Kootenai Health, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, transitioned to a fully virtual care delivery model for its inpatient and outpatient behavioral health care services by partnering with Access TeleCare. The partnership was featured in a recent article in the Coeur d’Alene Press.

Access TeleCare now provides full coverage with a dedicated medical director and “pod” of behavioral health specialists, including psychiatrists and advanced practice providers, for the hospital’s 25-bed inpatient unit, as well as its three outpatient clinics.

Kootenai Health serves a large swath of Northern Idaho, eastern Washington, Montana, and the Inland Northwest, and is a regional center for behavioral health. The system saw a significant increase in need for behavioral health care and was motivated to partner with Access TeleCare in response to provider and care capacity shortages. The system could not accept 237 inbound transfer requests because it did not have enough behavioral health care providers, according to the health system.

Scalable and Sustainable Telemedicine Partnerships

The northern Idaho-based health system began working with Access TeleCare in 2022 to provide behavioral health consultations in its emergency department and medical-surgical units. The partnership expanded to include partial inpatient coverage later that same year before Kootenai decided to embrace a fully virtual care model for all its inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services in 2023.

Moving to full virtual care “ultimately means more timely and faster access to care. We’re able to care for more patients,” said Dr. Karen Cabell, chief physician executive at Kootenai Health in the news article.

Increasing Access to Care Through Telemedicine

Communities like the one Kootenai serves are dramatically underserved when it comes to behavioral health. Idaho ranks in the bottom half of the country for access to mental health care and leads the nation with the lowest ratio of psychiatrists to residents at 1 to 16,294.

Access TeleCare works with rural health systems like Kootenai Health across the country to overcome the access to care challenges associated with physician shortages and increasing need. From emergency department and inpatient care to outpatient clinic coverage, Access TeleCare’s behavioral health programs can sustain entire behavioral health departments, regardless of location or the local behavioral health specialist presence.

Contact us to learn more about our behavioral health programs and how Access TeleCare makes fully virtual care possible.

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Additional Insight

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