Telepsychiatry Companies

Tag Archives: Technology

The pandemic has brought new and creative ways to utilize telehealth for individuals who require medical services. As the health industry continues to evolve, legislation is quickly catching up with frequent updates on new billing codes, audio-only visits, and telehealth services made reimbursable. To help healthcare leaders and providers remain up-to-date with these constant changes, our wonderful team members, Annie and Tom, share their insights on telehealth and telephone service changes during COVID-19.

As intriguing and exciting as telephone billing codes and lists of reimbursable telehealth services are to read, we’ve decided to condense down the information into a more digestible format.

Telehealth Services Added During COVID-19

In this video, Annie Walls, our Licensing & Credentialing Manager, created a list of telehealth services reimbursable by Medicare. Annie walks us through how to decipher the below PDF.

Read our PDF here: Iris CMS Telehealth Services List

The PDF lists the respective codes and descriptors for each telehealth service added during COVID-19. It also specifies whether this will be a temporary addition to the list or will remain in effect post-COVID-19. For those interested in audio-only technology, the PDF indicates which services are eligible to be reimbursed.

Billing for Telephone Services

In this video, Dr. Tom Milam, our Chief Medical Officer, shares with us new billing codes for telephone services as of April 30th, 2020. In the video, Tom references three telephone billing codes from the below PDF.

Read our PDF here: Iris CMS Telephone Billing Guide

Upgrade in reimbursement modeling for telephone

  1. Codes can be used for established patients and new patient evaluations
  2. Reimbursement rate has increased almost three times the original rate
  3. The Provider must document verbal consent for telephone encounters indicating why audio-only was used instead of using video or conducting in-person visits

Codes are from March 1st, 2020, and now considered as telehealth services. Therefore, modifier 95 is optional to use.

We Are Here For You

As always, we at Iris are here for you and your organization for anything you may need. We are more than happy to clarify any of the above information, answer your COVID-19 or non-related pandemic questions, and set-up a meeting with you to discuss your needs for a telepsychiatry program.

To learn more about our organization and to talk directly to one of our team members, please email us

Contact Us

About Iris Telehealth

Iris Telehealth is a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of the highest quality psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Our mission is to provide underserved communities with access to the best mental health specialists and prescribers. We are owned and operated by doctors who understand what patients need and have earned a reputation for providing outstanding customer service. Iris values building strong professional relationships with our partners and their staff. We are dedicated to understanding your organization’s needs and operational goals because we recognize that your success is critical to our own.


List of Telehealth Services. (2020, April 30). Retrieved May 07, 2020, from

Tag Archives: Technology

It’s no surprise that technology is essential for telepsychiatry. However, it’s worth exploring how to utilize it effectively for creating lasting relationships with your remote psychiatrists.

Why it’s Essential to Engage with Your Remote Psychiatrists

The Association of American Medical College (AAMC) reported there are 28,000 psychiatrists in the U.S (2018), where 60% of the U.S counties don’t have a single practicing psychiatrist (NAMI, 2017). There is an evident shortage of providers. That’s why retaining them now is more critical than ever – and we’re here to help.

Telepsychiatry has been a great option to cushion this shortage, but these remote psychiatrists are starting to become a hot commodity. Finding the best practices in engaging your remote psychiatrists with your on-site staff will reduce the headache of possibly losing a quality team member.

5 Ways to Create a Long-Term Relationship with Your Remote Psychiatrist

1. Engage Them in Staff Meetings & Case Reviews

Many remote providers have worked in clinics very similar to yours, which differ from their current secluded setting. Engaging them in staff meetings and case reviews can create a sense of normalcy and inclusion. Not only does this validate the provider’s opinions, but it can also help your organization receive valuable insight from an alternative perspective.

The more digital interaction the remote psychiatrists can receive with your on-site staff, the more comfortable they will be working together. It will create a greater sense of teamwork and naturally build on personal rapport. One thing we do at Iris is host digital lunch and learns with our team members where we have our medical directors and other executives talk on a desired topic. We connect on a platform called Whereby, which is a URL based video chatroom; however, any other video conferencing software works just fine.

2. Celebrate All Wins Together – Big and Small

Use a community chat channel like Slack, to celebrate and share weekly wins among the providers. You can also use this digital channel for celebrating holiday pictures, birthdays, etc. Yet, of course, allow them the option to opt-out if they would rather not participate. In these instances, the efforts in engaging your remote providers are far more appreciated than not trying at all.

3. Digital Coffee Break

We know there can be days where it’s challenging to get some personal time in. However, even on those busy days, your on-site staff can engage with monthly one-on-one digital coffee hangouts with the remote psychiatrists. They can set aside 15 minutes on their calendars and share their morning coffee or their 3rd-afternoon cup of coffee (depending on how much you need your caffeine). These quick hangouts can also allow for the remote provider to give an exciting virtual walk-through of their workspace.

You can use a platform like Skype or Whereby, as mentioned above, or something as simple as your iPhone!

4. Promoting Topical Discussions

We tend to say we don’t have enough time unless we make it. Set some time aside to have the entire medical staff discuss current issues related to psychiatry and mental health. These topical discussions promote the importance of continuing education while finding time to meet as a team.

5. Keep It Fun!

While technology helps our lives become more efficient and comfortable, it also makes things more fun! You can start incorporating memes, gifs, and funny pictures in your digital conversations. A career in medicine can be stressful, so anytime your team can alleviate some of the stress, be sure to include your remote employees within the fun conversations. After all, it was you guys who said laughter is the best medicine.


It’s unreasonable to expect the shortage of psychiatrists will be resolved overnight, so now it’s more critical than ever to take steps towards retaining your existing providers. Try some of the above practices in keeping your remote psychiatrists engaged and happy. Since you are already investing in different forms of digital communication, you might as well get creative with the technology for improving engagement across the board! What’s the outcome? A happy and long-term psychiatrist that is an extension of your team!


Mental Health By The Numbers. (2017, October). Retrieved February 6, 2020, from

Weiner, S. (2018, February 12). Addressing the escalating psychiatrist shortage. Retrieved February 6, 2020, from

About Iris Telehealth

Iris Telehealth is a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of the highest quality psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Our mission is to provide underserved communities with access to the best mental health specialists and prescribers. We are owned and operated by doctors who understand what patients need and have earned a reputation for providing outstanding customer service. Iris values building strong professional relationships with our partners and their staff. We are dedicated to understanding your organization’s needs and operational goals because we recognize that your success is critical to our own.

Tag Archives: Technology

Is technology the biggest hurdle in starting your telemedicine program?

You’re not alone. I can’t tell you how many people at conferences have confided that they’re trying to start a telemedicine program but still need to figure out the technology component. It baffles me because here’s the thing: Technology should be the easiest part of starting your telemedicine program.

But, you ask, who are we to tell you that technology is the easiest part of implementing telemedicine?

Disclaimer: We Are Not A Technology Company

Let me preface by saying that we are not a technology company; there will be no sales pitch in this post.

We are a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of mental health prescribers. We partner with health systems nationwide to serve as an all-encompassing staffing solution to better serve their mental health patient populations.

Since our founding in 2013, we have gained a positive reputation among our partners for outstanding customer service. That service includes technology assessment and recommendations.

If our partner organization already has telemedicine technology from a prior attempt to create a telehealth program, we will use it. Otherwise, we make technology recommendations for our partners based on their budget and overall needs.

We are committed to being technology neutral because we believe that’s how we are able to deliver the best care to our partners’ patients.

That said, we have worked with all different types of technology – from the most complex, intuitive, lifelike, robotic cameras to clunky, old monitors. And we can tell you with certainty: no matter what tech you decide to use, it will work.

We know firsthand how telemedicine can transform the way you deliver healthcare, so let’s pull back the curtain and reveal some of our secrets when it comes to telemedicine technology.

Because even if you’re not our partner, we want you to succeed.

Our Biggest Technology Secret Revealed

One of our biggest, longest-standing clients is a large hospital with more than a dozen sites. We do ER and med/surg coverage for them, and they have expanded their telepsychiatry department significantly in our time together.

You want to know the technology they use?

A $1000 tablet. That’s it.

I hope I just blew your mind. Every time I share that with people at conferences or trade shows, they’re adequately shocked; then, they want to know how and why it works.

Here are a few reasons this simple approach is effective:

  • It’s HIPAA-compliant as long as you use the right software.
  • It’s easy to fix, easy to charge, and easy to use regardless of how tech savvy you are.
  • It’s mobile and easy to move around, if needed.
  • It allows for clear, quality video to go through to the provider.
  • It’s familiar. For patients, it’s just like Facetiming. They can hold the tablet, or it can remain on a cart that moves from room to room.

There are loads of options out there when it comes to telemedicine technology, and the last thing I’m saying is that this is a solution for everyone. However, I do think simplifying your approach to technology will help make your telemedicine program more effective in the long run.

Here’s Why You’re Overcomplicating Technology

While telemedicine has been going on for longer than we like to believe (since the 70s, to be exact), it’s seen a huge boom in the past decade. Telemedicine is an emerging field and, of course, that means there are a lot of unknowns. When you hear the word “telemedicine,” you probably think of a million different things – like telepsych, tele-stroke, and tele-ER. You might even wonder how reimbursement and billing work. And your mind probably goes straight to HIPAA when you start to consider technology.

There’s still a lot to be learned when it comes to best practices in telemedicine, and that’s one reason you might be overcomplicating technology.

But here’s the real reason you’re making it more complicated than it needs to be: Telemedicine technology companies are coming out with shiny new products because they don’t want you to know how simple it can actually be.

Tech companies are creating computers, robots, software, and so forth to make it seem like you must use their technology to be up to code. The good news is, as we’ve just said, that’s far from the truth.

Stop Letting Technology Hold You Back

Now you know that you can simplify your technological approach to telemedicine and make it easier to implement your program. If technology was what was holding you back before, I hope that’s changed now. Like I said – it should be the simplest part of starting your telemedicine program. And now, you understand why!

About Iris Telehealth

Iris Telehealth is a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of the highest quality psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Our mission is to provide underserved communities with access to the best mental health specialists and prescribers. We are owned and operated by doctors who understand what patients need and have earned a reputation for providing outstanding customer service. Iris values building strong professional relationships with our partners and their staff. We are dedicated to understanding your organization’s needs and operational goals because we recognize that your success is critical to our own.

Iris Telehealth has helped countless hospitals and community health organizations across the country add telepsychiatry to their list of services. We believe everyone should have access to compassionate mental health care, and we have made it our mission to find innovative, affordable ways of making this possible!

Tag Archives: Technology

The Importance of Technology

I’m a techie. I’ve worked for decades with all types of companies – from large internet service providers to small technical start-ups. I am completely enamored with the idea that technology can help people. I mean really help people, not just get them access to their social media fix or the latest Kardashian news. It’s hard to feel that sense of connecting technology to people when you spend all day updating software, cleaning out computer viruses, or fixing broken internet connectivity. Even when I had the opportunity to work directly with clients building solutions for their unique business challenges, I was often still one step removed from where the rubber meets the road (one of my favorite clients was a major community food bank).

One account I worked with had some extraordinary people working to help identify and treat concussion victims. The concept was cutting-edge and the technology was mesmerizing. I had an opportunity to assist them with all things technology from the time they built the building to seeing their first screenings. One of the PhD’s who was working there moved home and took a position with a local Austin company called Iris Telehealth whose mission was simple: provide desperately needed psychiatric services to populations who otherwise would get no, or severely delayed, treatments. This gifted PhD and I had worked closely together at the concussion clinic and since Iris was growing quickly and needed good talent, she asked if I might be interested.

The American Psychiatric Crisis

Thoughts of hi-tech video conference rooms and mobile crisis vans to help victims of traumatic situations swam in my mind. I envisioned the application of a wide variety of technologies to really make a difference for the people that are most in need. I wanted to get into a small, fast-growing company creating huge inroads for reaching the underserved of the American psychiatric crisis. There are just too many people that need help and not enough psychiatrists to fill the need, particularly in rural areas.

Joining Iris Telehealth

I did join the Iris team. And before I did, we vetted each other thoroughly. But I didn’t join for the reasons I thought I would. It didn’t take long to learn that it’s not about the technology at all. Sure, Iris is using encrypted video conferencing to connect remote clinicians and patients, but there is no magic technical gizmo or fancy expensive evaluation hardware. What I discovered is that the real magic is finding the very best psychiatric clinicians and navigating the sea of red tape required for them to practice in any given state or facility.

What Iris does extraordinarily well is hire exceptional clinicians and let them practice in an environment where they can comfortably and efficiently reach patients while we facilitate credentialing and scheduling. We pave the road for services. We carefully match clinicians and facilities and we stay involved in those relationships to make sure everyone is happy.

I still get to explore technologies and technical avenues to improve what we do. There is no blueprint that we can use to guide many of our decisions. We just stick to our core values and build a better way. I spent two days last week facilitating telepsychiatry consultations in one of our larger hospital systems – now I’m where the rubber meets the road, and it’s remarkable.

Ted Bryant is the Clinical Operations and IT Manager for Iris Telehealth.

Tag Archives: Technology

Iris Telehealth provides a unique opportunity for our employees to be full members of the healthcare organizations we serve. “Our clinicians are your clinicians,” we say. Modern technology allows this seamless integration of remote providers into a patient’s local clinics. There are three main categories of software of telemedicine we use to ensure there is no difference between our clinicians and the clinicians that are physically at your location: EMR, VPN, and video conferencing.

Electronic Medical Record

We pride ourselves in allowing our psychiatrists and psychiatric NPs to work in your EMR/EHR. Whatever you use, so do we! The same EMR you have always been using is easily accessible from a remote computer. Some EMRs can be accessed by a downloadable one-time use client, via a native application configured to access the correct database servers, or even in a web browser for cloud-based EMRs. However, this is typically done via a virtual private network.

We will always use the solution that works best for you and your IT team.

Virtual Private Network

A  virtual private network (VPN) client allows our doctors to connect to a clinic’s private network securely over the Internet. This gives them full access to any applications, including the EMR or a private email program, that a computer located physically at the clinic would have access to. Sometimes programs run locally on the provider’s computer and use the VPN to connect to a clinic’s database, sending and receiving information as needed. Other times, the provider uses a remote desktop client to open a virtual desktop running on the clinic’s servers. They are not controlling a physical computer at the clinic, but they will have access to an entire Windows desktop environment – complete with any applications the clinic requires for day-to-day operations. This runs in a window on their local desktop, alongside their other local applications. If you’re interested in learning more about VPN (outside of Wikipedia), check out vpn reviews. My friend learned a lot from them.

Video Conferencing

The final piece of the puzzle is video conferencing. When the patient enters the room at the clinic, they find their doctor ready to greet them on a TV screen. The conversation they have can be accomplished by several different video conferencing applications. We are ready and willing to use whatever software the clinic is already comfortable using. One popular client is VSee, which grants you the familiarity of any personal video chatting software you may already use with the added benefit of HIPAA compliance. Other services like Polycom enable a direct connection between a provider’s and patient’s computers with no server in between, ensuring quality and maximum security.

A Note on HIPAA

The software we use is always HIPAA Compliant, and we’ve found there is a huge variety of medically-focused software that want to keep your sensitive health information protected. As we make our best efforts to accommodate to the software and services you already use, we find that we continue to discover new, great HIPAA-compliant solutions all the time.

In Conclusion

It is a brave new world in telemedicine technology. Some programs are new and exciting, while others are hanging on from bygone eras. As we continue to work with new facilities and use new software, we see all sides of this situation. We’re excited to be leading the charge in safe and innovative solutions in the world of telepsych software, hoping to set the standards of excellence for many years to come. If you’re interested in the development of enterprise applications and software, read this article from Salesforce.