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Meeting Patients Where They Are

InSight Telepsychiatry is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to transform access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. InSight has 2 decades of experience with telepsychiatry, and serves hundreds of organizations across the country with its on-demand, scheduled, connected services, and Inpathy divisions. InSight is uniquely positioned to offer scalable telepsychiatry services in settings across the continuum of care. InSight has a diverse provider team, a robust internal infrastructure and a history of adapting its programs to fit the needs of a variety of different settings and populations.
Geoffrey Boyce is the chief executive officer of InSight Telepsychiatry.

The positive effect of telemedicine continues to expand as community stakeholders—both clinical and nonclinical—work to increase access and create efficiencies across a healthcare continuum plagued by provider shortages and fragmented care. Telepsychiatry sits at the forefront of these movements and is quickly carving out a permanent niche in a variety of non-traditional settings.

As a natural extension of the telehealth phenomenon, telepsychiatry represents the broader industry trend of moving care outside the walls of inperson clinical settings. When care meets individuals where they are, it not only becomes more convenient, but also ensures care is more proactive, efficient, and effective. It also has the ability to drive greater patient satisfaction as evidenced by the more than 75% of consumers demanding virtual care and telemedicine access from their providers.

To address growing behavioral health needs, community-based care settings are adopting telepsychiatry to provide an effective alternative to costly, unnecessary emergency department (ED) admissions. Telepsychiatry is also now used in a variety of nonclinical settings, such as schools, universities, and correctional institutions. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as communities find creative ways of using telepsychiatry to meet individuals where they are, and ultimately deliver “whole person” care that promotes greater wellness.

Filling Behavioral Health Gaps for Employers and Schools
More than ever, employers must proactively address employee health to align with the goals of value-based care—better outcomes and lower costs. That’s why many organizations like the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for Bon Secours Health System based in Richmond, Virginia, are looking to direct-to-consumer (D2C) telepsychiatry models to help bolster behavioral healthcare options.

Bon Secours offers an active and well-established EAP to its 9000 employees to improve behavioral health conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance use, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The program supports a variety of population health initiatives and helps employees find appropriate resources following an initial visit provided through the EAP.

While rural areas currently suffer from substantial psychiatric resource shortages, larger cities like Richmond are not immune. Prior to referring to telepsychiatry, staff working within Bon Secours’ EAP faced challenges connecting employees to appropriate mental and behavioral health resources in a timely manner. Wait times for appointments reached up to 2 months in some cases, leading to the potential for higher-cost interventions when employee symptoms would continue to exacerbate.

D2C telepsychiatry, offered in the comfort of an employee’s home or other Wi-Fi–enabled private location, proved to be an effective option for filling such gaps. Through the EAP, employees can access online appointments in a matter of days with a licensed telepsychiatry provider, ensuring timelier response and tailored care delivery. Past scenarios often resulted in employees turning to primary care providers (PCPs) for behavioral health assessment or treatment, despite the fact that PCPs often lack specific expertise on such conditions or psychotropic medications.

Since starting to refer employees to telepsychiatry, Bon Secours has received positive feedback from young and more mature employees alike. The staff has found that all age groups appreciate the convenience and privacy of telepsychiatry and are not intimidated technology. Many employees have stated they prefer the flexibility of scheduling appointments outside of traditional office hours and are more comfortable seeking out behavioral health services from the comfort of their home to avoid stigma.

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