Since the pandemic started, social and distancing has been difficult for many people. Those seeking psychological help were affected by the sudden loss of regular face-to-face meetings with their mental health specialists. Telepsychology is not a luxury or a temporary response to the pandemic and social distancing, but rather it’s a permanent solution. Online psychological help turned out to be an excellent tool to reduce the negative effects of social distancing and continue treatment no matter what obstacles arise.
However, even now, there are patients who realize their need for therapy but hesitate to turn to telepsychology. In this article, we provide a list of compelling telepsychology benefits for your patients to help you work through objections, myths, and common misconceptions about this kind of mental help.
1. Online mental health support
Since the pandemic started, many patients have lost the opportunity to see their therapists face to face. There has also been an increase in people seeking psychological help since lockdowns started. Telemedicine has enabled people suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns to begin or continue receiving therapy.
2. Access to a broader pool of mental health specialists
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought attention to the scarcity of mental health specialists. Online psychology services leverage the expertise of specialists from anywhere, enabling patients to more easily find a specialist who works for them. Also, it’s common for a patient to try out several mental health specialists in search of the best one. Telepsychology makes this process easier.
3. Urgent same-day appointments
If patients experience mental health emergencies, especially patients who are at risk for self-harm, teletherapy or an online chat may be critical. On-demand remote access to care is vital for those seeking immediate mental help and intervention.
See how online booking can help your patients make same-day appointments in three clicks.
More physicians are beginning to offer telemedicine services, so there's a good chance that patients will be able to see their regular doctor via video. If a patient’s doctor doesn’t offer teletherapy but the patient still needs remote access to care, there are a number of online-only, on-demand options on the market. Doctors can’t treat every condition, but they can tackle a wide variety of concerns.
4. Reduced anxiety
Visiting doctors, especially mental health specialists, can cause stress. For example, there are people with agoraphobia who find it difficult to leave their house but still need medical help. With telehealth, patients can ask questions and access medical support without leaving home.
5. Peer-to-peer support
Because of lockdowns, many people with mental health conditions have lost the opportunity to meet with peers that provide social and emotional support. Online therapist-led support groups are one way telepsychology has brought together people who are coping with challenges.
6. Faster and better recovery
When patients are able to see their doctor often, they can frequently update their doctor on their condition and receive better medication, lifestyle, and chronic condition management.
Pro tip: Private practice management software contributes to developing strong long-term client relationships by incorporating therapy notes about a client’s progress and reminders about what to do during the next session.
7. Insurance reimbursement
Medicare and many private health insurance companies now allow doctors and therapists to bill for telehealth services, no matter where the patient or provider is located.
However, since state laws and insurance plans vary, patients need to check their insurance plans before using telemedicine services.
8. No need to take time off work
Video visits eliminate the need to take significant time off work. Patients can easily schedule an appointment over a lunch break or before or after work. All a patient needs is a room that provides privacy. Such flexibility is in high demand among people seeking psychological help, since they often need urgent support. Telemedicine visits allow patients to stay healthy without missing work or using their valuable paid vacation time.
9. Lower cost
Mental health specialists are among the most expensive doctors, even for people with good health insurance. Telemedicine appointments, however, typically cost less than in-person visits. Telemedicine can reduce out-of-pocket costs, removing a barrier to care.
10. Medical access for people without health insurance
Not having adequate health insurance can be an obstacle for people seeking medical care.
In 2020, 8.6 percent of people in the US, or 28.0 million, did not have health insurance at any point during the year.
Many telemedicine providers offer cash-pay telemedicine, which doesn’t require health insurance or referrals.
11. Mental health care opportunities for people in rural and remote areas
Inner-city hospital closures have affected thousands of Americans. The amount of medically underserved areas has been increasing recently, especially in the remote areas. Besides, if patients live in a remote area, it might be challenging for them to see a mental health professional, not only because there is a shortage of health professionals but also because of public stigma.
Telepsychology helps break this cycle by providing an additional and more accessible way for people to see a doctor. Patients only need a smartphone, tablet, or computer with a stable internet connection to have a video consultation with a mental health professional.
Patients will have more access to care as telepsychology becomes more widely used, and laws are adapting quickly to incorporate telemedicine and keep up with the fast-changing healthcare industry.
To benefit their patients the most, mental healthcare providers can incorporate or switch to a reliable telemedicine service to provide equal access to mental health care, regardless of where they or their patients live.
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Providing psychological help online turned out to be an excellent tool that provides numerous benefits to users. Thanks to telepsychology, patients can:
- Get urgent mental help
- Access a broad pool of mental help specialists
- Receive peer-to-peer support online
- Minimize time off work on account of medical appointments
- Reduce anxiety
- Recover faster
- Get insurance reimbursements
- Save money on online visits
- Get access to mental help from remote areas
- Receive mental health care without insurance