Disclaimer: The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp
Telehealth Offers Increased Convenience and Flexibility
Telemedicine refers to the process of meeting with a healthcare professional or therapist online. Telehealth also offers particular benefits for parents of young children and caregivers who may have more trouble leaving their home responsibilities to access healthcare. There’s no need to worry about scheduling an appointment during lunch and rushing back to the office while hoping to beat traffic.
For people who are working with a therapist, the regular appointment schedule can be even more challenging than making it to the occasional checkup at a doctor’s office. To learn even more about the potential benefits of receiving therapy online, check out BetterHelp’s resources on telehealth therapy: www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/exploring-the-potential-benefits-of-telehealth-for-therapists-and-clients/
In this article, we’ll look at how telemedicine is being used for both physical and mental health care, including the results of research studying the effectiveness of telemedicine.
Telemedicine Is Well-Suited to Managing Your Mental Health
Making space in your schedule for in-person annual checkups is generally easier than finding time to visit a healthcare professional on a weekly or ongoing basis. However for several health issues, there may be the need for ongoing care. This is especially true for accessing mental health services through a telemedicine service.
Because mental health treatment often means being able to meet with a therapist online for regular appointments, the process can be made far more convenient and easy to schedule with a telehealth service. Instead of having to leave work once a week or find a therapist within driving distance who’s taking new patients, you can simply sign up with a reputable online therapy provider.
When you sign up with an online provider, such as BetterHelp, you can often be matched with a licensed therapist within just 24 to 48 hours. By selecting an online therapist over typical in-person therapy, you’ll also have more therapists to choose from. Additionally, you’ll be able to look for a therapist who specializes in the area of mental health you wish to focus on if that’s of help to you.
Telehealth Can Increase Quality Of Care And Positive Health Outcomes
There are many myths about the negative outcomes of telemedicine services, which have been disproven. “Telemedicine is an effective and efficient way of receiving many kinds of health care,” according to Kathleen Fear, Ph. D. of the University of Rochester Health Lab in her paper entitled “Busting Myths about the Impact of Telemedicine Parity.” In their study which involved more than 3,000 health professionals, many of the traditional concerns people had about telemedicine being ineffective were proven to be unfounded.
The University of Rochester study also found that many of the most vulnerable patients who were of utmost concern for healthcare professionals benefitted the most. Additionally, the study found that telemedicine services did not result in more follow-up care, worsened outcomes vs. in-person care, nor did telemedicine services cause increased costs for patients.
This is especially true of telemedicine for therapy, which can offer lower costs over traditional in-person therapy. And because many insurance plans don’t cover the cost of therapy, the patient needs to find the lowest out-of-pocket cost for a licensed therapist.
Telehealth Can Help Connect People To Specialized Healthcare Providers
While many people live in large cities or regions where healthcare providers are more numerous, others live in rural or underserved communities. For those living in an area with fewer healthcare providers, the demand for services can make just getting an appointment difficult. Sometimes, the wait for the appointment can be so long that it’s difficult to take the steps needed to address your health.
This is often the case with finding a therapist in your community. With online therapy, you can be matched to a skilled therapist within a day or two in many cases. A person seeking online therapy over an in-person provider may also have more flexibility and choices for appointment times.
It only serves to reason that it’s easier to get healthcare treatment when it’s easier to access a healthcare professional. Telemedicine can make it easier to squeeze healthcare appointments into an already busy schedule of work, friends, and family commitments.
For many health concerns, such as mental health, telemedicine provides increased access to care and more access to a wider range of licensed therapists. The result is that telemedicine therapy services can be beneficial and lead to more positive outcomes for those seeking care.
If you have questions about how online therapy works, take the next steps to learn more. And don’t hesitate to get help if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need the support of a therapist. You don’t have to go it alone.