In today’s world where everyone is always on their phone, computers, or media device – and Uber Eats is a hot and booming thing, telepsychiatry is the most accessible means for mental health care delivery. Telepsychiatry brings mental health to one's doorstep, and I think it is the future for mental health care delivery.
What is Telepsychiatry?
Telepsychiatry is a method for the delivery of mental health care, that is carried out via electronic video conferencing. Telepsychiatry allows mental health clinicians, to have a first-hand view of their patient, their environment, and a patient can also see their mental health clinician in this same way, all without leaving their house.
Why does Telepsychiatry work?
Telepsychiatry readily delivers the same type of care one expects to receive during a visit to a psychiatry office but does so, individually and privately from the comfort of one's home.
How do I deliver a Telepsychiatry session?
As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I have had additional training that allows me to serve as a telepsychiatry provider. Next, I have been credentialed and listed in Cigna's registry of available telepsychiatry providers in my area, as well as the availability of my telepsychiatry services are verified, posted, and listed on Psychology Today in the states of California and Oregon.
Next, a prospective client desires to see a mental health clinician for medication management or medication support, yet does not desire to visit a mental health clinician in person. The prospective client may desire to see a mental health clinician in person but is unable to do so due to lack of availability for mental services by an in-person mental health clinician in their area, or during the day/time of their wishes and availability.
The prospective client is given a list of available telepsychiatry clinicians by their insurance company and/or searches the internet for available telepsychiatry providers via Psychology Today. My name and remote care mental health practice pop up, the person gives me a call and/or sends me an email. After a short screening, I schedule an appointment with the prospective client, to meet remotely, that same day or the next day as I am able to verify insurance benefits, or agree upon a cash payment for service in accordance with my rates. My cash rates are based on national billing reimbursement rates.
The prospective client is then sent an email that includes my practice policies, an intake questionnaire, and a treatment consent. They are asked to email these documents back- signed electronically, along with a scanned copy of their insurance card, and state identification card; at least two days or as soon as possible before our intake session if the session is booked within a day of contact. The prospective client is emailed back a private encrypted remote meeting room link for the date/time that our session is booked, based upon the time we agreed to meet, along with my business payment link from PayPal, and then the prospective client becomes a client.
The day of our remote intake appointment, prior to the appointment time, I make sure that I have a quiet, clean, and calming background, along with add peaceful and relaxation music, waiting in my remote office. This remote office, which is on my computer, is held via video-conferencing software, which I often like to use Zoom. Next, at the scheduled appointment time, the client checks into the remote office room, and our session begins.
I introduce myself, the client introduces themselves, I assess the clients mental status, their appearance, and I see and hear them as if I were to see them in person. We go through the reasons for their presentation and in their words, assess their goals of treatment. Together, we come up with a plan of action that is individualized and client-focused.
Telepsychiatry, mental healthcare delivery solutions in my remote practice, are based on holistic recommendations (if this is the clients' wishes) and/or standard based on Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V) and accompanied pharmaceutical treatment guidelines. Often times, clients are seen by other clinicians and myself, therefore, I do not offer new diagnosis, but confirm their diagnosis, and offer my own viewpoint on the treatment plan of said diagnosis. I send all prescriptions, directly to my client's pharmacy and/or mail hard copy prescriptions to my client following our session.
In being an integrative practice provider, I am also sure to rule out physical health symptoms by verifying past vital signs and ordering labs for my clients. To do this, I mail a hard copy prescription for blood work and labs to my client so that they may take it with them to their local lab office for collection. Lab results are then sent to my remote office directly from the lab company via fax or email. I also partner with a mental health home care agency, and/or make home visits to see my client's in person if I feel that in-person visits are required based on the progression of my client's illness.
Telepsychiatry is the future of mental health care delivery, don't forget I said so.
Xoxo Nurse Rose
Arlene Aretha Taylor Rose PMHNP-BC