DocReady is pleased to announce the expansion of its telemedicine offering to include psychiatry.
According to the CDC, more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime, and 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year. In addition, there is increasing evidence of a mounting surge in mental and behavioral health care needs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Increased stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak may cause the following:
- Worry about the health of you and your loved ones.
- Worry about the financial situation or loss of support services you rely on.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Worsening of chronic health problems including mental health conditions.
- Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.
Prior to COVID-19, Telepsychiatry, as it is often referred to, was used primarily to provide services in areas that otherwise do not have access — for instance, in rural regions. It is now used throughout the country.
Many Americans face significant burdens in accessing psychiatric care, including locating services, traveling to/from appointments, and managing the cost of services. Telepsychiatry brings mental health care to Americans in underserved and rural communities where trained professionals are in short supply, as well as to those who are uninsured or underinsured.
According to a recent report, the number of uninsured Americans is currently over 27 million, and uninsured Americans often have to go through a great deal of trouble before getting treatment. Access to mental health care can also be limited for those Americans who are insured as there are many related costs that insurance doesn’t cover.
One of the biggest advantages of telepsychiatry is accessibility for all Americans. Those who are quarantining or stuck at home, those who are unable to travel or lack adequate transportation, those who live in rural, remote areas, and those who are uninsured or underinsured.
As long as a patient has a way to connect to the internet, DocReady’s telepsychiatry enables them to access treatment.
According to the American Board of Psychiatry, video-based telepsychiatry helps meet patients’ needs for convenient, affordable, and readily-accessible mental health services. It can benefit patients in a number of ways, such as:
- Improve access to mental health specialty care that might not otherwise be available
- Bring care to the patient’s location
- Help integrate behavioral health care and primary care, leading to better outcomes
- Reduce the need for trips to the emergency room
- Reduce delays in care
- Improve continuity of care and follow-up
- Reduce the need for time off work, childcare services, etc. to access appointments far away
- Reduce potential transportation barriers, such as lack of transportation or the need for long drives
- Reduce the barrier of stigma