a woman researching how to start a teleppsychiatry practice

How To Start A Telepsychiatry Practice in 2021

In the wake of COVID-19, we have seen a profound shift in healthcare to remote models of care. While the reasons behind these transitions are obvious in the light of the pandemic, the new norms that have followed seem to have become permanent fixtures in how healthcare is accessed and delivered. Psychiatry seems to be one medical speciality uniquely adapted to the new-post pandemic norms. With face-to-face consults effecitvely facilitated by digital technology and without the necessity of physical exams, it seems psychiatry may be the medical speciality leading the charge into the new world of virtual care in the 21st century. 

If you’re a psychiatry provider and you haven’t yet embraced virtual care, you haven’t missed the opportunity. At Beam, we will walk you through the licensure requirements, the telehealth platform requirements, and the laws surrounding operating a telepsychiatry practice.we are experts at helping mental health specialists start fully-functioning telepsychiatry practices. In this guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions and if you have any questions, our team of specialists are only a phone call away. 


Telepsychiatry Licensure Requirements 

The first step towards opening up a telepsychiatry practice in your state is researching the local laws and regulations. If you are treating a patient who resides in the same state you are licensed to practice in, there should be no complications, the same as if you were treating the patient in person. However, if you are planning to treat patients across state lines, you may need to be licensed in the state that the patient resides in. Fortunately, progress has been made to offer expedited pathways to medical licensure for physicians looking to practice telehealth across state lines. 


The Interstate Compact Medical Licensure Compact (ICML)

This agreement currently between 29 states provides an expedited licensure process for physicians that meet certain eligibility requirements.  

For more information on the (ICML), visit: https://www.imlcc.org/ 


Extenuating Circumstances 

There are some states that offer exceptions to state licensing requirements for out-of-state telemedicine licenses under special circumstances, such as for psychiatrists who work for the federal health care system. 

To learn more, read here: https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/telepsychiatry/toolkit/state-licensure 



As far as electronic prescriptions go, as long as the psychiatrist is licensed in the state that the  patient resides in or if they went through the expedited licensure requirements issued by the (ICML), they can prescribe medications to patients outside of the original state they are originally licenced to practice in.  However, when it comes to controlled substances it is always recommended that you consult your state medical board as well as the DEA website for updated information.


Choosing A Telehealth Platform 

If you’re a psychiatry provider and you’ve made the choice to invest in telepsychiatry, the next set is going to look into the telehealth platforms that can best support the needs of a fully-functional telepsychiatry practice. At Beam, we have engineered a platform that is specifically designed for the mental health space. Our team of engineers have pioneered features that no other telehealth vendor offers. 

Nowadays, group therapy is more important than ever, especially for patients in rural or remote areas. In a virtual setting it is hard to control the flow of group therapy sessions but Beam’sIntelligent Group Therapy Controls, with individual video and audio controls, counselors have the ability to ensure every patient has the chance to participate.   

Also, designed specifically for telepsychiatry programs, Beam has developed a picture-in-picture mode which allows for practitioners to exit face-to-face consultations to take notes and look up information while still retaining a visual connection with the patient which is critical for patients seeking mental health counseling.


Beam For Mental Health 


The team at Beam Health has spent the last two years pioneering ways to make telehealth technology adaptable to the unique needs of the mental health sector. Our specialists, our developers, and our customer experience specialists have dedicated our focus to finding ways to offer in the virtual care experience what no company has. For more information and to schedule a demo, click here