The other day I was surfing the web when I ran across an advertisement for TherapyNotes, a mental health electronic health record (EHR) system. I was a little curious. TherapyNotes lets counselors schedule an appointment and allows their clients to book through a client portal. Counselors can meet with clients in person or remotely with secure telehealth sessions. Then TherapyNotes facilitates documenting the session with easy‑to‑use templates. Finally, TherapyNotes creates and submits insurance claims with just a few clicks. According to its website:
TherapyNotes™ is a complete practice management system with everything you need to manage patient records, schedule appointments, meet with patients remotely, create rich documentation, and bill insurance, right at your fingertips. Our streamlined software is accessible wherever and whenever you need it.
As an aside, something like 80% of mental health therapists do not accept insurance, but I guess this can also be used to bill patients. It’s $49 a month for a solo practitioner with other plans for educational, nonprofit and larger, group practices.
Another EHR platform I ran across is called TheraPlatform, with features including HIPAA-compliant video, scheduling, documentation, billing and invoicing and a client portal, all for $39 a month. It claims:
A better teletherapy experience
TheraPlatform video conferencing is more than just video and screen sharing; it’s a suite of tools and resources developed to support therapists and behavioral health professionals.
Pre-built tools that will help you facilitate interactive sessions, engage with clients, target specific disorders and deliver consistent quality service. HIPAA compliant video conferencing means we keep people’s healthcare data private and secure.
Enhance your virtual sessions with:
Pre-organized Resources Built-in Whiteboard Therapy Games and Apps Two-way Screen Sharing In-session Chat In-session Video Playtime
A program that I read about a few years ago was therapy by HIPAA-compliant email exchanges. One advantage about discussing your mental health conditions in writing is that people supposedly more carefully think and word their responses when they describe their feelings. Patients can also go back and reread the discussions again later, creating a self-help record for patients. Many patients found rereading old discussions therapeutic.
I’ve written about online mental health and remote therapy here and here. In one post I discussed how we don’t see group therapy much anymore. Considering that most counselors do not accept insurance, I’m a little surprised more don’t engage in group therapy. Instead of charging one person $150 an hour, therapists could charge six people $50 an hour. That would double their hourly income while making therapy sessions more accessible.
If you’re old enough, you may recall the old group therapy sessions in the 1970’s television show, Bob Newhart. Dr. Hartley (Bob Newhart) was a psychologist whose patients would go around the room and discuss things that happened to them the previous week. They all seemed more eccentric than depressed. Dr. Hartley would often ask in his monotone voice “and how does that make you feel?” Maybe the next generation of remote mental health EHRs will include an artificial intelligence chatbot that mimics Newhart’s monotone voice and engages with patients without human involvement. Apple iPhone’s Siri seems pretty good at providing help and advice to queries. Maybe Apple could create a therapy app using her voice.
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