Mendocino County Approves Contact for Telepsychiatry Services
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to approve a contract with Fresno-based Kings View for telepsychiatry services despite concerns about the rates specified in the contract, the Ukiah Daily Journal reports. Under the terms of the contract, the county will pay $260 per hour for telepsychiatry services, a $20 per hour increase from the rate in last year's contract to the maximum allowed by Medi-Cal. A 2004 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that the average cost of such services was $86.16 per hour.
According to the Daily Journal, the county entered the contract because of a lack of alternatives.
Mendocino County has used telepsychiatry services since 2000. Tri-City Mental Health, which the county previously contracted with for such services, declared bankruptcy and went out of business in 2004.
Beth Robey, head of the county Mental Health Department, said the contract includes the services of a child psychiatrist, another staff member and equipment (Freedland, Ukiah Daily Journal, 7/27).