Geoffrey Boyce Discusses AtHome's Response to Hesitancy, Access Barriers to Telebehavioral Services

Good telehealth is not about the technology, but rather the quality of service from the licensed professional, said Geoffrey Boyce, CEO of Array Behavioral Care.

Geoffrey Boyce, CEO of Array Behavioral Care, explains how simplistic telehealth technology and execution allows for more patients to use and adhere to telebehavioral services.

Transcript

How does Array AtHome break through barriers when it comes to potential tech literacy or access?

I suppose the short answer to the question here is that we really tried to keep it simple. We recognize that good telehealth isn't really about the technology, it's about the level of service from the licensed professional. Overall, we're device agnostic, we allow members to access our systems and our clinicians from their own devices at home. Nearly all of our services are performed via video, that's sort of the default in our preference, though we do keep audio-only interaction as sort of a fallback if somebody does not have the right technology or if they're having trouble connecting. That's something that we saw some really positive movement on the reimbursement and regulatory front in the last 12 or 18 months to allow for that audio-only interaction, and I think it's proved to be clinically effective as well. Short answer is, we try to keep it simple. It's not about the technology: use your own device, try to do as many services live via video as possible, but fall back to the phone if it's not working.

Are any patient groups particularly interested in telebehavioral services, or not interested in this delivery format?

A lot of people assume that this is something that appeals to the younger generation, to those digital natives that might prefer to receive their services through a format like this. One thing that the pandemic did teach us all is that it's not just that group—that younger age group—that this appeals to. We've seen interest across our entire practice or across, really, the entire population in services this way. I think everyone was sort of surprised by the CMS and the Medicare data over the last 18 months or so about how many folks who are Medicare beneficiaries fell on telehealth and telebehavioral health, in particular, as a way of receiving their services. Our experience has been that once people try it and get over that initial hurdle, they're very likely to come back and want to do more sessions via video. Sometimes there's maybe a little bit of a challenge in getting people to embrace it for that first visit, but once they do, they really realize that it can work and it can serve them really well. So there's not any specific group that we say just is not a good fit for this, we've really gotten to find that.