Frequently Asked Questions about Telepsychiatry for Health Care Facilities
Q: What is Telemedicine?
A: Telemedicine is a rapidly developing application of clinical medicine where medical information is transferred through the phone or the Internet and sometimes other networks for the purpose of consulting, and sometimes remote medical procedures or examinations.
Q: What is Telepsychiatry (or e-psychiatry, telemental health, telebehavioral health)?
A: Telepsychiatry, also known as e-psychiatry, is the application of telemedicine to the specialty field of psychiatry. As of 2011, it has been the most successful of all the telemedicine applications to date, as it typically only needs adequate videotelephony service between the patient and the psychiatrist, especially for follow-up treatments.
Q: What telepsychiatry services do you provide for mental health facilities?
A: We give mental health clinics, hospitals, jails, and other institutions and organizations a way to contract with one or more of our network of psychiatrists through the utilization of telepsychiatry.
Q: What type care do you provide mental health facilities with?
A: We provide Consultation Liaison Telepsychiatry, Outpatient Telepsychiatry and Emergency Telepsychiatry.
Q: Do you provide any equipment?
A: No, we do not pay for any of the equipment needed to practice telepsychiatry. All the equipment you will need come standard on most PC�s and Mac�s.
Q: What equipment is required for a telepsychiatry platform?
A: You need a desktop or laptop (minimum core-2 duo), a high-speed DSL or cable internet connection (satellite or 3G not acceptable, 4G and 4G LTE are acceptable in some instances and a minimum 2 Mb upload & 2 Mb download speed), and the following equipment:
1. Web Cam (approximately $20 to $50 although web cams usually come standard with most PC�s and Mac�s)
2. Microphone and Speakers (Microphone approx. $10 to $40, Speakers approx. $10 to $40, these items usually come standard with most computers.)
1. Video Conferencing Software (We utilize several different HIPAA compliant video conferencing systems to keep our costs as low as possible for you and your patients)
2. EHR (Electronic Health Record) (We can use your EHR or provide you with a EHR custom built for use with telepsychiatry)
If you are in need of equipment or would like to upgrade your current system you can visit our Telemedicine Equipment store.
Q: Is my existing camera and microphone compatible with your telepsychiatry platform?
A: Yes, almost any third-party webcam or videoconferencing equipment will work.
Q: Is there a start up or set up costs?
A: No, we do not charge any upfront or set up fees. Our fee comes out of the psychiatrist's salary.
Q: Is there a fee to use the telepsychiatry videoconferencing platform?
A: No, most places charge you a monthly fee to use their videoconferencing system. We do not charge for this.
Q: Is your telepsychiatry videoconferencing platform secure?
A: Yes, our videoconferencing systems use 256-bit AES encryption.
Q: Is your telepsychiatry videoconferencing platform HIPAA compliant?
A: Yes, the videoconferencing systems we use is 100% HIPAA compliant.
Q: Do I need to adjust my internal network/firewall?
A: In most cases, there are no adjustments that need to be made to use our services. In more secure environments where outbound traffic is controlled, adjustments to the firewall access rules will be required.
Q: What kind of internet connection can we use?
A: We request that you use Cable or DSL internet connections with at least 2 or 3 MBs upload and download speeds. (The faster the better)
Q: Will we be able to use WIFI?
A: Yes, but avoid it if possible. It�s best to have an Ethernet cable connected to your modem or router.
Q: Can we use a satellite internet service provider?
A: Yes, but some satellite internet service providers do not have sufficent bandwidth. Please check with us before using it.
Q: Can we use a 3G, 4G or 4G LTE connections?
A: Yes, only as a emergency backup connection. 4G or 4G LTE is a better solution if available.
Q: Do we pay the psychiatrist?
A: No, our fee comes out of the psychiatrist salary. You pay us and we will pay the psychiatrist.
Q: When will we be billed for the services of the psychiatrist?
A: You will be billed on the 5th of each month and payment is to be made no later than the 15th. Payment is to be made to e-Psychiatry
Q: Do you only work with board certified psychiatrists?
A: No, We work with board certified and board eligible psychiatrists.
Q: Do you work with Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants?
A: Yes, we provide psychiatric NP's and PA's at contracted mental health facilities.
Q: Do you contract with Psychologists or Therapists at e-Psychiatry?
A: Yes, we provide Psychologists and Therapists at contracted health care facilities.
Q: Can your psychiatrists prescribe Schedule III, IV, and V medications?
A: Yes, they can fax or call the prescription into the patient's local pharmacy. In certain states some Sch III medications require a paper prescription on state specific security paper with an original signature and date. In the event that is the case, a paper script will be next day mailed to the facility's or pharmacy's address.
Q: Can your psychiatrists prescribe Schedule II medications?
A: Yes, the prescription will need to be on a triplicate and next day mailed to the facility or pharmacy.
Q: Will we be able to get a copy of the patient's records?
A: Yes, our psychiatrists can fax or scan records to your facility.
Q: Can we record patient consultations?
A: No, under no circumstances will you be able to record patients. This is a violation of HIPAA regulations regarding confidentiality.
Q: Is there interaction available between your psychiatrists/admin (peer support)?
A: Yes, You may contact our psychiatrists and staff via videoconferencing, phone, email and instant messaging.
Q: Are your psychiatrist available on night and weekends?
A: Yes, you can be reimbursed for services rendered for telepsychiatry. Most states mandate coverage for services provided through telepsychiatry. Please view the Telepsychiatry Reimbursement page for more information
Q: Is it legal to see patients this through telepsychiatry?
A: Yes, some states do require that the initial visit face-to-face be done with the patient to establish doctor/patient relationship. We will let you know what your particular state(s) require.
Q: How do you oversee quality assurance over your psychiatrists?
A: The contract mandates adherence to specific Standards of Practice. We will routinely survey your facility regarding the satisfaction your patients.
Q: Is there a demand is out there for telepsychiatry?
A: Yes, there is a great demand for both clinics and patients due to the lack of psychiatrists in the US.
Q: Who can I contact to begin geting our patients seen by one or more of your psychiatrists?
A: Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your the hours needed to fill and what state(s) you facility is located in. Please contact us today to get a telepsychiatry program started at your facility!