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Over the past 5 – 7 years, the Heroin Epidemic has exploded at a national level…in part due to the availability of the drug in the rural and underserved areas. Telemedicine was a natural offshoot of MAT, which now allows those in rural and underserved areas to receive the same level of medical and psychiatric care, essential for MAT.

Some of the Benefits of Telemedicine are:

  • Ability to serve those who would otherwise not have access to care

  • Allows states to overcome the shortage of providers

  • Forces all disciplines to work together which creates a holistic and comprehensive approach

  • Some of the Requirements for a successful Tele-Med Program are:

  • Robust IT Infrastructure

  • Knowledgeable and well trained medical staff (physicians and RN’s)

  • Buy-in from the staff and community being served

  • Strong and Open Communication – regular staffing of clients

  • Multi-Disciplinary Team/Approach – must bring the medical and psychosocial components of treatment together through an acceptance of common and evidence-based modalities

Telehealth at ARCA

Telemedicine is well-suited for patients seeking help for substance use disorder, psychiatric and behavioral health services. ARCA provides telehealth substance use services across the state of Missouri to around 40 substance use and behavioral health satellite partners. Over 80% of all our medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services are performed over Zoom, a free app for public usage. Our organization has proven that MAT can work successfully with telehealth and fully integrates telehealth into our daily practice and organizational vision.

ARCA understands where a lot of our patients are coming from. Many of the patients that we see face barriers to access and transportation. Unfortunately for many, the coronavirus pandemic has not created any type of relief for the communities we serve either. By shifting to a focus on telemedicine, the patient burden has been lightened, our providers feel more at ease with being able to juggle an increase in services, and the communities we serve, near or far, feel more connected to us now than ever before.

Telemedicine allows our providers to reach patients in widely diverse geographical areas without the patient having to travel long distances. Because of reduced travel times, this additionally allows treatment providers to see patients at more convenient times like mornings and evenings, which works well for patients who may not seek treatment because of barriers tied to time-commitments, i.e.: travel to an in-person appointment, employment barriers, barriers to childcare access.

Telemedicine significantly increases both the access and convenience for patients who otherwise may not seek treatment. Areas where there is a lack of access to substance use and behavioral health services, also known as treatment deserts, exist throughout Missouri. Telemedicine is not only more convenient for the patient, but allows for easier managed follow-up visits, resulting in patient retention in treatment.

It is ARCA’s mission to ensure that all individuals who have a desire to seek services have access to it no matter the cause. ARCA has been able to engage patients in a more effective way than ever before by being able to reach the patient where they are. Scheduling an appointment is easy and can be done online! Follow the link below to start your recovery journey.

Shane Parish Telehealth Provider

By leveraging the power of telehealth:

  1. Patients get seen in days, not weeks. Provider caseloads are increased without the burden of traveling long distances.

  2. Telehealth is as effective as in-person care. Patient satisfaction, patient retention to services, and access to services are greatly improved.

  3. ARCA has become a leading care provider in the state of Missouri. ARCA has emerged as a leader in substance use and behavioral health through integrating telehealth services into our daily clinical and administrative practice.

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