Behavioral Health & Telehealth: A Trend On The Rise
The rise of telehealth in the last few years has been one of many factors re-shaping the healthcare landscape, and there is no place it has had more of an impact than in the realm of behavioral health. Read more below to find out more about this evolving relationship.
Even though 43.8 million Americans experience mental illness, last year 60 percent did not receive any mental health services. This significant lack of behavioral healthcare services has devastating social and economic consequences. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, serious mental illness costs the U.S. $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year, and mood disorders (such as major depression) are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for people ages 18 to 44. Even more alarming, it is the second most common cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the tenth cause of death for the overall population.
What’s more, it is becoming clear that mental health and chronic illnesses are linked. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 68% of people with a mental health issue also experience medical conditions, and people with chronic illness are twice as likely to experience mental illness.
The need to provide mental health services that are integrated with primary care is evident. To help fill this need, healthcare technology companies are stepping up. Behavioral health services are leveraging technology to offer online mental health services such as therapy to overcome the barriers of cost, time, and stigma. These efforts are starting to increase access to mental healthcare for more Americans.
Telehealth is a growing method for increasing access to healthcare to different populations. Millennials may prefer the convenience, while rural and other underserved populations enjoy increased access to healthcare professionals. However, behavioral health providers have lagged behind primary care and other physical health providers in adopting this new form of technology. According to a study by the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center, barriers to entry include implementation and maintenance costs, lack of organizational and political leadership, and lack of clarity on licensing and reimbursement procedures.
These barriers have been reframed as opportunities for health tech companies. Last year, Teladoc – which provides both behavioral and primary care virtually – launched a Behavioral Health Navigator which uses a multidisciplinary approach to help patients find and maintain the necessary care. This program strives to integrated care across mental health providers, primary care physicians, nurses and the Teladoc Navigator team. This is particularly important in helping behavioral health patients with medical comorbidity.
Talkspace is a health tech company founded in 2012 with a mission to make therapy available to all through technology and has already been used by more than one million people. To learn more about how CredSimple enabled Talkspace to scale quickly while providing unparalleled access to behavioral health resources, you can read their story.
Just like Talkspace and Teladoc are applying technology to improve access to mental health services, CredSimple is applying technology to improve the credentialing process. Using a cloud-based, automated platform, CredSimple is able to credential providers in a fraction of the time that standard CVO services can – which is a great advantage for consumer-focused healthcare companies that need to scale quickly. As plans look to increase access to behavioral health services, building out networks of clinicians that meet credentialing standards, CredSimple is able to provide a fast and accurate method for credentialing and monitoring that perfectly serves quickly growing organizations.
If you or someone you know is in crisis—whether they are considering suicide or not—please call 800-273- 8255 to speak with a trained counselor anytime.