What Is It?
In addition to our traditional face-to-face mental health services, 515 Therapy and Consulting is happy to offer Telehealth, a means of accessing online therapy and medication management via the Internet. Telehealth is typically delivered through a secure HIPAA compliant video-conferencing link however, a variety of technology mediums, such as a simple phone call, are being substituted during the Covid-19 pandemic. The option of a phone appointment increases the ease of use, making treatment even more widely available.
What Are The Benefits?
Telehealth provides access to healthcare in situations where an in-office visit is not feasible. During the current experience of social distancing, the option of Telehealth is ideal. In more typical times, Telehealth is especially useful in rural states, such as Iowa, because access to mental health providers is often limited. Historically, individuals who tend to benefit from Telehealth include military personnel and their families, people who are unable to travel to an in-office session due to illness or disability, frequent traveling for work and other time or distance constraints, including living far away from a provider. Telehealth keeps individuals safe and comfortable during this unique time. Telehealth can provide increased confidentiality because there is no need to go to a brick and mortar office. Perhaps most of all, Telehealth is convenient.
Is It Effective?
The majority of research shows that Telehealth is indeed as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy, not only for anxiety and depression, but many other mental health issues, as well (Berryhill et al., 2018; Kingston, Ph.D., 2017).
Who Can Be Treated?
We treat children, adolescents and adults, as well as couples by Telehealth. Traditional therapies, such as play-therapy, can be modified for a video-conference setting. Please ask your provider or call our administrative support at (515) 402-4395 if you have any questions.
Are There Drawbacks?
There are some potential pitfalls for Telehealth. Some individuals believe the ability to pick up on important non-verbal cues is reduced and believe it could be more difficult to build a sense of connection between patient and provider. To the contrary, some individuals feel it’s easier to talk about sensitive topics from a distance Another possible barrier could be a lack of equipment or technological literacy or even low internet connectivity in some rural locations. With the current pandemic, low internet connectivity can be an issue in even urban areas due to high volumes of use. We can easily switch to a phone call from a video conference if needed.
Why Is Telehealth Essential For Mental Healthcare?
Mental health is as important as physical health and deserves the same attention and access. Mental health is certainly relevant in today’s climate. For example, two of the most common mental health issues, anxiety and depression impact 40 million U.S. adults (18.1%; Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2016) and almost 1 in 3 adolescents (31.9%; Child Mind Report, 2017). re traditional
What Is The Cost?
The cost of Telehealth is the same or less than in-office appointments! For example, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa commercial plans are offering zero copay, co-insurance or deductible for Telehealth visits through June 16, 2020. Aetna has followed suit and is waiving cost-sharing through June 4th, 2020. In most other insurance cases, (assuming you have mental health benefits on your plan) you only pay what you would have for an in-office visit! If you have questions, contact your insurance company for more details about the coverage for Telehealth services. If you would like to pay privately, contact us at (515) 402-4395 for questions on pricing.
Questions About Telehealth?
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by a secure message by clicking the “contact us” tab in the tool bar at the top of the page! We can treat patients online or by phone from anywhere in the state of Iowa. We look forward to working with you in the near future!
Please contact one of the following clinicians if you are interested in conciliation counseling.