Telepsychiatry is the field of Psychiatry practiced in the form of Telemedicine. The literal meaning of “telemedicine” is “medicine across distance” and generally refers to delivery of medical care via televideo or teleconferencing equipment. Telemedicine is a method of practicing medicine using communication technology, and is not a separate or specialized field of medicine. Telemedicine is especially useful in situations where healthcare providers and their patients are separated by great distances where it would be very difficult or almost impossible to bring the two together at the same location. This has been especially helpful for getting specialized care to patients residing in underserved areas or who are unable to travel.
Telepsychiatry, as one aspect of telemedicine, utilizes videoconferencing technology to bring psychiatric care to patients who would otherwise have little or no convenient access to a psychiatrist. It allows the psychiatrist to offer a large range of services to patients and other providers, such as consultation between providers, diagnosis and assessment, medication management, health care education, and others. Telepsychiatry has been the most successful of all the telemedicine applications thus far, as only a good videoconferencing connection is required without any other specialized equipment. Increasingly larger numbers of telepsychiatry programs are springing up in the United States to address the problem of getting care to underserved areas, and are getting increasing recognition as an economical and efficient way to practice psychiatry. In the U.S., Medicare and various state Medicaids, as well as almost all private health insurance providers, already recognize telepsychiatry to the extent that they pay equally for telepsychiatry appointments as for face-to-face appointments. Increasing numbers of research studies on the effectiveness of telepsychiatry are showing that telepsychiatry care is just as effective as face-to-face psychiatric care.
Reproductive Psychiatry is a specialty that specializes in helping women deal with psychiatric conditions that develop in relation to various milestones in their reproductive life cycle, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Women with psychiatric disorders that develop in relation to their reproductive life cycle are an currently an underserved population that can greatly benefit from treatment which considers both psychiatric and obstetric/gynecologic factors.
For scheduling, we use PracticeFusion. After an initial "meet-me" between you and Dr. Cheng, you will use PracticeFusion to schedule and pay for each appointment. This enables you to manage your appointment schedule and payment options as you like.
The telepsychiatry appointments are held via your choice of Skype or WebEx. Both are secure videoconferencing platforms that allow video and audio communication between two computers anywhere on the internet, as long as each have a camera, microphone or headset, speakers, and an adequate connection speed. Skype is a popular voice, text, and video application that can be used to make telephone calls, for an additional fee. WebEx runs directly in a web browser, such as Internet Explorer, with no need to install a program. Both are free, aside from the cost of your appointment.
Other software and services are used to keep your medical information stored and confidential. Rest assured that extreme care is taken to protect your records, making them available only to Dr. Cheng and to yourself, upon request.
While you can have your appointments from anywhere you can get internet, even if you're travelling abroad, you do have to be a California resident to take advantage of our services.
You can send us an email using the form on our Contact page.
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