For the large majority of us, it is easy to put off going to the doctor or any other healthcare appointment. There is a lot happening at work. The kids need to go to soccer practice. The dog has to go to the vet. The oil has to be changed.
It’s definitely not good, however, it’s a reflection of the reality we live in with our fast-paced lives. There is too much happening each day to take time out in order to take care of ourselves. Still, there’s an evidence-based answer to handling the most basic barrier to healthcare – convenience and access. That’s where digital care comes into play.
Earlier this year, Beacon strengthened its digital care benchmark by starting a larger-scale product involving several top employer clients. By doing so, Beacon has increased the level of access to behavioral health care using a national program for augmenting Beacon’s system of providers.
Particularly, Beacon’s solution includes opening evaluations, family and individual psychotherapy as well as medication management using virtual access the aforementioned services.
The benefits of this virtual technology are enormous, with even the promise of reimbursement. Of course, the obvious ones include convenience and increased access to care. However, there are other benefits such as depowered stigma, improved person-centered treatment and increased choice.
Telemedicine, which incorporates various mediums like video, secure electronic transmission and mobile communication devices (tablets and cell phones) is a perfect fit when it comes to behavioral health. In-person communication isn’t as required because blood draws or cell phones, for instance, aren’t normal requirements for a visit.
Other than being a good fit, the data supports the effectiveness of the system. Verdicts from a Yale study recently revealed that web-based treatments aren’t only as viable as in-person treatments, but may overtake in-person options in the long run, including reimbursement.
At the most basic level, Telehealth allows members’ lives to be easier by the convenience it provides. Beacon’s members and clients possess virtual access to psychiatry services and outpatient mental health therapy through video-conferencing and telephony to address problems like anxiety, substance use disorders and depression.
These meetings can happen at any place and time as an incident is occurring. Even more, the service provides a level of privacy and discretion for those who desire it. Additionally, Beacon’s technology enhances access to care. Enabling appointment availability seven days a week is a self-service scheduling and a call center that grants support any time of the year.
In short, health care via Telehealth fulfills the individual’s requirements rather than the other way around. People no longer need to make their lives more hectic to meet the less adaptable demands of a conventional healthcare system.
The reasons mentioned earlier are enough to place the platform as a standard option for treatment instead of an exception. But there are extra benefits for the member that stretch health care into the area of overall wellbeing for enhancing day-to-day life.
The platform lets members pick the way they are looking to obtain care, promoting involvement and engagement in such care. This precise flexibility by allowing a choice fosters empowerment, a leading factor attaining that sense of personal wellbeing.
It assists member engagement through care in other important ways. For instance, while behavioral health treatments have become more trusted recently, pieces of the previous stigma continue to linger.
For a few people, it further takes away potential negative associations to office-based aid. Virtual therapy appointments can happen almost anywhere the person feels comfortable.
The implications for healthcare delivery systems, in general, exist as well. Digital health’s mindset for going mobile can aid the integration of care through bridging the gap among non-behavioral and behavioral providers and even inpatient providers and outpatient with member consent as always.
“It allows for the distribution of both medical and behavioral health integrated care across any setting,” Christina Mainelli, Beacon’s Chief Growth Officer commented. “With this advancement of technology and the freedom it provides, we can also grant a more personalized treatment plan for the patients. Beacon will keep expanding the platform to help support a wider variety of behavioral health conditions.”