Stakeholders to Involve in Program Planning

Implementing a successful telepsychiatry program at your organization requires a team-based approach in order to ensure the program is providing the highest quality care. Below is a table of stakeholders to involve in program planning.

Who? Why?
Medical Affairs Medical Affairs is vitally important to ensuring that your providers, both remote and onsite, are properly credentialed and able to practice within your organization. Adapting the medical affairs process for telepsychiatry providers is often one of the most time-consuming pieces of a program implementation. Get medical affairs leaders involved in discussions about telepsychiatry as early as possible so planning can begin.
Onsite Providers including Nurses, Social Workers and Existing Prescribers Onsite providers should be involved with implementation and ongoing program success. Onsite facilitators are often a crucial component for relaying in-person behavior, smells and other observations. It’s important that onsite providers are bought into the concept of telehealth and view it as a way to enhance care and reduce their stress rather than seeing it as a threat. Additionally, some programs may also have telepsychiatry providers consult with onsite providers about prescriptions.
Billing Your billing team will need to know how to bill for telepsychiatry sessions, usually by using a “GT” modifier. Alert them of plans for your telepsychiatry program and work to set up any additional workflows or information they may need to comfortably bill for remote providers.
Information Technology (IT) Your IT team will play an integral role in selecting the technology, establishing a dedicated internet line with the appropriate ports opened and helping to maintain and support your selected hardware and software. Make sure IT know you are considering telepsychiatry early in the process so they can plan.
Quality Assurance & Compliance Starting a quality assurance and compliance program can help improve your program and ensure your providers and patients are being served properly and with the utmost attention to high clinical standards of care. You’ll want to make sure your telepsychiatry program incorporates your organization’s current quality assurance elements. Loop your quality assurance team in during program planning to make sure your remote providers are being considered as you track and improve care quality.
Payers If your program plans to bill for telepsychiatry sessions, it makes sense to open lines of communication about this with your primary payers early.
HIPAA Officer All telepsychiatry programs must adhere to HIPAA. Work with your organization’s HIPAA officer early on to ensure compliance.
Onsite Administrative Staff It is essential to loop in onsite administrative staff and make them aware of any alterations a telepsychiatry program will make to the appointment scheduling or intake process. It is also essential to make sure they are briefed on the proper design, setup and technology within the designated telepsychiatry space.
State Regulators Local updates in regulation or legislation should be monitored and your program should be adapted to remain in accordance with local regulators such as your state’s Department of Health & Human Services, state legislators and many more.
Remote Providers The telepsychiatry providers that will be serving your patient population should be connected with onsite staff and program leaders to ensure communications channels are set and care is clinically sound.