GETTYSBURG, Pa. (July 12, 2020) — Nearly nine out of 10 community mental health centers are using telehealth to provide the majority of their care to individuals during the COVID-19 crisis, according to a Genoa Healthcare survey of its 531 pharmacies whose facilities are integrated within behavioral health centers across the country.
With a focus on ensuring consumers have needed access to health care, Genoa has continued operations at nearly all of its sites throughout the crisis, even when clinics have had to limit services temporarily due to the pandemic. To accommodate social distancing guidelines and the shift to telehealth, Genoa increased medication home delivery and offered curbside pickup to ensure consumers receive their medications on time.
“Access to behavioral health care, including pharmacy services, is not optional for people with severe mental health conditions and substance use disorders,” said Genoa Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Joe Douglas. “Fortunately, we’re seeing providers pivot very quickly to ensure consumers continue receiving the care and medications they need to stay healthy.”
Key findings of the survey conducted June 19-29 at pharmacies in 47 states and the District of Columbia include:
- 88% of clinics delivered care remotely and providers delivered an estimated 78% of their care through telemedicine.
- 91% of clinics were operating, but many were restricting in-person visits to essential services, including emergency mental health and substance use disorder services and injections, to support the safety of clinicians and health care workers providing care on the front lines.
- Psychiatry (94%) and individual therapy (72%) were the most common services provided by centers through telehealth, followed by group therapy (25%), primary care (23%), and medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder (22%).
- Clinics relied on the phone (91%) and web-based telemedicine platforms (80%) as primary means of contacting patients who were not physically coming to the clinics for treatments. Clinics also used home visits (19%), email (18%), text (12%), social media (6%) and newsletters (5%) to communicate with patients.
In addition, 78% of Genoa Healthcare pharmacies reported they were offering medication curbside pick-up—a new offering for the organization—and internal data showed Genoa’s medication home delivery increased by 54% over the first five months of COVID-19.
“While we expect the situation to continue to evolve, we continue to focus on protecting consumers’ access to safe and effective medications,” Mr. Douglas said. “I’m proud to say that we have been able to maintain our high level of service because of the commitment of our pharmacy teams and clinic partners on the front lines.”
About Genoa Healthcare
Genoa Healthcare has been serving the behavioral health community for nearly 20 years, providing pharmacy services, telepsychiatry and medication management solutions. Today, Genoa Healthcare serves more than 800,000 individuals annually in 47 states and the District of Columbia, and fills more than 15 million prescriptions per year. Genoa Healthcare is the fifth largest drug chain in the U.S., with more than 450 pharmacies located within behavioral health centers. Visit www.genoahealthcare.com.