**We recognize that the times are quickly changing due to regulations and best practices regarding COVID-19. We are committed to your health and safety as well as ours, while also providing excellent care. This may affect telepsychiatry, phone appointments, and in person visits. Please call to discuss our office policies and practices in these rapidly changing times. **

Is COVID-19 and news of the Coronavirus stressing you out?

You’re not alone!

These unprecedented times of COVID-19 are a very difficult time for everyone. The norm seems to now be social isolation, worry about yourself or a loved one, boredom, anxiety about the future, disruption of routines and goals, increased demands on you in the home, and abnormal sleep cycles. Moods can be off, and it may not be normal.

Are you in need of a trained, experienced psychiatrist in these unprecedented times of COVID-19? Dr. Kim is pleased to offer telepsychiatry services to any resident of Texas although she does require an initial in person evaluation. She believes that everyone should be able to access a psychiatrist and receive excellent treatment in this difficult, sequestered time. All that is needed is a high-speed internet connection and a computer or phone with a microphone and webcam.

What is telepsychiatry (telemedicine psychiatry)?

Telepsychiatry, telemedicine psychiatry, is a new, safe, and rapidly growing way for patients to connect with psychiatrists virtually rather than face-to-face.  While Dr. Kim will always highly value the in-person encounter (after all, we are complex, whole human beings), these are highly unusual times and circumstances. Telemedicine psychiatry or telepsychiatry describes the practice of seeing patients through the use of a video conference platform instead of a traditional face-to-face visit. Through this application of telemedicine, a patient’s psychiatric needs can be assessed, and care can occur through videoconferencing. Dr. Andrea Kim can meet patients in real-time, using a secure video conferencing technology that allows for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions.

How does telepsychiatry work?

The setup will be similar to a traditional visit, but over a video platform called Spruce Health.  Spruce Health is a HIPAA-compliant phone and video app, and your information will be securely stored.  You can use Spruce Health on your phone, your tablet, or your computer. Once connected, Dr. Kim will see the patient in real-time where she can deliver live, interactive communication.

Are there benefits to telemedicine and telepsychiatry?

Video-based telepsychiatry can help meet a patient’s need for convenient, affordable and easily accessible mental health services.  Telepsychiatry can benefit patients in a number of ways:

  • Bring mental health care to the patient’s location
  • Improve access and availability of mental health care that might not otherwise be available
  • Reduce delays in treatment or care.
  • Lowers the need for emergency room visits
  • Helps to integrate behavioral health care and primary care which leads to better patient outcomes.
  • Reduces the time needed off work
  • Reduces transportation time and costs
  • Reduces the barrier of stigma
  • Allows patient and doctor to still meet face-to-face

Are telepsychiatry on-line appointments safe?

Dr. Kim uses a secure, HIPAA compliant platform, done in the comfort of the patient’s home or office. Information remains private and the patient’s needs can be met without fear of data-breach. Patient privacy and confidentiality are equivalent to an in-person visit.

How does telemedicine work?

The process is simple, patients only need high-speed internet access, a computer, or a smartphone with a microphone and webcam. Patients who have experience with FaceTime, Skype or Zoom, find telepsychiatry appointments user-friendly and easy to accomplish. Even patients who have never used a video conference find Dr. Kim’s appointments easy to connect to and simple process to meet online.

Will telemedicine psychiatry work as well as a face-to-face visit?

Telepsychiatry has been found to be especially effective with the treatment of depression, PTSD and ADHD. Research has found a high patient satisfaction with telepsychiatry among patients, psychiatrists and other health care professionals. Patients report an overall good experience among all age groups and there is evidence of successful treatment effectiveness and a high quality of care and patient satisfaction.

Can medicine or drugs be prescribed over telepsychiatry?

Please note, due to the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act and Texas Medical Board regulations, Dr. Kim is not able to send any controlled substances without an initial in-person encounter. However, this restriction has been temporarily lifted due to the COVID-19 epidemic. If federal and state requirements are met, Dr. Kim is allowed to prescribe controlled substances after a telepsychiatry visit.

Is my telepsychiatric visit covered by insurance?

Texas is one of many states that treat your telepsychiatric visit insurance reimbursement the same as an office visit, providing you are in network. Medicaid will also reimburse patients for some telepsychiatric services. Insurance companies view telepsychiatry visits the same as in-person visits. Although Dr. Kim is not in network with any insurance companies, she is glad to provide a bill suitable for you to file for out-of-network reimbursement. The amount you would be reimbursed is dependent on the details of your insurance plan. Patients are urged to check with their insurance to determine applicable benefits.

How do I connect for my telemedicine visit?

Please call us at 214-865-6846 to book an appointment or ask further questions. We look forward to meeting you.

If you would like more information regarding telepsychiatry, telemedicine or how to meet through a secure on-line platform, please contact the offices of Dr. Andrea Kim, serving patients in Dallas, Plano and Richardson TX. 

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