiatry is primed to more effectively meet today’s consumer trends, while also filling significant gaps in mental and behavioral healthcare. While the telemedicine movement is a force of nature in itself, a recent Forbes article pointed to behavioral health as the sector where it has had the most impact.

Telepsychiatry is closing the gap and winning over today’s healthcare consumers in the following three ways: Convenience, access and value.

Convenience

Consumers speak to the likes of iOS’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa daily to make the most of their time and are accustomed to managing the details of their lives through smart devices. They also appreciate the conveniences of such outlets as Amazon Prime and online grocery and delivery options.

Convenience is king for today’s consumers who lead busy lives and are increasingly looking for ways to incorporate more family time and recreation in their schedule. Telepsychiatry addresses this need by meeting patients where they are and expanding scheduling options to provide greater choice.

For instance, consumers who travel often for their jobs find it difficult to schedule appointments during traditional weekday work hours. In this case, telepsychiatry allows them to schedule appointments in the evenings or on weekends. In addition, the anytime, anywhere framework of this model opens the door to sessions during the week from another location, allowing those traveling to access care from a hotel or other private setting.

Access

At a time when psychiatric needs are soaring and the supply of qualified behavioral health professionals has reached severe levels across the nation, telepsychiatry is opening doors to greater access—specifically in specialty areas of psychiatry such as children, adolescents and geriatrics. In many communities today, it is not uncommon for patients to wait upwards of 60 days to secure an appointment with a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Once an initial appointment is made, follow-ups are equally as difficult.

In contrast, telepsychiatry not only provides patients more timely access to providers, but also allows them greater choice in who they see. For instance, many rural communities may only offer one child and adolescent psychiatry option. If a family prefers a provider outside of their immediate community, telepsychiatry opens this option up to them.

Value

The priority for all healthcare stakeholders today is “value,” and consumers are no different. They want optimal outcomes at the lowest cost with the best experience. A growing body of evidence points to the effectiveness of telepsychiatry models and high patient satisfaction in a variety of settings. One literature review, for instance, found that the use of video conferencing models expedited access, decreased work absences, enhanced confidentiality and privacy, empowered patients in their care and reduced the risk of hospitalization.

Telepsychiatry breaks down traditional stigmas associated with behavioral healthcare by allowing patients to meet with providers in comfortable, familiar settings. These models also increase the likelihood that patients will seek out treatment for conditions and become more engaged in their care, ultimately leading to more sustainable outcomes improvement and diminishing the need for higher-cost interventions.

Today’s consumers expect the same convenience from their healthcare providers that they receive in other areas of their lives. Telepsychiatry is ripe for capitalizing on this opportunity as a flexible, preferred and effective behavioral healthcare option.

About The Author

Geoffrey Boyce is CEO of InSight Telepsychiatry.

InSight Telepsychiatry Expands Its Services to the Southwest

MARLTON, NJ – InSight Telepsychiatry, the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to transform access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology, is expanding its services to the southwest.

InSight has two decades of experience with telepsychiatry, and serves hundreds of organizations of a variety of different settings and populations across the country.

With on-demand services InSight is able to offer around the clock access to psychiatric assessment and consultation. Its scheduled services model offers blocks of time with a consistent telepsychiatry provider to conduct assessments, do medication management and serve caseloads of consumers just as an onsite provider would do. InSight’s connected services work to bring telepsychiatry to new settings across the care continuum through unique programs that leverage technology and provider capacity. And its Inpathy, direct-to-consumer services brings psychiatry and mental health care directly into individuals’ homes and other private settings. With these models, InSight is uniquely positioned to offer scalable and consistent telepsychiatry services in settings across the continuum of care.

InSight has an overall Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 53 and is seen as a telepsychiatry industry leader.  InSight recently gained endorsement from the Hospital Association of Southern California and the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California. The endorsement allows InSight to help member hospitals assist psychiatric patients in the ED and other care settings. InSight is also endorsed by the Montana Hospital Association, Washington Hospital Association, North Carolina Hospital Association and the Florida Hospital Association.

In the midst of rapid change in the telepsychiatry market, InSight continues to provide consistent service and set industry trends.

There are only about 28,000 psychiatrists in the U.S. and that number is rapidly declining since those practicing are aging. Three in five psychiatrists that currently practice are 55 years of age or older so telepsychiatry is seen as a tool for expanding psychiatric care into regions that have shortages.

“Telepsychiatry can help the southwest get the most out of a scarce resource,” says InSight Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Boyce. “We are excited to expand our services into this new region so that we can help more individuals get timely access to psychiatry and mental health care

Raising the Standard of Behavioral Healthcare

Written by Geoffrey Boyce. Originally published on American Journal of Managed Care

geoffrey boyce

Geoffrey Boyce, InSight Telepsychiatry CEO

There is good reason why telemedicine is rapidly reengineering the way communities think about care delivery today. At a time when payers and providers are grappling with how to efficiently and effectively make the leap to value-based care, telemedicine is helping the industry turn the corner to deliver better access to care and coordination of care at a lower cost.

A recent Forbes article noted that this movement has had the most impact on the behavioral health sector. Telepsychiatry models, provided through video conferencing platforms, are removing barriers associated with growing staff shortages, cost, location, and stigma. Access to care is no longer defined by the limitations of office hours, and patients appreciate the convenience of accessing care from the comfort of their own home.

Recent policy and legislative movements suggest growing acceptance of telemedicine as a mainstream form of care. The majority of US states have enacted or proposed some form of parity law regarding insurance coverage. In line with these trends, telepsychiatry is experiencing unprecedented growth, not only in terms of the number of users, but also the innovative ways that communities are incorporating these models into care delivery.

Addressing Growing Provider Shortages

Telepsychiatry is helping communities address growing psychiatric provider shortages. Currently, all US states have unmet psychiatric needs, and 60% of US counties lack a single psychiatrist. The outlook for psychiatric specialties, such as child and adolescent psychiatry, is even more critical.

In response, many community mental health centers and outpatient clinics have turned to telepsychiatry to supplement their provider capacity and increase access to specialists. These telepsychiatry providers often do everything an in-person provider would do—they serve a normal caseload of patients, participate in treatment team meetings, and oversee other clinicians—all through telehealth.

Molina Healthcare, a managed care organization based out of Long Beach, California, applied this model in a different way. Like many, Molina has understood the importance of bringing behavioral health expertise and care for residents at skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Today, Molina has a program where 4 SNFs share a regularly scheduled block of time with a telepsychiatrist. With this model, residents receive care in a setting where they are comfortable and don’t have to travel to an appointment, and the psychiatrist benefits from greater clinical awareness of a resident’s behavior in the facility.

Additionally, direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry is expanding referral options in communities where psychiatric resources are lacking, providing a lifeline for under-resourced clinics and primary care providers. Lengthy wait times for appointments often cause patients to rely on their primary care providers for their psychiatric needs or opt to forego care altogether. The reality is that more than half of psychiatric drugs are prescribed by non-psychiatrists, although many primary care providers lack specific expertise on psychotropic drugs.

Expanding Access Across the Continuum

A growing body of evidence points to the effectiveness of telepsychiatry models and high patient satisfaction in a variety of settings. One literature review found the use of video conferencing models expedited access, decreased work absences, enhanced confidentiality and privacy, empowered patients in their care, and reduced the risk of hospitalization. For these reasons, telepsychiatry models are increasingly incorporated into care models across the health care continuum.

For instance, professional psychiatric shortages often slow down triage of emergency department (ED) patients presenting with a behavioral health crisis. It is not uncommon for hospitals to board these patients in the ED or tie up a hospital bed until a psychiatrist is available to make a psychiatric assessment, increasing costs for all stakeholders. Many EDs now leverage telepsychiatry models to relieve this pressure, ensure timely evaluation, and triage to the most appropriate level of care. Notably, a North Carolina statewide telepsychiatry initiative that implemented telepsychiatry in 18 hospital EDs found that 88% of consumers agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with the service.

Telepsychiatry is also used in some inpatient units to augment in-person staff and ensure that a unit has 24/7 psychiatric coverage for patient evaluations.

Additionally, discharge planners—whether associated with a hospital or residential program—must often work within a restricted timeframe to connect individuals with appropriate services. Since psychiatry wait times in some communities can range between 3 and 6 months in many cases, telepsychiatry options open up a vital link to providers and help limit the potential that a patient’s condition will deteriorate back into a crisis situation.

Non-Traditional Community-Based Program and Settings

Outside of hospitals and other typical care settings, telepsychiatry models are starting to be used in school and university settings to improve access to care and meet students where they are. A study, published by Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics, evaluated satisfaction rates of students who received services through a rural school-based telehealth center and found an average satisfaction rate of 93% among students and 97% among parents.

Telepsychiatry is transforming access to behavioral health care at a time when the need is critical. Communities are wise to consider effective telepsychiatry partnerships that can bolster behavioral health service options to improve access to care across the continuum, drive better outcomes, and lower costs.

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 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.

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

Friedman_Joel

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.

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

Krupinski_Elizabeth

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

Webster_Kathy

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.

New Telepsychiatry Program Enhances Access to Behavioral Health Care in Northwestern Illinois

The initiative is funded by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC), which received a grant from The Partnership for a Connected Illinois to launch a telepsychiatry program in the area which is critically underserved by behavioral health specialists. More than 70 percent of rural, medically underserved counties in Illinois do not have a psychiatrist, according to a report from the National Center for Rural Health Professions at the University of Illinois at Rockford and Project Export.

“By leveraging technology and medical expertise, this pilot program is providing patients with access to behavioral health care in an area where it would otherwise be hard to come by,” said Dr. Michael Wahl, Medical Director of MCHC. “Telepsychiatry allows us to enhance the quality and efficiency of care for some of our community’s most vulnerable members.”

InSight Telepsychiatry was chosen to provide clinical and technological support for the program. As part of the pilot, InSight telepsychiatrists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to work with emergency department (ED) staff at Midwest Medical Center and FHN to evaluate the behavioral health needs of patients and help to determine the appropriate disposition and treatment. The InSight telepsychiatrists who are serving Illinois facilities are licensed in Illinois and thoroughly oriented to the communities they are working in.

“I’ve seen consumers who have, before telepsychiatry, had to wait days to see an in-person psychiatrist. It is powerful to be able to give these individuals a psychiatric evaluation within about an hour of a request,” said Dr. Jim Varrell, Medical Director at InSight Telepsychiatry. “It means the consumer can get the appropriate treatment more quickly and the ED can improve their patient flow. Technology is just a modern-day medium for accessing specialist care.”

Telepsychiatry allows for unprecedented access to specialists like child and adolescent psychiatrists and substance abuse specialists. These specialist services can be used in other settings beyond the ED including outpatient facilities, residential programs, psychiatric crisis centers, primary care offices and correctional facilities. The pilot program will run through May 31 and the participating hospitals will have the opportunity to continue the service after the pilot is completed.

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.