The Florida Association of Managing Entities reports that one year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, providers in Florida’s behavioral health safety net system have conducted 277,905 telehealth appointments. Telehealth appointments have been key to delivering vital mental health and substance use disorder services to Floridians while ensuring safe practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, telehealth services assist those who would otherwise face transportation issues as a barrier to accessing behavioral health services.
“We’re continuing to see a steady reliance on telehealth behavioral health services during this pandemic, which shows us that people are taking advantage of this resource to receive necessary mental health and substance use disorder treatment,” said Natalie Kelly, CEO of the Florida Association of Managing Entities.
The data collected by the Managing Entities from over 300 mental health providers across the state shows that one in four patients in the behavioral health safety net system continues to rely on telehealth services.
Managing Entities’ providers quickly transitioned to telehealth and telephonic services to provide alternative and safe ways for low-income and uninsured people to access essential behavioral health services. Managing Entities also secured over 2.4 million personal protective equipment, including 600,000 masks from FEMA, for frontline workers to continue working.
Florida’s seven Managing Entities are non-profit organizations that oversee a network of approximately 300 health care provider organizations delivering behavioral health services, including mental health care and substance use disorder treatment, to more than 320,000 uninsured Floridians.
About the Florida Association of Managing Entities
The Florida Association of Managing Entities (FAME) is the statewide organization representing Florida’s seven Managing Entities. FAME’s mission is to advance the behavioral health recovery of individuals and their families in the state of Florida. More information about FAME is available at flmanagingentities.com.