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Telemedicine: Improving Access to Mental Healthcare

Telemedicine: Improving Access to Mental Healthcare

From internalized stigma to other social determinants of health, numerous barriers to mental health care have a significant impact on access to mental health services. Working with our Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) partners, Ascend Healthcare works to provide integrated psychiatric and behavioral healthcare to patients across the country through medication management, substance use disorder treatment, and counseling services. Understanding early intervention as a key to successful outcomes, Ascend’s use of telemedicine services continues to provide a means of offering high-quality mental health services to patients across the country.

Benefits of Telemedicine in Mental Health

Early Intervention Offers patients the opportunity to receive psychiatric services where services may otherwise have been delayed, improving overall outcomes for individuals, their families, and communities. Early access to care can significantly reduce the risk of negative outcomes for patients as well as the overall financial cost to patients and healthcare centers.

Accessibility Reduces many barriers to care that otherwise negatively impact patient access to mental health services, including those living in remote or underserved areas.

Convenience Patients can receive care from the comfort of their homes or another place of their choosing, eliminating time and financial constraints associated with travel for in-person care.

Privacy and Confidentiality Ensures confidentiality, which can reduce the concerns caused by the stigma of seeking mental health services

Continuity of Care With reduced barriers to care provided by the benefits noted above, patients can receive consistent mental health services, improving overall patient outcomes.

More to be Done

Despite its numerous benefits, telemedicine in mental health continues to face challenges that require continued attention to ensure advancement in the overall mission of providing mental health patients quality access to care. From addressing local and federal regulations that govern telemedicine to working with community partners to address the socioeconomic disparities limiting access to care, Ascend Healthcare continues to seek collaborative, innovative ways to provide early, affordable, and high-quality mental health services to those who need it most. By continuing our mission of integrating technology into mental healthcare services, we can create a more inclusive, cost-effective, and resilient healthcare system for our future.

C. Randel

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