Telepsychiatry Services

Telepsychiatry is the delivery of health care and the exchange of health care information for purposes of providing psychiatric services across distances (Yellowlees et al, 2003). In practice, this most often means an interaction between a patient and clinician who are in different sites, through the use of transmitted live sound and video images.

Three easy steps:

  • Fill out your forms on the Forms page and fax/email/telephone in.
  • Call or email to schedule your visit.
  • Have your appointment.

Telepsychiatry Frequently Asked Questions

How to pick your telemedicine provider?

Go to the Doctors Page and select your provider.

What software and equipment do I need?

Telepsychiatry visits are conducted via Skype and this free communications software is required for remote visits with our providers. You need a VGA or higher quality webcam/video camera and microphone compatible with the Skype software. You will also need a broadband internet connection (DSL, cable, T1 or higher).

Are there any limitations to treatment?

Patients must be residents of California to be eligible for care. All limitations inherent in the traditional psychiatrist-patient relationship are present in telepsychiatry. You may need to visit your primary care physician prior to any treatment with medications. Not all consultations will result in the prescription of medication. When indicated, prescriptions can be sent (electronically, via fax, or by phone) to the patient's pharmacy of choice. However, state and federal laws limit remote prescribing to DEA Schedule III, IV and V medications. Thus the physicians are unable to provide prescriptions for stimulants or narcotics.

How much does telepsychiatry cost?

The cost of your telemedicine visit is dependent upon the type of provider you choose and the lenght of your session. Most first visits are 45-50 minutes in duration. Medication follow ups will usually be shorter, but that is to be determined by you and your doctor (not the insurance company). Therapy visits are usually scheduled for 45-50 minutes. Non-refundable payment for appointments is made at the time of scheduling.

Does insurance cover telepsychiatry?

Your insurance carrier may reimburse you for telepsychiatry services and our front desk can provide invoices for you to submit to your insurance. However, because of the variability in adoption and coverage of this service, the physicians are unable to bill your insurance directly. Should you wish to use your insurance for more "traditional" visits, please call to schedule an office appointment.

Is my privacy protected with telepsychiatry?

Yes. Electronic interactions with health care providers are subject to the same state and federal privacy and confidentiality laws as in-person interactions, including HIPAA. Skype transmissions use security protocols that are HIPAA compliant. Video conferences may not be recorded by either party without written consent. Your physician will keep a confidential medical record of your care and a complete privacy policy will be provided to you upon registration. Some aspects of the remote interaction with your physician may not be confidential. It is your responsibility to ensure the privacy of the computer, internet connection, and location from which you engage in telepsychiatry. Also, standard email communication with your physician is currently not HIPAA-compliant so clinical issues cannot be addressed in this form.

How do I sign up for telepsychiatry?

Call or email (916) 608-0714 to schedule your visit or submit your information below: