The Virtual Care Blog

Increase behavioral health access and convenience with virtual care

Posted by Scott Berghoff

The Psychiatric Need minus The Psychiatrist Shortage  = ED Overuse

Because of the critical shortage of available psychiatric care most patients who need it don’t get it. This is bad for them and your organization because they will seek medical treatment in your ED instead. Even when patients live in areas with higher concentrations of psychiatrists, almost half of those psychiatrists work in a private practice setting and accept cash-only payments. Many patients can’t afford this option, so they go where they know they’ll get some kind of care ⏤ the emergency room.

The shortage of psychiatrists is an escalating crisis of more severity than shortages faced in virtually any other specialty.”
-
Merritt Hawkins & Associates

According to the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the largest factor contributing to the unnecessary use of the ED is mental health related and, “The average patient with psychiatric service needs directly costs an ED $1,198-$2,264 per visit, with many patients presenting dozens of times over a year.” 

Using the above figures and stats from the HFMA, here is an example of how this affects the ED and hospital’s costs. If the average cost of a psychiatric patient in the ED is $1,731 per visit, and if they visit the ED “dozens” of times a year, let’s say two dozen, the potential cost would be $41,544 annually. And if a hospital has just 10 patients like this, the cost is $415,440. The US healthcare system could save almost $5 billion annually if avoidable mental health visits to the ED ended.

The fact is that 96% of all US counties cannot meet the psychiatric needs of their population. A large number of patients are searching for mental health care, and ending up in the ED. This paradigm needs to change.

Reduce Avoidable ER Visits: Divert High-Cost Behavioral Health ER Visits to Virtual Care.

The Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center at the University of Michigan published a report addressing the use of virtual care in behavioral health and they found virtual care reduces the “maldistribution of professionals and improve access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment in the US.” 

Virtual care is the ideal solution to improve behavioral health access and efficiency of treatment. With virtual behavioral health, you can also make better use of your provider resources. In addition, you’ll reduce mental health emergency room visits by giving patients more convenient access to behavioral health providers and diverting expensive emergency room visits to virtual care. 

Why You Should Use eVisit Enterprise Virtual Care Platform for Virtual Behavioral Care

eVisit enables healthcare systems to deliver faster, more accessible behavioral health via virtual care by leveraging their own network of providers, and partnering with mental health specialists. Built for the enterprise with more than 150 points of configuration, eVisit accommodates your unique workflows and integrates with more than 50 EMRs through HL7 and/or FHIR standards. Our next generation, double-encrypted, data vault keeps patient data protected and secure. And, our enterprise-grade video works within stringent firewalls and security policies while delivery HD quality. Our Customer Success team guides you through on-boarding and beyond to get the best possible value from eVisit. Plus, we provide technical support for everyone—from your administrators and providers to patients.

Request your free virtual care assessment!

Key Features

  • Scheduling
    • Easily schedule visits on-demand or on the calendar
  • Intake
    • Configure intake questions for quick registration
  • Waiting Room
    • Manage patient and provider routing and waiting queues
  • Visit
    • Meet over 2-way HIPAA compliant video
  • Discharge
    • ePrescribe and process payment
  • Analytics
    • Analyze visit metrics including wait time, visit duration, and patient satisfaction

Key Advantages

  • Non-Competitive
    • eVisit is not a healthcare provider. Our platform enables health systems to compete directly with tech-enabled healthcare providers
  • Configuration Engine
    • 150+ points of configuration to meet your unique workflows
  • EMR Integration Layer
    • 50+ supported EMRs with HL7 integration
  • Government-Grade Security
    • Next generation, double-encrypted, patient data security vault
  • Adaptive Video
    • In psychiatry, non-verbals have great value for the provider so a high quality video connection is imperative. Also, give your patients peace of mind knowing their conversation is secure and private with and it’s important for the patient to know their conversation is secure and private. eVisit’s enterprise grade video provides this and works with stringent firewalls and security policies while delivering HD quality.
  • Fast Time to Value
    • Guided on-boarding, unlimited support, regular trainings, and adoption support
  • Patient Tech Support
    • Unlimited support for admins, providers, and your patients
Scott Berghoff

About Scott Berghoff

Scott spent 20 years in pharmaceutical sales in Arizona, Alaska, California, New York City, and New Mexico. He has an MBA in Health Care Management and likes to keep up on current and upcoming trends in the health care industry. He and his wife, a Family Nurse Practitioner, live in Arizona.

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