I believe it is safe to say that Covid-19 has caused widespread disruption to life as we knew it. School, work, travel, relationships - all shaken up during the pandemic - and with it, our mental health. Some of the latest research has found that 25% of US adults are experiencing significantly more anxiety this year than in the past, and 20% are experiencing more symptoms of depression now than in the past. The research also shows that the volume of calls to helplines has increased significantly over the past year.
The disruptions to everyday life have increased the need for behavioral health care – which has put an even greater demand on what was an already limited supply of mental health providers. Here at Telemynd, we’ve found that providing mental health care virtually, also known as telebehavioral health, has proved to be an effective way to make sure everyone seeking quality care has access. In fact, we believe that if there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that the adoption of telemedicine by the industry and consumers alike, has been accelerated by at least 5 years. Every indication points to telebehavioral health being here to stay, and if you’re a provider, there may be no need to return to your brick and mortar office.
Research Supports Overall Satisfaction & Effectiveness For Patients & Providers
One study published in JIMR Formative Research suggests that more than half of people using telehealth want to keep receiving that care virtually post-pandemic. Another study found that 78% of patients who use telebehavioral health are very or extremely satisfied with their telehealth experiences, and 75% are more likely to continue to use it after the pandemic.
In addition, in a recent survey of employers who offer healthcare benefits, 90% report that their focus on telemedicine increased during the pandemic, and 52% say virtual medicine will continue to be an important priority within their organization’s health care activities following the pandemic.
It’s clear that the demand is there for telebehavioral health - but is it effective? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. A published literature review found without question that “behavioral health virtual visits deliver the same outcomes as in-person visits for many conditions, and meet the same standards of care set by the National Committee for Quality Association.”
Our Own Data Shows Record Growth Levels Beyond The Pandemic
At Telemynd, we’re seeing strong indications from payors and patients that telemedicine is their preferred method for the delivery of behavioral health care services. Between third quarter 2020 and second quarter 2021 we experienced 4X growth in new patients seeking mental health services, an upward trend we continued to see as we move through 2021 at a record-setting 61% increase in demand. Both clinicians and patients have demonstrated their ability to quickly adapt to telemedicine with no sign of slowing down, even in a post-pandemic world.
Telebehavioral Health Benefits — For Patients & Clinicians
Many challenges have been addressed through the implementation of telebehavioral health, including:
Minimal wait to connect with a quality mental health professional
Expanded access for patients who may live in a rural area, have limited mobility, or reside in long-term care facilities
Saving time with virtual screenings and evaluations
Better treatment for chronic conditions and medication management
Personalized care from home, which promotes willingness to share in settings they’re already comfortable in
Eliminating the stigma often associated with seeking mental health services and providing additional patient privacy
For clinicians, telebehavioral health has many benefits as well, such as:
Removing the overhead and upkeep of a physical location
More flexibility to schedule clients at a pace and level that supports your needs
Added freedom to travel while seeing patients anywhere in the country
Simple and reliable weekly income direct deposited with complete remittance reports from our finance team
All of these benefits lead to a true work-life balance. Telebehavioral health is a win-win for clinicians and their patients!
Telebehavioral Health Allows Clinicians To Be Better At What They Do
With all the benefits and studies showing adoption and effectiveness, telebehavioral health can now be considered a fundamental component of our healthcare environment – in other words, it’s here to stay. Telemynd helps each provider who joins to expand their practice and eliminate the administrative burden. Giving reliable income and the ability to focus on what matters most — delivering quality mental health care to patients.
Willis Towers Watson
American Psychological Association
Journal of Internal Medicine