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Telemedicine Helps People In Rural Area Receive Mental Health Services

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the biggest advantages of telemedicine is the ability to deliver mental health services in under-served, rural areas of the United States.

The uses of telemedicine has risen dramatically in recent years, but state-to-state distribution remains uneven.

Over a 10 year period, there were more than 25 telemedicine visits per 100 patients with serious mental illnesses in nine states, while four states and the District of Columbia had none; there is a big problem and one that needs to be corrected.

According to the study, just 1.5 percent of patients with serious mental health disorders living in rural areas received treatment via telemedicine.

There is some good news.

Nationwide close to 100,000 mental health visits occurred in 2014, but these numbers need to grow.

More from Dr. Brian McDonough
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