Spectrum Health launches teletherapy services

Spectrum Health and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, both in Grand Rapids, Mich., are partnering on telehealth services for behavioral healthcare, Cadillac News reports.

Spectrum Health is offering teletherapy services to individuals experiencing anxiety, depression and stress, among other conditions, through its mobile application Spectrum Health Now.

The service can currently be paid for through a copay with the patient's insurance, but beginning Nov. 1, patients will pay through a self-pay rate. The pay rate will keep teletherapy appointments at $90 or less with or without insurance, according to the report.

By using the app, patients can access a therapist within 48 hours of an appointment request. Upon filling out their symptoms in the app, patients are prompted to call a phone number that connects them to a virtual medical assistant who performs an assessment to determine whether the patient needs immediate assistance.

"It is important that we keep that first point of contact a real person," said Mandy Reed, virtual health director at Spectrum Health, according to the report. "… When dealing with potentially 'high risk' patients, you want to make sure safety is a priority and then make sure they are getting the quality help they need."

Spectrum Health rolled out telehealth appointments for primary care in 2015, and Pine Rest has offered virtual care services since 2013, according to the report.

More articles on telehealth:
VA partners with Philips to expand delivery of telehealth services
Tennessee hospital rolls out ICU telemedicine services
Most consumers say video technology can help build strong patient-physician relationships, survey finds

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