It is no secret that the United States is experiencing a mental health crisis due to aggravated conditions from the pandemic exacerbated by of a shortage of mental health professionals, especially psychiatrists.

As a result, especially because of the effects and requirements of the pandemic, telepsychiatry has been on the rise. In fact, behavioral healthcare has even received special exemptions from prepandemic reimbursement rules from the CMS and private payers.

Dr. James R. Varrell is chief medical officer and founder of Array Behavioral Care and a practicing psychiatrist. Varrell was among the first to perform telepsychiatry – back in 1999, before the Internet, via phone lines. This was through a state-sponsored grant in New Jersey. Array Behavioral Care has been at telepsychiatry for 20 years, with a large base of virtual psychiatrists.

In an interview with Healthcare IT News, Varrell talks about how healthcare organizations are coping via telepsychiatry with the mental health crisis, how tele-psychiatry has changed over the last two decades and the requisite bedside manner for tele-psychiatry.

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