Ellis Medicine adding remote option for mental health care

Ellis Medicine President and CEO Paul Milton speaks Tuesday, June 8, 2021, at the grand opening of Ellis' new and expanded child, adolescent and family mental health center on State Street in Schenectady.
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Ellis Medicine President and CEO Paul Milton speaks Tuesday, June 8, 2021, at the grand opening of Ellis' new and expanded child, adolescent and family mental health center on State Street in Schenectady.

SCHENECTADY — Ellis Medicine is enhancing its mental health services through a partnership with aptihealth, a teletherapy provider that will serve Ellis patients with immediate remote access to services.

Personal stress levels and demand for telehealth services both surged during the worst of the COVID pandemic. Aptihealth says its holistic and integrated approach to care has been shown to decrease severity of anxiety and depression systems by more than 50% within 90 days, leading to improved health outcomes and reduced costs.

Ellis recently cut the ribbon on a $1.5 million expansion of its child, adolescent and family outpatient mental health clinic at 1023 State St. in Schenectady.

“Ellis has a long and proud tradition of providing mental health services to the people of our community, and beyond,” Ellis President and CEO Paul Milton said in a news release. “This partnership with aptihealth honors that tradition, while simultaneously embracing new models and new technologies in the delivery of care.”

Ellis patients who need behavioral healthcare will undergo an initial screening and be referred to aptihealth to complete an online self-assessment. They will be matched with a therapist who specializes in their area of need, and collaborate to create a 90-day care plan.

The plan includes weekly teletherapy, medication management if needed, and unlimited messaging. The rest of the care team, including primary care physician, prescriber and care manager, remain connected during the process.

Aptihealth previously announced similar collaborations with Columbia Memorial Health Partners in Hudson and Glens Falls Hospital. Earlier this year, it partnered with CDPHP to provide services to the Albany-based insurer’s members.

Teletherapy removes practical barriers to treatment that face people who lack transportation, and it also can ease psychological barriers for people reluctant to receive mental health services in person.

“By providing comprehensive and personalized teletherapy through aptihealth’s integrated platform, we eliminate barriers to accessing a physical location and allow the patient to receive care from wherever they’re comfortable,” said Dan Picket, CEO of aptihealth, which is based in Boston and Troy. “This new partnership allows the mental health patients that Ellis Medicine serves to connect directly to our diverse group of patient-first behavioral health providers.”

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