Telepsychiatry needed to bridge gap for rural VA patients | ModernMedicine Network
Learn about telepsychiatry ideas and other healthcare topics which will be discussed at The Future of Healthcare Symposium
In an op-ed for Managed Healthcare Executive (part of the ModernMedicine Network), General Peter Chiarelli and John Figueroa address telepsychiatry as key topic for The Future of Healthcare Symposium at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School.
Focus on telepsychiatry is spurred by startling suicide statistics among U.S. veterans, with emphasis on those in rural areas who might not have access to the resources they most need. With almost 50% of all outpatient mental health patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress (PTS), lessening obstacles to and stigma about mental healthcare is vital. Chiarelli and Figueroa discuss other factors contributing to the high suicide rate, as well as specifics on how telepsychiatry can help address the problem. They also point out that the National Council of Behavioral Health, which endorses telepsychiatry, has noted the "expansion (of telepsychiatry) has been hampered by conflicting and burdensome regulations and limits on reimbursement." The VA is the country’s pioneer in advancing the study of telepsychiatry, so large-scale collaboration among businesses and institutions will be necessary in moving this dialogue forward, according to the Chiarelli-Figueroa op-ed piece.