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Virtual behavioral health services now available to all through Penn State Health OnDemand app

Effective today, community members can now access behavioral health services on their computer, smartphone or tablet using the Penn State Health OnDemand app.

“We initially rolled out this service to Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine staff and their eligible dependents,” said Chris LaCoe, vice president of virtual health services at Penn State Health. “It’s become so popular and helpful that we see the value of extending it to everyone in our community during a time of great need.”

Through the app, people can access:

  • OnDemand Mental Health Therapy – Patients ages 10 and older can see a licensed psychologist or counselor online and discuss anxiety, depression, grief counseling and other common behavioral health challenges. Sessions typically last 45 minutes. Therapists also can coordinate future virtual appointments with a psychiatrist as needed.
  • OnDemand Psychiatry – Patients can receive a psychiatric assessment, evaluation and treatment from a licensed psychiatrist. An initial consultation lasts 45 minutes. Psychiatrists can also provide care and ongoing medication management for bipolar disorder, cognitive disorders, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other conditions.

Patients using either service will receive an individualized treatment plan. A provider may recommend future visits and/or medication. Only psychiatrists can prescribe medication, and they are not able to prescribe controlled substances through virtual visits.

Virtual visits are secure and comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act patient privacy standards. Sessions are not recorded. Patients have the option of sharing session notes with their primary care providers through the service and may also request a copy for their own records.

To schedule an appointment, patients must download the free Penn State Health OnDemand app, create an account and enter their insurance information. Patients should check their insurance benefits plan to understand the costs they may incur. Anyone who needs help setting up their account should contact the virtual health concierge team at 1-833-774-3627.

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