A: Telemedicine is a branch of medicine in the field of health care delivery. There are currently two delivery methods. The primary includes evaluating and treating patients over live videoconferencing or telephonic equipment. The other modality includes store and forward delivery methods for example the branch of tele-radiology through email.
Q: What is telepsychiatry (or e-psychiatry, telemental health, telebehavioral health)?
A: Telepsychiatry, also known as e-psychiatry, is the application of telemedicine solutions to the specialty field of psychiatry. As of 2013, telepsychiatry has been the most successful of all the telemedical applications to date, as it typically only needs adequate videoconferencing equipment between the patient and the psychiatrist.
Q: What conditions are treated through telepsychiatry?
A: Our psychiatrists will treat the same conditions in telepsychiatry as in their general psychiatric clinics. These include mood, anxiety, thought, cognitive and substance use disorders. Click for a Detailed List.
Q: What software and equipment do I need for a telepsychiatry appointment?
A: Individual telepsychiatry visits are conducted via Skype, FaceTime and Meetings.io. These are free communications software is required for remote visits with our psychiatrist. You can visit Skype.com or Apple.com for FaceTime and download the required software. Meetings.io does not require any software downloads. You need a webcam/video camera and microphone compatible with the software you choose. You will also need a broadband internet connection (DSL, cable, T1 or higher).
Q: What type of videoconferencing do you use for mental health facilities?
A: We provide facilities with our own custom videocoferencing software over a secure connection.
Q: What are the HIPAA requirements regarding using videoconferencing through telepsychiatry?
A: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not consider an videoconferencing to be protected health information (PHI), so does not govern telepsychiatry visits. However, device encryption and a private internet connection are recommended for patient security and privacy. Most telepsychiatry equipment in use today has encryption capability as a part of their standard features. Other types of telehealth, such as the store-forward, are considered PHI and must be managed according to HIPAA requirem.
Q: Are there any limitations to telepsychiatry treatment?
A: All limitations inherent in the traditional psychiatrist-patient relationship are present in telepsychiatry. You may need to visit your primary care physician prior to any treatment with medications. Not all consultations will result in the prescription of medication. When indicated, prescriptions can be sent (electronically, via fax, or by phone) to the patient's pharmacy of choice. However, some states and federal laws provide stipulations when prescribing Schedule II, III, IV and V medications. For example, if you are seeking buprenorphine (Suboxone®) treatment through a telepsychiatry visit for opiod dependence. We require that you have a yearly Face-to-Face visit with this type treatment followed with random drug testing at a facility of the prescribing physician's choice. With most other scheduled medications we only require one face to face visit. Follow-ups for all scheduled medications must be conducted through video. The psychiatrist may require additional visits and labs be done and is purely up to the prescribing physician. This may vary state to state and some state laws do not require the initial face to face visit. You can Contact Us to see exactly what your state requires. We are currently unable to provide schedule II medications unless the patient is with one of our contracted facility.
Q: Does insurance cover telepsychiatry?
A: Most insurance carriers will reimburse you for telepsychiatry services and we can provide invoices for you to submit to your insurance. However, because of the variability in adoption and coverage of this service, the physicians are unable to bill your insurance directly. We are currently forming partnerships with providers so check with your insurance to see if your visit will be covered.
Q: What states do you service using telepsychiatry?