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Telemedicine for Behavioral Health

Video visits are the ideal way to provide behavioral health services. Telemedicine offers convenience, removes barriers to access, and increases the efficiency of your practice. Chiron Health’s easy-to-use software allows providers to connect with patients for a variety of visit types from anywhere.

Why do patients love getting mental healthcare via video?

Convenience

Patients avoid travel time and transportation costs, which can add up, especially with weekly visits.

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Consistency

Consistency is an integral part of treatment. Video visits make it possible to meet more frequently.

 

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Privacy

With Chiron Health, the patient does not need to leave the privacy of their own home, so confidentiality is assured.

The Benefits of Telemedicine for Behavioral Health Practices

Increased Efficiency

Video visits are more efficient than in-office visits. They simplify administrative tasks and let you and see more patients each week.

Flexibility

Because you can see patients from anywhere, you have the option to work from home or extend office hours without additional cost.

Improved Patient Outcomes

The convenience of video makes it easier for patients to comply with treatment plans and manage their medications, resulting in better treatment outcomes.

More Satisfied Patients

Our clients see 98% satisfaction with video visits. Patients love the convenience of telemedicine and become loyal to providers who make it available.

Fewer No-Shows

Because of the length of most visits, no-shows are a big problem for behavioral health providers. The ease of a video visit reduces the frequency of missed appointments.

Larger Market

Video visits can increase the footprint of your practice, allowing you to serve patients who are not located nearby and maintain relationships when patients move.

Practical Application of Telemedicine for Mental Health

Chiron Health’s Telemedicine’s easy-to-use software allows providers to connect with patients for a variety of visit types from anywhere. Chiron’s solution includes full support for providers and patients, making adding video visits to your practice quick and hassle-free.

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Common Types of Behavioral Health Video Visits

  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Career Counseling
  • Coping Skills
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Violence
  • Family Conflict
  • Grief
  • Life Coaching
  • Medication Management
  • Self Esteem
  • Trauma and PTSD

Best Practices for Therapists

You want to give your patients the same quality of care that you would in person. Here are a few tips:

 

  • Maintain eye contact and exercise good posture.
  • Present a professional looking environment.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • Address patient questions about telemedicine.
  • Ask for feedback.
  • Recognize cases where in-office care is required.

Give your patients what they deserve — remote, quality care.

FAQs about telemedicine for behavioral health

Studies show that 97% of patients who are seen remotely by their provider feel they receive the same quality of care as an in-person visit. Additional research has validated the effectiveness of telemedicine.  There is no detectable difference in the ability of a therapist to gather necessary information, make an accurate diagnosis, and develop a plan for treatment. In short, video visits result in the same desired clinical outcomes as in-person care when used appropriately.

One study by researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston followed 241 depressed elderly veterans, some of whom received treatment via telemedicine, while others received in-person care. At the end of one year, there was no meaningful difference in symptom relief or satisfaction between the two groups.

In general, telemedicine software is designed to be as easy to use as other familiar modern applications. Patients and providers with a basic familiarity with online apps should be able to quickly figure out how to use a telehealth application.

Each state decides if they want to mandate reimbursement for telemedicine visits. If you’re among the 30 states that do mandate it, you’ll be reimbursed at the same level as an in-office visit. (Check our state map to see if you live in a state with a parity law.)

In addition, many insurers recognize the value of telemedicine and will reimburse for remote visits even if the state does not require them to do so.

Medicaid programs in 48 states reimburse for some telepsychiatry services. State Medicaid policies, rules, and laws are continuing to become more progressive with respect to telemedicine. Medicare will reimburse for telepsychiatry services if the community is considered rural.

Because patient information and video are being transmitted, telemedicine software is required to be HIPAA-compliant. Any solution you consider should be encrypted to protect patient confidentiality. Consumer grade applications like Skype and FaceTime are not appropriate for clinical applications.

This is determined on a state-by-state basis. For example, in California and many other states, it is not necessary for the doctor/patient relationship to be established in-person.

Finding the best telemedicine software

Here’s what to look for if you’re shopping for a telehealth solution

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Real-time audio and video

In order to be reimbursed for telehealth services, the remote interaction must contain real-time audio and video. Additionally, the video quality should reflect that of an in-person interaction and avoid frequent freezes or choppiness.

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Completely HIPAA-compliant

Because sensitive patient information is being exchanged, any telehealth software you decide to purchase must be secure and HIPAA-compliant. Skype and FaceTime, for example, are unsecure video conferencing platforms and should therefore never be used for patient appointments.

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Appointment logs

For record-keeping purposes and in the unlikely event an audit is requested, telemedicine software needs to provide a record of every interaction, including patient, payer and provider details.

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Patient eligibility checks

Even if telemedicine reimbursement is mandated by a state, certain insurance plans may still be exempt. Selecting telemedicine software that performs eligibility checks is a great way to lessen the burden on office staff.

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Integration with your EHR

The best way to ensure telemedicine software adoption will be simple for you and your staff is to find a product that integrates directly with your existing EHR.

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Compliance Support

Every state has specific regulations surrounding the practice of telemedicine. By finding a product that offers compliance support, doctors don’t have to worry about researching their state’s telehealth regulations.

See how telemedicine is transforming behavioral health therapy practices

Join the thousands of therapists on the leading edge of modern mental health care.

 

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