Welcome to this week’s healthcare Knowledge Knugget! As a part of “The Executive Innovation Show” podcast, we’re bringing you the hot topics, questions we receive each week and game-changing ideas, best practices and tips. Today we will be talking about Telemental Health: 10 Benefits and Use Cases. Watch the video to learn more about how people are using telemental health and some very specific uses cases?
Did you know that mental health has the highest no show rate of any other appointment type in medicine? So how can telemental health reduce those no show rates? It allows you to look at somebody that’s coming in for therapy sessions once a week, whatever it may be and allowing them for certain times and appointment times to be able to do that through video telehealth.
Some therapists and mental health services have a rule that you have to come in, in person once a month and then they do the other sessions through video a couple of times a quarter. Reducing the no show rate not only affects patient outcomes, but it affects your bottom line if you’re in mental health.
A lot of people don’t talk about the big stigma on mental health and access for seniors. But a lot of seniors are going through mental health issues and they don’t know how to explain it. They’re old school. They don’t come from a rule of thumb of asking for help or saying you have mental health issues. They think of it as institutional mental illness.
Being able to do video appointments in the comfort of their own home and talking to them about things like depression or anxiety from retiring or being in isolation.
Youth Mental Health
Attending an in-person youth mental health appointment is a double-edged sword. You’re taking your child out of school to attend mental health appointments. And you also have the parent that is missing work. So again, back to that no show rate, being able to provide the ability to have some of those appointments done through video helps.
Schools are now allowing nurses to set up rooms and be able to hold these appointments. With telehealth technology and telemental technology being browser-based, the school doesn’t have to buy any expensive hardware or software.
The next use case is foster care. A lot of children that are in foster care are on Medicaid and it’s very hard given the guidelines of foster care for foster parents to be able to take off work or even get somebody to give the foster child a ride to mental health appointments. There are psych evaluations, there’s ongoing care there. The big area we’re seeing is in foster care.
The last one in this bucket of youth is Medicaid access. Normally it is very hard to get a Medicaid appointment for mental health. However, with the reimbursement for telehealth through Medicaid, it opens up providers that have not previously provided Medicaid access to mental health, they can now offer it. If you’re a mental health professional with a private practice and you’re not taking Medicaid, you should look at the reimbursement, you might reconsider and it can help for youth and population health and even seniors.
The next use case is rural health. There’s a lot of shortage areas. There’s a lot of access to mental health that you cannot get, with crazy ratios. One to a million mental health professionals in some areas. And so reaching those rural areas where people are driving an hour and a half, two hours to appointments to rule in community hospitals for mental health, um, is as a big area.
The next one is the shortage of facilities. So a lot of your rural and community hospitals don’t have enough mental health professionals on staff and they can’t give people to live in those rural areas. So if you can get people to video in, whether they’re where the patients at a facility or home, you can now have access to a lot of additional mental health professionals that may be able to provide access and take patients for you at your facility.
Whether it’s a long term care facility, whether it’s an acute care facility, whether it’s a treatment facility or hospital. This is a great way of connecting it, especially for all my FQHC buddies out there. It’s a great way to plug it in.
The next one on the list is psych evals. There’s a lot of shortage of being able to get that immediate psych eval, whether it’s a treatment facility and it’s an admission that you needed, whether it’s a foster care system, whether it’s a rural community hospital, there’s a large shortage in psych. And so the ability to, whether it’s a nurse or an ER doc or provider that’s connecting to those telepsych evals bedside with a patient. That’s another big use case we’re seeing.
The next one is the followup appointments. Whether the patient is discharged from the hospital and you’re putting it on the patient to then go find a mental health professional, whether you’re primary care and you’re jotting down some names or giving a sheet to go get a mental health professional, there’s a big breakage in that happening. Being able with a hundred percent browser-based telemental health platform to do that initial consultation right there and establish that will help prevent a lot of that readmissions or relapse.
And the last one is the treatment facilities. So all the telemental health that goes on in a substance abuse treatment facility daily, weekly, whether you’re in 30, 60, 90-day rehab and you’re getting discharged, you build this relationship with that mental health professional and now you’re kind of out on your own. You’ve got to find a new person after you’ve built all this rapport.
Now with the billable reimbursements, both on the opioid side, the addiction and mental health side, you can continue that relationship. So if you have an inpatient or outpatient and treatment facility, you need to look at your model, your staffing, and how to continue those relationships for better patient outcomes, less relapse, and readmission.g telehealth vs telemedicine. Our telehealth includes a browser-based solution.
That’s today’s healthcare Knowledge Knugget, part of The Executive Innovation Show. Feel free to submit questions or be featured on the Knowledge Knugget. Subscribe to our YouTube, Vimeo, and the podcast channels to get your Knowledge Knugget on Thursdays.
Download our latest telemental white paper “Telemental Health & The Impact on the Future of Behavioral Health” and listen to the healthcare podcasts where we talk about all the use cases for telehealth.