Telepsychiatry and Telemental Health Experts to Speak at First Annual Mid Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center

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The MATRC Summit will be held on March 14-15, 2012 at the University of Virginia. It will bring together national leaders in telemedicine to discuss the implementation and spread of telehealth in programs in Delaware, Washington DC, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The President and Medical Director of the national service provider, InSight Telepsychiatry will speak on a panel regarding the application of telemedicine to behavioral health.

The wide spectrum of panelist experience will give attendees a comprehensive understanding of the benefits, challenges and opportunities of telemedicine within the realm of behavioral health, particularly as it relates to primary care integration.

President and Medical Director Jim Varrell, MD, will represent InSight Telepsychiatry at the First Annual Mid Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center (MATRC) Summit on March 15.

Jim Tucker, MD from the University of Virginia Health System Department of Psychiatry and Mike Lancaster, MD, the director of Behavioral Health Care from Community Care of North Carolina, will join Dr. Varrell on the Telemental Health Panel.

In addition to all being physicians, each panelist represents a different realm of the Telemental health industry. Dr. Tucker, coming from UVA’s Health System, represents one of the most highly acclaimed telemedicine research universities. Dr. Lancaster represents the public sector and the state-wide Community Care Network that innovatively recognized and adopted telepsychiatry as a solution to the underserved behavioral health needs of North Carolina’s Communities. Dr. Varrell represents a service provider company that delivers psychiatric evaluation and care via telepsychiatry.

The wide spectrum of panelist experience will give attendees a comprehensive understanding of the benefits, challenges and opportunities of telemedicine within the realm of behavioral health, particularly as it relates to telepsychiatry’s usage in primary care integration.

For example, both Dr. Varrell and Dr. Tucker had a hand in improving the reach and foot print of telepsychiatry within Virginia. Dr. Varrell’s company InSight partnered with the University of Virginia Health System to pinpoint communities that would benefit from telemedicine and then established a delivery plan so that underserved consumers could gain access to UVA’s excellent behavioral health clinicians. The first site to capitalize on this partnership was a Federally Qualified Health Center that is now using telepsychiatry to deliver new behavioral health services.

Similarly, Dr. Varrell and Dr. Lancaster worked together to pilot the use of telepsychiatry in primary care offices in North Carolina. Dr. Varrell and Dr. Lancaster piloted a program in the rural Sandhills region of North Carolina where primary care sites are now able to leverage InSight’s technology and operational infrastructure to deliver timely evaluations, treatment, and consultations so that pediatricians and primary care doctors are better empowered to assess and treat both the physical and mental health of their consumers.

“Telepsychiatry improves the quality of mental healthcare by eliminating barriers to timely, effective psychiatric evaluation and treatment,” said Dr. Varrell, who has played an integral role in the spread and adoption of telepsychiatry and will bring both a clinical and business perspective to the summit.

For the past twelve years Dr. Varrell has worked with mental health boards, advocacy groups, provider organizations, and state agencies to revise and develop practice guidelines, policies, and reimbursement protocols for the appropriate use and delivery of telepsychiatry services throughout the nation.

MATRC provides resources, technical support and networking to telehealth programs in Delaware, Washington DC, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. MATRC was established in September 2011 with funding from Health Resources and Services Administration in order to advance telehealth within the mid-Atlantic states and collaborate with similar Telehealth Resources throughout the nation.

Karen Rheuban, MD, the Medical Director of the UVA Office of Telemedicine and Director of the UVA Center for Telehealth played an integral role in forming MATRC and organizing its first annual summit.

The MATRC summit, will be held March 14 and 15 at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business in conjunction with the Virginia Telehealth Network.

In addition to the Telemental Health Panel, the summit will also cover relevant telemedicine topics presented by a number of prominent industry leaders.
Notable speakers and attendees include:

  •     Aneesh Chopra, Assistant to the President & US Chief Technology Officer
  •     Sherilyn Pruitt, Director of HRSA Office for the Advancement of Telehealth
  •     Rita Landgraf, Delaware Secretary of Department of Health & Social Services
  •     Bill Hazel, MD, Virginia Secretary of Health & Human Resources
  •     Gary Capistrant, the Director of Policy for the American Telemedicine Association
  •     William Wampler, former Virginia Senator & Executive Director of New College Institute

About InSight: InSight Telepsychiatry, LLC is a national leader in delivering telepsychiatry services. InSight provides its partners with a network of telepsychiatry clinicians who augment existing in person services to bring evaluation and care where consumers may otherwise go without. InSight specializes in emergency psychiatric evaluations to aid hospital emergency rooms and psychiatric crisis centers. Within an hour of a request, InSight will connect staff from an emergency room or psychiatric crisis center with one of its psychiatric clinicians to conduct a psychiatric evaluation. InSight’s focus is on improving emergency department disposition. By enabling psychiatric evaluations to be done by the highest level of professional available, InSight’s services help every patient quickly receive the least restrictive and most appropriate level of care. InSight is a part of the CFG Health Network and a sister organization to CFG Health Systems, LLC which provides services to correctional facilities in the Northeast.

For more information, quotations, pictures or to schedule an interview please contact Liz Ryan at InSight Telepsychiatry, 770.713.4161 eryan(at)cfgpc(dot)com
Or visit: http://www.in-sight.net

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Liz Ryan
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