Therapy On A Virtual Couch

February 28, 2017

Telemedicine is experiencing a surge in popularity among employers for faster, more convenient, and less expensive diagnosis and treatment of illnesses that can be effectively handled remotely. Increasingly, these conditions include behavioral health issues such as depression or anxiety.

In 2016, 68% of employers offered their employees telemedicine consultations with health care providers as an alternative to in-person visits, a number that could grow to 90% by 2018, according to the 2016 Willis Towers Watson Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey. In addition, as reported in a recent Money Magazine article, more states are requiring insurers to cover telemedicine.

Interviewed for the Money article on the topic of telemedicine mental health treatments, Dr. Allan Khoury, an MD, PhD and senior health care consultant with Willis Towers Watson, said, “Virtual therapy can be as effective as traditional therapy.”

Dr. Khoury noted that this is especially true for people who don’t live nearby a psychiatrist or therapist or don’t want to be seen walking into the offices of a mental health services provider because of concerns about privacy or social stigma.

At the same time, because easy to access sometimes means easy to ignore, Dr. Khoury advised patients not to rely solely on virtual therapy if they’d be more likely to follow through on an expert’s advice if they met in person.

To read the entire article in Money Magazine, click here.