Maintaining Continuity of Care Post-Referral

There is an increasingly substantial shortage of mental health providers and resources in the United States. This shortage is expected to continue to grow in the years to come.

Maintaining Continuity of Care Post-Referral: How Telehealth Providers are Solving Re-Admittance

There is an increasingly substantial shortage of mental health providers and resources in the United States. This shortage is expected to continue to grow in the years to come. According to the National Council Medical Director Insitute, the demand for psychiatry will outstrip supply by 25 percent in 2025. Due to this, the treatment options for substance abuse and mental illness are not readily available to many.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic puts greater stress on providers, due to the increased need for support services. Many Americans struggling with mental health and substance abuse disorders are at greater risk of needing increased levels of care. They may be experiencing heightened stress levels, anxiety, and depression. Social distancing guidelines have created more barriers to seeking traditional care, placing an even greater strain on these individuals. Using telehealth for mental health treatment and telehealth online counseling provides a convenient and easy solution.


How Telehealth Reduces Re-Admission Rate

Telehealth is an effective approach to solving re-admittance in the treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders. Healthcare organizations, partnering with mental health professionals, use telehealth to provide accessible care to those in need - without the need for being admitted. Using a telehealth approach to care allows for many benefits to both the healthcare providers and the patient including:

Limits risk exposure

Telehealth is an effective solution for limiting exposure to infectious diseases, including COVID-19. 

Increases practice workflow

The use of telehealth allows providers to utilize online services and phone support to offer more individuals treatment. Time-sensitive services can be accessed quickly, reducing the risk of needing inpatient care.

Studies show that people who used telehealth services had lower rates of anxiety, stress, and depression.  They also had 38% fewer hospital admissions.

More Cost-effective

Telehealth cuts patient costs, by reducing time and travel expenses associated with traditional face-to-face care. Virtual visits are typically cheaper and reduce the risk of needing expensive inpatient services.

Telehealth has the potential to boost revenue. The provider can see more patients with less overhead and reduce no-shows for clinic appointments.

More accessible

Telehealth allows accessibility from anywhere, minimizing the amount the patient spends seeking treatment. It is a more convenient alternative than standard care. 

Providers are able to refer their patients to the appropriate specialist consultations, without location being a factor.

Greater satisfaction levels

Studies show that telehealth satisfaction is the same or better than traditional healthcare visits. Virtual visits allow for ease when reaching out with concerns or scheduling follow-ups.

Maintaining Continuity of Care

Partnering to provide telehealth online counseling and substance abuse treatment allows providers to stay connected to all members of the healthcare team.  For people struggling with more complex conditions or multiple conditions, this is important for maintaining continuity of care.

Providers are able to work around their busy schedules to communicate and collaborate with other members of the healthcare team. With improved communication, the patient benefits from quicker - more precise care with fewer medical errors. Telehealth for addiction treatment and mental health is filling the treatment gap and improving the healthcare experience for many Americans.


References

Behavioral Health Resource Center

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