January 5, 2014

Telepsychiatry has gained in popularity over the past decade. Telepsychiatry has given patients a way to see an online psychiatrist in the comfort of their own home or office. Many mental health clinics, hospitals and other behavioral health facilities have turned to telepsychiatry due to the national shortage of psychiatrists. In this article we will examine why telepsychiatry has grown into what it is today.

Below are some of the reasons why telemedicine in psychiatry has become increasingly popular among both providers and health care organizations. If you are considering using telepsychiatry let e-Psychiatry help guide you along your path.

Shortage of Psychiatrists

With the increasing growing need for mental health treatment, insufficient staffing and a dramatic decrease in services, the nation�s mental health workforce will be short 22,500 psychiatrists by 2015. Mental health clinics and hospitals are closing its doors due to the growing shortage. Telepsychiatry has helped many mental health programs from going out of business with psychiatrists providing facilities telepsychiatric services.

Gives Psychiatrists Freedom

Telepsychiatry gives psychiatrists the freedom to deliver mental health care to patients from anywhere. This allows psychiatrists to live where they want which in turn delivers an extremely low turnover rate. It also gives mental health clinics and hospital a larger pool of psychiatrists to choose from allowing them to choose the very best psychiatrist for their patients.

Patient Acceptance

Several studies have found that telepsychiatry compares favorably among patients to face-to-face interviews. With technology becoming a part of everyday life, it makes sense how people are comfortable using telepsychiatry. As technology grows the demand for telepsychiatry will grow with it.

Advancement of Technology

Technology has provided us with tools to make our lives easier. Technology has helped doctors with tools to help diagnose and treat patients. It makes sense for psychiatrists to utilize video conferencing to treat patients from home or in a clinical setting. As technology makes a bigger impact in our everyday lives so will online psychiatrist through the use of telepsychiatry as a tool to treat patients.

Less Office Wait Times

Wait times for psychiatrist appointments have grown across the country. With the shortage of psychiatrists increasing, patients are travelling farther to seek treatment making available appointments decrease. Not only are there a limited amount of appointment times but waiting rooms in psychiatrists offices are packed full where patients typically wait 2 to 6 hours for their scheduled appointment. Telepsychiatry has given psychiatrists the ability make the most out of their time. An online psychiatrist can see patients from their home or work without lengthy wait times.

Gives Smaller Hospitals the Ability to Treat Mental Health

Hospitals in smaller communities have a difficult time treating mental health patients. Telepsychiatry can give these hospitals instant access to a psychiatrist online. Doctors can consult with online psychiatrists about a specific patient or patients can receive treatment from a psychiatrist directly.

Alternative to Staffing a Psychiatrist

Mental health facilities that have a difficult time hiring a psychiatrist through traditional methods can utilize telepsychiatry. With the shortage of psychiatrists across the country, a growing number of clinics have turned to telepsychiatry to treat their patients. This method by far is the most popular out of all the various ways telepsychiatry can be used.

Physicians can Consult with an Online Psychiatrist

General Practice and family physicians are often confronted with the task of treating mental illness. Maore than 50% of patients seek mental health care from their primary care physician. Telepsychiatry gives doctors an easy way to consult with an online psychiatrist about their patients who have mental illness.

Online Psychiatry at Home

Many patients turn to the internet to seek treatment for many different types of illnesses. Telepsychiatry provides the best substitute for an actual office visit. Mental health patients who have trouble finding the time to make their appointments or who have physical or mental aliments that prevent them from leaving home can benefit from treatment provided through telepsychiatry. Also, patients that live in rural areas and have to drive long distances to see a psychiatrist can easily receive treatment through telepsychiatry.

State Laws for Telepsychiatry

With the growing acceptance of telepsychiatry among the medical community, states across the country are adopting laws to regulate the growing number of services providing telepsychiatry treatment. There are currently no laws in place that prohibit the use of telepsychiatry. Most of the laws enacted require Medicaid and private insurers to cover telepsychiatry encounters.

Health Insurance Acceptance of Telepsychiatry

There are 45 states that require either Medicaid, private insurance or both to cover some sort telehealth services. Most insurance companies have been proactive and are covering telepsychiatry even in states where it�s not required. Some telepsychiatry services do not accept insurance but you can submit your bill to some insurance providers to get reimbursement.

In the next few years, the use of telepsychiatry will double, if not triple, in use across the country. The positives far outweigh the negatives telepsychiatry brings. It is convenient, cost effective and provides mental health care to those that may not receive treatment otherwise. delivers an assortment of telepsychiatry services and will for years to come. If you think you or your organization can benefit from the use of telepsychiatry, you can contact us at to get details on how to get started.