New Regulatory Concerns for Behavioral Telehealth ProvidersLaw360 October 31, 2019
Amy Lerman, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, authored an article in Law360, titled “New Regulatory Concerns for Behavioral Telehealth Providers.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
Historically, delivery of behavioral health services has existed in an adjacent parallel to more traditional delivery of health care services. With consumer demand for access to telebehavioral health services continuing to trend upward, and as increasing numbers (and types) of behavioral health providers become interested in using telehealth platforms to connect with their patients, these traditionally parallel universes of care delivery are quickly merging together.
Importantly, providers of telehealth services are positioning themselves to fill a vacuum created by a nationwide shortage of behavioral health providers, and to manage the care of patients more holistically by providing complementary services to those that patients receive in primary care settings.
According to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, spending on treatment for mental and substance abuse disorders is expected to total nearly $281 billion in 2020. Growing acceptance of telehealth is helping to bring behavioral health more into the mainstream, as providers are identifying a larger and more diverse population of patients who are accessing care via telehealth technologies. In today’s culture, where so many people communicate online, shop online and manage their lives and schedules online, the growing delivery of health care services online is a natural step for the industry to be taking.