Direct to Consumer

Oral Presentation

(DTC7-01) Bringing Help Home: The Use of Telepsychiatry in a Mobile Crisis Program

Monday, April 24
1:30 PM - 1:59 PM
Location: W224 CD

When an individual is in crisis- they deserve the best care- fast. One innovative mobile crisis team has figured out how to connect individuals in crisis and crisis response team members with a remote telepsychiatry provider who is able to rapidly meet the person where they are- all through telehealth.

This case study presentation details the nation's first mobile crisis program to utilize telepsychiatry and will cover insights into what worked, what didn't, getting community buy-in, vetting providers and expertise on how it all works together.

In 2014 Access Services, a nonprofit organization that specializes in improving quality of life for people with special needs, paired with a national telepsychiatry provider organization, InSight Telepsychiatry, to launch the 24/7 Adult Mobile Crisis Program and 24/7 Children's Crisis Program. They trained crisis support professionals to bring laptops equipped to connect with a telepsychiatrist into the homes of callers experiencing psychiatric crises.

This case study will discuss the collaboration between these stakeholders to develop a system of care that allows consumers in crisis to remain in their homes and their communities when dealing with new or ongoing psychiatric emergencies. It will review the implementation steps the partners went through to develop and roll out a successful program including designing workflows, selecting providers, overcoming regulatory hurtles, informing insurance payers, choosing their technology and educating their teams.

Though challenging to implement, the benefits of this unique program are numerous. With access to behavioral health providers through telepsychiatry, the mobile crisis team is empowered to more effectively manage crisis situations where individuals are experiencing difficult episodes. Utilizing telepsychiatry in a mobile crisis program allows individuals to be served by a psychiatrist in their home, reducing the need for traveling to an emergency department. Through videoconferencing, the program's psychiatric provider consults with the on-hand crisis support professionals or directly evaluates the individual in crisis. The psychiatric provider also has the ability to potentially prescribe appropriate bridge prescriptions until the consumer is connected with ongoing behavioral health services. Mobile crisis intervention paired with telepsychiatry can reduce the time consumers spend awaiting care and lessen the strain on the psychiatric resources of area hospitals. This unique program helps resolve immediate crises without unnecessary and costly hospitalization and reduces the risk for self-harm or harm to others.

Ultimately, this model of mobile crisis intervention is a recovery-oriented program focused on offering consumers choice in their care. By allowing in-home intervention and reducing hospitalization, telepsychiatry allows consumers to remain in charge of their own lives, even during tough times.

Led by the InSight Account Executive who worked closely with the Access Services team to develop the program and the Adult Mobile Crisis Program Director at Access Services, this interdisciplinary case study presentation will discuss lessons learned from both parties, how the program was implemented and how the program is being utilized today.

Learning Objectives:

Dan Khebzou

Account Executive
InSight Telepsychiatry

As an Account Executive with InSight Telepsychiatry, Dan Khebzou brings over four years of outside sales and marketing experience to the team. Previously in his career he had success in the Health Insurance industry helping organizations and individuals find health benefit options to fit their needs. Since joining InSight, Khebzou has been primarily involved with business development but has also worked on marketing initiatives, research and strategy development, and CRM System design and management. He believes integrity and a high level of customer service is the key to building and maintaining effective relationships.


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Jessica Fenchel

Senior Director for Adult Behavioral Health and Crisis
Access Services

Jessica Fenchel is the Senior Director for Adult Behavioral Healh and Crisis at Acess Services, a large non-profit organization serving 10 counties in Pennsylvania. Jessica Fenchel has been providing therapy, oversight and leadership in community behavioral health and school programs since 2000. She has a Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling Psychology from LaSalle University and extensive training and experience in crisis work, trauma, program start up/staff development, and teamwork. Jess was key in the development and startup of an innovative mobile crisis program in Montgomery County. This new program has partnered with telehealth, law enforcement, drug and alcohol providers and other behavioral health providers to effectively respond to the crisis needs across the County. The outcomes have included a 98% hospital diversion rate. In her role as Senior Director for Adult Behavioral Health at Access Services, Jess also oversees several other programs that inlude mobile psychiatric rehabiliattion, peer support, and supportting those with serious mental illness in the forensic system. Jess is a master trainer in QPR, leads in several County-level workgroups, and serves on the MAX Agency Board.


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(DTC7-01) Bringing Help Home: The Use of Telepsychiatry in a Mobile Crisis Program

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