Lately, we’ve seen an increase in the number of mental health therapists who accept Medicaid and are participating in telehealth services.
If you run one of these practices, you may wonder what’s behind this sudden trend or if you should also participate.
Here are reasons telehealth for mental health is becoming so popular for any therapist that accepts Medicaid and how you can join the movement without breaking your budget.
As more people become more aware of their mental health, there is an increase in the number of therapists accepting Medicaid.
To qualify for Medicaid, one must be low-income or disabled. This means that as more therapists accept Medicaid, more people can find affordable treatments for mental health.
Therapy is usually a component of mental health care, yet only one-third of those who need therapy receive it.
If you’re uninsured or your therapist doesn’t accept Medicaid, it’s easy to feel like therapy isn’t an option.
Entering telehealth for mental health has increased access to a therapist and allows more people to receive the care they need.
With telepsychology companies, users can access therapists who offer counseling over live video calls via smartphone apps or computers.
This remote therapy can be done when and where the user prefers.
Many therapists that accept Medicaid work with these services because of the convenience and lower rates associated with providing therapy online vs. traditional in-office sessions.
When a therapist that accepts Medicaid takes on clients, they don’t just have to drive across town for their session.
The patient also has to schedule time off work and find transportation. This is impractical because it can take weeks or months for people to get an appointment.
Tele-mental health providers can conduct sessions at the convenience of the patient. Not only is this convenient, but it’s also much cheaper than in-office sessions.
Insurance doesn’t cover office visits out of state or international travel, so tele-mental health offers an affordable alternative.
Remote therapy (telepsychiatry) is an approach to mental health care that applies a psychotherapeutic relationship across time and space.
A clinician may provide clinical services at a distance (e.g., in person, by phone, by videoconference, or through information technologies such as email).
Traditional face-to-face treatment has been replaced with advances in digital technology, allowing mental health practitioners to diagnose and provide treatment over a long distance remotely.
Remote therapy benefits patients who may need the service but do not want the financial or personal obligation of attending an office.
In this age of social media, mental health and stress are much more openly discussed than ever before. One new way to get therapy without having to leave the house is telemedicine or TeleHealth.
With a bit of research, it is easy to find a specialist or therapist that can be accessed online via their website and webcam using video chat apps like FaceTime, Skype, and Google Hangouts.
With this system, there is an option for face-to-face meetings via webcam, but phone meetings are also possible with larger screens that extend past the view of just your screen.
Teletherapy is becoming a popular form of mental health care as it offers something in-person therapists can’t offer: distance.
As therapy becomes more expensive, the cost may keep some people from being able to find the help they need.
It’s also proven that most people with mental illnesses prefer to get counseling over the phone than they would in person; it’s possible this has to do with the stigma associated with seeking out treatment.
In-person therapy also requires people to show up every week for their appointment, which might be too much of an obstacle for someone struggling with transportation issues or those with small children who cannot afford child care.
Overcoming these hurdles could make all the difference in how effective therapy is at getting them back on track.
It has become increasingly difficult for therapists to find a way to accept Medicaid without sacrificing the quality of their clinical work.
However, those who have decided to offer mental health care in a telehealth setting have found that the rewards outweigh the drawbacks.
Whether you’re new to the industry and want to avoid taking on debt or are one of many who cannot handle a larger caseload, online therapy might be a good way to get back on your feet in this uncertain time for therapists.
Sandra is a health blogger based in San Diego, California. She is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. She loves being outdoors and exploring new places with her husband. She is a mom of two awesome kids and a dog named Luna!