The Keystone State is a wonderful home for the Liberty Bell and – even better – for telepsychiatry! This practice brings quality mental health services to rural and underserved areas to Pennsylvania through video conferencing technology. This can significantly improve the overall mental health of the state.
Telepsychiatry is utilized in a variety of settings throughout Pennsylvania, including hospitals and health clinics. Rules and regulations regarding the practice of telepsychiatry in Pennsylvania are generally permissive. The Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center (MATRC) is the regional group that helps support and develop telemedicine programs throughout Pennsylvania. Iris is a proud member of MATRC. They have been a valuable partner in bringing telepsychiatry to that area of the United States.
Based on our research, Iris gives Pennsylvania an A rating for being an awesome state in providing telepsychiatry services. Nice job, Pennsylvania!
MENTAL HEALTH IN THE STATE OF INDEPENDENCE
One in four Pennsylvanians have a mental health issue in their lifetime. On average, roughly 11 percent of the Pennsylvania population experiences serious psychological distress in a year. Another 20 percent of people experience a variety of other mental health issues, including depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, many people are unable to receive the proper care due to a lack of access.
There are only 16 Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists (CAPS) for every 100,000 children in Pennsylvania. The shortage of psychiatrists is even affecting kids – but that’s where telepsychiatry can help.
RULES & REGULATIONS FOR TELEPSYCH IN PENNSYLVANIA
To practice telemedicine in Pennsylvania, it’s important to first understand the specific rules and regulations required. The delivery of quality mental healthcare is contingent on the understanding of these rules and regulations by clinicians and the health system implementing it.
The Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care is required to perform an occupancy survey before the telemedicine implementation process can begin in any health system. To apply new telemedicine services, the health system must send a letter to the Department of Health 60 days in advance of the intended day for the initial provision of a new service.
Pennsylvania issues extraterritorial licenses to physicians residing or practicing in an adjoining state, near the Pennsylvania boundary, and whose practice extends into Pennsylvania to practice in Pennsylvania. The state bases its granting of this license on the availability of medical care in the area involved, and whether the adjoining state extends similar privileges to Pennsylvania physicians.
IMPLEMENTATION OF PENNSYLVANIA TELEPSYCHIATRY
It’s fairly simple to implement a telepsychiatry program in Pennsylvania with guidance and the proper knowledge of how it works. By giving informed consent, any patient is eligible to receive healthcare via telemedicine. Pennsylvania has many successful telepsychiatry programs that can serve as excellent models for any health system planning to implement telemedicine services.
TELEMEDICINE REIMBURSEMENT IN PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania Medicaid will reimburse for live video for specialty consultations. Eligible providers include physicians, certified registered nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives. Providers under a managed care system should contact the appropriate managed care organization.
Outpatient telepsychiatry services will be reimbursed for licensed psychiatrists and licensed psychologists including:
Psychiatric diagnostic evaluations
Consultations (with patient/family)
Providers must have documented endorsement to deliver mental health services via telepsychiatry from the county mental health program and the HealthChoices Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization. In order to be reimbursed, informed consent is required from individuals participating in any services utilizing telepsychiatry.
IRIS IN PENNSYLVANIA
We think Pennsylvania is a great state to work and play! We currently partner with health systems in Pennsylvania to provide outpatient services. We are excited to expand our reach in the state of Pennsylvania by providing inpatient and specialty services. If you care about the state of mental health in Pennsylvania, we want to hear your voice.