One of this year’s great suicide prevention bills passed committee yesterday after facing initial resistance from insurers. Now HB 139: Telepsychiatric Access Consultation Amendments by Rep. Steve Eliason (R-Sandy) will move on to get a vote on the House floor. But it needs YOUR support to overcome the next hurdle!
The problem: In our growing state there are far fewer psychiatrists than meet our mental health needs, leaving many Utahns with long waiting periods for mental health care, or forcing them to resort to care from medical professionals who lack psychiatric training or from ERs.
The solution: HB 139 would help doctors refer patients to a telepsychiatric consultation instead of sending them out into the open market where they will find few–if any–psychiatrists with the capacity to take on a new patient in a timely manner (if at all).
The benefits: This bill would get patients faster and more extensive access to mental health care by working with their own family doctor, would improve medicine prescribing for mental health issues and would potentially reduce ER visits when patients are left with no other option.