Q: What is Telepsychiatry?
A: Telepsychiatry is a new service we are rolling out at the PTI that uses technology to link psychiatrists and patients virtually through the Internet. We only employ the best psychiatrists with experience in tele-health so that we can continue to deliver on our mission, which is removing barriers to providing the best mental health care.
Q: Is telepsychiatry legitimate?
A: Absolutely! In some cases, telepsychiatry has been shown to provide even better outcomes for mental health patients while reducing cost and increasing efficiency. It’s a win-win for everyone and provides a way for us to deliver the best care possible while interfering less with your life and normal routines. PTI is a member of the American Telemedicine Association and follows all the standards of practice relating to telepsychiatry.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: This service will be provided at no additional cost to the patient. Because Louisiana is a “parity state,” governing authorities (both the state and federal governments) are required to reimburse telehealth at the same cost as face to face doctor visits. If you have private insurance, contact your benefits manager to see if your plan covers telehealth.
Q: How can I get a telepsychiatry appointment?
A: Contact our office to discuss getting set up with our telepsychiatry service. Once a patient is established and we have laid of strong foundation of trust, then we may explore the convenience telepsychiatry offers. Initially we will offer only psychiatric evaluations and medication management by board certified psychiatrist (MD). We hope to be able to offer therapy to established patients in the near future.
Q: How does it work?
A: It’s as easy as sending you a link through your email. Eventually, we’d love to enable our patients to connect with our telepsychiatrist through their smartphones.
Q: Why is this specialized service only for established patients?
A: We want to make this a win-win for everyone. It’s important to us to deliver the best care possible, therefore we want to make sure we have a solid foundation and a relationship built on trust before moving into telehealth with our patients. If we neglect to first build that solid foundation, then we run the risk of spinning our wheels and playing catch-up later on when we should have done the job right the first time. We’re not here to experiment with our patients or put the cart before the horse. We‘re here because we believe in our mission and delivering the best care possible.
Q: What kinds of appointments can I have through telepsychiatry?
A: Currently, only psychiatric evaluations and medication management by a board certified psychiatrist (MD).
Q: When will it be available?
A: We are still working out the details and will let you know as soon as it’s ready! We wanted to go ahead and start spreading the word and informing our patients to keep everyone on the same page. That way, when we’re ready to start, we’ll hit the ground running.