ATA Publishes New Action Brief: Telebehavioral Health for Employers
October 6-11 is Mental Illness Awareness Week
WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 7, 2019 — ATA, the premier organization working to accelerate the adoption of telehealth, today published the second in a series of Action Briefs: Telebehavioral Health for Employers: Proven Approach Improves Outcomes, Boosts Productivity, and Lowers Costs
This brief explains the opportunities and impacts of telebehavioral health for employers, and provides specific guidance on how organizations at any stage can make progress and gain immediate advantages.
“The availability of mental health services has the potential to reduce overall healthcare spending by about 20%. Comprehensive mental health and addiction treatment services—including telebehavioral health—could result in a significant financial return for employers,” said Ann Mond Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of ATA. “ATA strongly encourages U.S. employers to implement and broaden the availability of telebehavioral health services for their populations to address costly behavioral health issues. Employers and employees stand to gain enormous benefits. Telebehavioral health makes critical mental health services more accessible and effective than traditional onsite services, and helps improve overall health outcomes, increase medication adherence and reduce hospitalization costs.”
“Our thanks to Tania Malik and our Telemental Health Special Interest Group (SIG) for their contributions to this Action Brief,” added Mond Johnson. ATA’s Telemental Health SIG promotes dialogue between mental health practitioners, to improve the understanding and use of telehealth applications in the delivery of mental health services, and regularly publishes practice guidelines for telemental health services.
“Employers can—and should—advocate for coverage of mental health and addiction treatment services that are on par with coverage for other medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease; reimbursement for medications, as well as inpatient and outpatient services; and availability of all services via telehealth to address perceived stigma, improve access and reduce downtime and productivity impacts,” noted Tania Malik, JD, CEO, Virtual Medical Group and Chair, ATA Telemental Health SIG.
October 6-11 is Mental Health Awareness Week
According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), in 2018, 19% of U.S. adults, or nearly 48 million people, experienced mental illness, yet only 43% received treatment. People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population, and 19% of U.S. adults with mental illness (9 million individuals) also experienced a substance use disorder. In the U.S., serious mental illness causes $193 billion in lost earnings each year.
As the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth, ATA is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable and appropriate care when and where they need it, enabling the system to do more good for more people. ATA represents a broad and inclusive member network of technology solution providers and payers, as well as partner organizations and alliances, working to advance industry adoption of telehealth, promote responsible policy, advocate for government and market normalization, and provide education and resources to help integrate virtual care into emerging value-based delivery models.