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Costs and Benefits

 

Initiating a telemental health program at your Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), Critical Access Hospital (CAH) or Rural Health Clinic (RHC) has benefits for patients, providers, and the facility. Improving access to mental health treatment provides for care of the whole patient. Research shows that mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety can complicate and extend the recovery time required for physical illnesses and conditions. Through improving patient access to mental health treatment, physicians can see improvements in treatment compliance, motivation and accountability, and participation in the treatment process.

Medical providers can benefit from consultation with mental health providers, therapeutic interventions for their patients, and psychoeducation to both staff and patients to increase insight to mental health symptoms and barriers to treatment compliance. Telemental health interventions increase patients' access to integrated care.  Medicare and many third-party payors also reimburse orginating sites for telehealth connections.