Telemental Health Is BoomingBehavioral Healthcare September 24, 2015
René Y. Quashie, a Senior Counsel in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, authored an article in Behavioral Healthcare titled “Telemental Health Is Booming.”
Following is an excerpt:
Telemental health has gone mainstream. Most services involve assessment, diagnosis and/or therapy, and care models have evolved over the years to include, for example, hospitals establishing telepsychiatric assessment programs in their emergency departments as well as the creation of virtual networks of mental health professionals providing services to underserved areas.
Many reasons exist for the boom. First, telehealth is a good fit for providing mental health services because providers rarely have to lay hands on the patient in conventional face-to-face encounters. Second, telemental health is accepted by a large number of payers as a legitimate use for telehealth—more so than other telehealth disciplines. Finally, patients surveyed have consistently stated that they believe telemental health to be a credible and effective practice of medicine, and studies have found little or no difference in patient satisfaction as compared with face-to-face mental health consultations.