In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has become increasingly popular, allowing healthcare professionals to provide remote care to patients. In this era, the healthcare industry shifted to digital mental healthcare, one of the specialties that have greatly benefited from telehealth services.
During this era, Medicare increased mental health billing services coverage for around seven mental health services in the U.S. in 2015, and other insurance providers have followed suit to support telehealth as it grows in popularity as a method of service delivery.
Although telehealth models have been used since the 1990s, they have recently experienced a tremendous uptick in popularity. With the disruption of COVID-19, many health professionals are realizing how important it is to have the option to give treatments virtually. It is crucial for therapists and psychiatrists to be able to continue treating their patients while the virus recurs.
In this blog post, we will explore the advantages of telehealth for mental health care and how it can improve mental health medical billing and revenue for mental health professionals.
Role of Telehealth in Mental Health Care
Receiving healthcare on a screen, which at one time looked futuristic, is now commonplace and even preferred for some medical visits, particularly those for mental health.
Even though many clinicians are once again seeing patients in person, both adult and pediatric providers agree that providing care via telehealth which involves real-time visits through a smartphone, tablet, or computer with audio and video, has been crucial during the pandemic and is frequently advantageous.
Other barriers stop people from receiving the appropriate care besides a lack of mental health specialists and treatment.
Fear and stigma are two more prevalent reasons people do not seek therapy. Stigma is referred to by :
Even though stigma surrounding mental health still exists, especially in places where there may not be enough mental health education, it is becoming more widely accepted and understood.
Advantages of Telehealth for Mental Health Care
The convenience is unprecedented. It’s excellent that patients can meet with us in their automobile during their lunch break. It succeeds in its goal of increasing access, she claims. Additionally, a lot of follow-up appointments can be conducted in this manner, and hopefully, telehealth will continue to play a role in healthcare.
Improved Access to Care
Telehealth services allow mental health professionals to provide care to patients who may not have access to traditional in-person appointments due to distance, mobility issues, or lack of transportation. This expanded access to care can improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.
Telehealth services can reduce costs associated with traditional in-person appointments, such as transportation, office overhead, and staffing. This allows mental health professionals to provide cost-effective patient care while maintaining profitability. The psychiatry billing services get more edge to generate maximum revenue when the cost for the appointment compliments the client’s budget.
Convenience for Patients
Telehealth appointments offer patients the convenience of receiving mental health care from the comfort of their own homes, eliminating the need to take time off work or travel to appointments. This can lead to improved patient engagement and adherence to treatment plans.
Telehealth services can also help reduce the stigma associated with seeking mental health care. Patients may feel more comfortable seeking care in a familiar and private environment, leading to an increased willingness to seek and receive treatment.
Role of Telehealth in Optimal Mental Health Billing Services
Telehealth and Medical Health Billing Services
Mental health billing services can assist mental health professionals in billing for telehealth services. These services can ensure that providers are using the correct billing codes and modifiers, submitting claims in a timely manner, and managing denials and appeals.
Reimbursement for Telehealth Services
Reimbursement for telehealth services varies by state and insurance plan. Mental health billing services can assist mental health professionals in understanding the reimbursement policies of different insurance plans and maximizing reimbursement for telehealth services.
Factsheet on Medicare Telehealth 2023: Key Updates
Through December 31, 2024:
- Telehealth is available to all patients regardless of the originating site or geographic location.
After December 31, 2024:
- Non-behavioral or mental telehealth may have eligibility requirements and geographical restrictions.
- If certain conditions are met, there are no restrictions on geographic location or originating site requirements for behavioral or mental telehealth.
- Non-behavioral or mental telehealth can be delivered via audio only.
Through December 31, 2024:
- Including non-face-to-face services, all care management and virtual communication services require patient consent.
Through December 31, 2024:
- Behavioral or mental telehealth providers are exempt from certain requirements regarding in-person visits when providing telehealth.
- CMS has extended the Acute Hospital Care at Home Program
Telehealth services offer numerous advantages for mental health care, including improved access, cost-effective care, convenience, and reduced stigma. Mental health billing services can assist mental health professionals in billing for mental health services and maximizing reimbursement for telehealth services. As telehealth continues to grow in popularity, mental health professionals can benefit from incorporating telehealth services into their practice and utilizing mental health billing services to maximize revenue.