Telebehavioral Health: An Effective Alternative to In-Person Care

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A new Milbank Memorial Fund issue brief by Brittany Lazur, Lily Sobolik, and Valerie King of the Center for Evidence-based Policy provides summary findings from a 2019 review of studies of telebehavioral health’s effectiveness on key clinical outcomes. The authors found that telehealth is just as effective as in-person care for certain behavioral health conditions, and the cost can be lower than in-person visits, provided that patients have devices they can use.

The authors also describe the programmatic structure and relevant telebehavioral health policies of three programs: Texas Medicaid, Massachusetts Medicaid, and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center Rural Telemental Health Program.