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Telehealth Insights

Best Practices for Treating Patients with Anxiety and Depression via Telehealth

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a lot of changes for your patients, and telemedicine can provide an easy and convenient way for you to check in on your patients’ mental health. Anytime Pediatrics and CHADIS recently hosted a webinar with pediatric thought-leaders Dr. Barb Periard, Dr. Barbara Howard and Dr. Colleen Kraft for a discussion on helping patients manage anxiety and depression via telehealth. They discussed the challenges that this past year has presented for young patients, how telemedicine has emerged as a way to spot the early warning signs of anxiety and depression and leveraging technology to improve the continuity of care for patients with mental health illnesses. If you would like to see a full recording of the webinar, you can access it here 

Preparation and establishing a strong workflow are some of the keys to success for your mental health visits with your patients. Check out suggestions and best practices for making the most of your mental health visits below.  

Pre-Visit Planning  

  • Work with a care manager to help determine the extent of the “workup needed” (i.e. pre-visit screenings) 
  • Determine how time consuming a patient may be so you can add extra time to your schedule if needed  
  • Look at sequentially scored surveys to see improvements or worsening in care 
  • Seek records from any consultants prior to the visit  
  • Have patients sign a consent to share health information document  
  • Determine if a virtual or in person visit will be best for this patient 
  • Click here for a great article to share with parents on how to think about their teen’s mental health and telemedicine. 

During the Visit  

  • Review screening results  
  • Follow EHR templates for questions, details, and documentation  
  • Care planning  
  • Set up the MDM – billing and coding. Here are a few resources to help: 
    • Click here for more information on states paying COCM codes.
    • For more details on Collaborative Care, click here
  • Determine follow up care after therapist recommendation or initiation of medicine  

Tips for Ongoing Management  

  • Determine your care management touchpoint in your office  
  • Know your list of resources  
    • Therapists  
    • Psychiatry  
    • Insurance acceptance  
    • Intensive outpatient  
    • Partial hospitalization programs  
    • Residential programs  
  • Use your EHR to formally track these patients to make sure patients do not fall through the cracks  
  • Enter a collaborative care model to expand your patient care

For more information about Anytime Pediatrics, contact us today!