History and Literature Review | Factors Promoting Child and Adolescent Telepsychiatry
Telepsychiatry was first reported with children and adolescents
in 1976 in New York City at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. There
was then little activity until the 1990s, when technological improvements
led to a rapid growth of telemedicine programs nationally and internationally.
Accurate data on the number of telepsychiatry programs are difficult
to obtain. Review of reimbursement records suggests that at least
27 states include telemedicine in their Medicaid services (Brown 2006; Center for Telemedicine Law and the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth 2007; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 2007a, 2007b), and 64
states have reported reimbursement by private payers (American Telemedicine Association and AMD Telemedicine, Inc. 2004; Brown 2006; Whitten and Buis 2007). Many of these
payers include mental health services. The Telemedicine Information
Exchange Web site (http://tie.telemed.org) lists
125 telemedicine programs in the United States and identifies 65
of these as including mental health programs. How many of these
programs include child and adolescent psychiatric services is unclear.