New York legislation allows for more telemental services

Legislators across the country are recognizing the emergence and permanence of a dominant force in healthcare that’s taking over the industry, telemedicine. The latest state to adopt more free regulatory actions in the telehealth field is the state of New York. New York has put into action new legislation that allows for behavioral health professionals to reach more patients through a telemedicine platform.

Telemental coverage expanding

Thanks to this new legislation, over 250 providers will now be able to supply telepsychiatry care to patients through telemedicine platforms in comprehensive psychiatric emergency programs, inpatient programs, and partial hospitalization programs. With today’s shortage in mental health professionals, these new additions to the telemedicine laws in New York hopes to address these needs before they become more acute or harmful to the patient.

Guidelines on reimbursement

The technology that is covered through this addendum is the use of real-time, two-way interactive video or audio technologies. The legislation also requires a software that is able to zoom in on the patient, that way the provider may pick up on the environment and even small motions of the patient. New York also requires informed, written consent before telemental health services are rendered, which is a best practice in any case.

Telemedicine improving patient outcomes

Lawmakers agree telemedicine services are helping reach a group of patients that seemed to be unreachable prior to this technology. As a New York health provider puts it, telemedicine solutions provides patients with an, “easier and more efficient process, and appointment cancellations have decreased dramatically and our behavioral health specialists are able to provide their expert counsel to more clients.”