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Telepsychiatry Frequently Asked Questions

Telepsychiatry is an innovative form of classic psychiatric care. It uses secure, real-time audio and video-based technology to connect psychiatrists and patients virtually.

Telepsychiatry helps meet the mental health needs of people living in rural areas that lack access to psychiatric care.

For patients, telepsychiatry provides:

We also find that some people actually prefer videoconferencing to the standard in-person care because it's less stressful.


For community behavioral health agencies, telepsychiatry provides:

  • Input and guidance from our world-class specialists without needing to travel a long way.
  • Increased efficiency for patients and providers.
  • High rates of patient satisfaction.
  • Lower health care costs.

Psychiatrists can treat the same mental health issues through telepsychiatry as they can during an office visit.

These include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Substance abuse
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Attention disorders
  • Behavior problems
  • Schizophrenia

Yes. UPMC's telepsychiatry services adhere to the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Our state-of-the-art services are highly secure. Patients receive the same protection as they do at an in-person visit.

Yes. Tech support at UPMC constantly protects and tracks our telehealth network.

We further encrypt any data and video you send electronically to make sure your records are safe.

Yes.

The Telepsychiatry Program follows all HIPAA Privacy standards to ensure the utmost confidentiality for patients and providers.

It depends.

If your health insurance plan covers virtual visits, you can use telepsychiatry for follow-up care and medication management.

Maybe.

Insurance coverage varies. You will need to check with your insurance carrier to see if the cover virtual health visits. Co-payments will apply as they do with any other medical appointment.

If your insurance doesn't cover the cost of a telepsychiatry visit, you can choose to self-pay.

Some people might need to come to Pittsburgh for treatment. But we have partnered with 16 different clinics in 11 Pennsylvania counties for outpatient care, thereby giving PA residents more options for psychiatric treatment.

Video-teleconferencing equipment needs to be present on both ends.

Often times a desktop, laptop, or tablet is all you need as long as it has:

  • An approved video-conferencing camera
  • A microphone/speaker system
  • Speakers

These devices connect to UPMC using the Vidyo platform.

Yes. We're always growing to include more agencies throughout Pennsylvania.

Our mission is to ensure that no person or community suffers from the lack of mental health services in their area.

To learn more about our services, email the UPMC Telepsychiatry Program or call us at 412-246-5434.