The Role of Telehealth in Bridging the Gap for Individuals with Limited Access to Mental Health Professionals [Interview][Transcript]

Lee_Horner_Stratus_Video_Telehealth_SolutionsGuest: Lee Horner
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: As Stratus Video’s President of Telehealth, Lee Horner has a proven track record with managing top and bottom line growth, mergers and acquisitions, company direction, strategy and operational excellence. Prior to joining the Stratus team to develop a telemedicine solution he served as President of CareCloud. Prior to CareCloud he was VP of Worldwide Sales at Eliza Corporation. At Stratus he is focused on creating seamless integration for world class patient experiences.

Segment overview: Lee Horner, Stratus Video’s President of Telehealth, talks about the role telehealth plays in bridging the gap for individuals with limited access to mental health professionals.

Health Professional Radio – The Role of Telehealth

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio for this Health Supplier Segment, I’m your host Neal Howard. Thank you for joining us today. It’s said that close to 80 million Americans or so reside in areas with limited access to mental health professionals whether it’s because of financial reasons, geographical reasons, high travel cost or whatever. Our guest in studio is here today to talk with us about Telehealth and how telehealth relates to mental health care access. Our guest is Mr. Lee Horner, Stratus Video’s President of Telehealth, welcome to Health Professional Radio.

Lee Horner: Thank you Neal, how are you?

N: I’m doing great. Glad that you could join us today. Tell our listeners a bit about yourself.

L: Yes. I’m Lee Horner, I’m the President of Stratus Video, I’ve been with the organization now a little low for a year, fortunate enough to join new organization to take on the responsibilities and leading the direction charge moving Stratus Video, not just in the language services market but focusing on the telehealth space and providing services within that market segment. Prior to Stratus, I have spent about 15 years in the healthcare market from both the payer’s side of the industry along with the ambulatory EHR revenue psycho management side.

N: What are the numbers on folks that are currently suffering from any type of mental health that a telehealth approach could greatly increase the accessibility to it. How many folks are we looking at?

L: I don’t know if there’s an exact number to it, but what I can tell you is the significantly large population today and folks are obviously, organizations are trying to solve this problem in different areas. I think what you’ll start to find is there’s not enough specialists and therapists to be able to support the population basically from a brick and mortar perspective. So the use of telehealth and the technology around telehealth is obviously subsidizing both the insufficiency around the physician’s staff that can support it along with obviously providing high quality care through video technology seems to be the path of the future.

N: Is there one type or another of a class of mental health diagnosis that land itself more readily to a telehealth approach than another say, someone’s suffering from anxiety to someone’s suffering from personality disorder. Is there any limit?

L: No. I mean the interesting part to that is, what we’re seeing in the marketplace is a broader adoption, again kind of focusing in on. I think the patient population along with the physician industry and market itself is really saying, ‘Look, how are we providing better quality of care and more significant value to our patients in regards to mental health?’. By being able to do that, by leveraging technology and probably more importantly, being able to deliver that high quality care but spend more time with each patient via technology versus either brick and mortar or folks having to travel to obscure areas of the country to see patients or patients to see physicians. So, I don’t think there’s a specific segment that had a higher propensity of leveraging telehealth solutions. I think it crossed the board, we’re seeing it spread pretty commonly and evenly across.

N: As a President of Stratus Videos Telehealth, do you find that you are acting as a provider, an internet provider once you set up with the client, are you out of the game or do you provide on-going support?

L: Yes. That’s a great question Neal. At the end of the day, we’re more than just a provider. We’re tightly coupled to our partnerships with our clients. We continue to provide value, it’s not a one-stop solution and then we move on. What you’ll see specifically not just from Stratus Video, but in this market in general, I think there’s an opportunity to build partnerships, to help build processes and workflows that make sense. A lot of organizations already have processes and workflows built. Our goal from a Stratus Video perspective, really is, to come in to work with our partners to be able to understand what their needs are and then more importantly, deliver technology automation and platforms scalability to meet the needs that they have. And obviously, that’s an on-going type of environment where I think most importantly around that, we continue to develop and create new offerings and new solutions to help them solve real patients’ challenges, right?

N: Are you already in the global market? Are we talking about the United States, Canada, or are we talking about telehealth solutions no matter where the person might be?

L: It’s a great question. Today, Stratus Videos primarily focused in the United States, that being said you’re absolutely right. The need for global telehealth communication is at the fingertips in the future. I think a patient, and staff, and physician alike. I think what you’re going to see is as adoption continuous to grow around the telehealth space and people become more familiarized and more comfortable with the use of this video technology, I’ll think you’ll start to see both patient and staff leverage technology globally across the world in order to provide care to both patients and obviously physicians to deliver care to patients.

N: When we’re talking telehealth, are we talking exclusively healthcare provider or practitioner to the patient directly via video? Or are there some mental health cases where a simple tutorial via video might be sufficient or maybe at least get the ball rolling? Is that something that is included in these services, in these solutions that Stratus Video offers?

L: Yes. From a Stratus Video perspective, we don’t do tutorial or any type of video communication in that manner. What I will tell you though is, we’re traditionally tightly coupled with programs that in many cases our partners actually have offering that they’ve created in developed that they will use in many cases on the frontend prior to either leveraging our technology or technology like ours to deliver the quality care, so you’re right. At the end of the day, what we’re seeing is there’s not one single solution or one single offering that basically will solve for the on-going care and need of someone that has any type of mental health behavioral problems. I think it’s a combination of different programs that are put into kind of a regimen that’s supplied to the patient in order to meet the needs.

N: There were a couple of situations mentioned early on. Anxiety, PTSD, depression, mental illness in general and some of the reasons why folks lack accessibilities is some of these mental healthcare, geographical, high travel cost. When we’re talking about the cost, are these services payable through an insurance provider or something like that? Or are these services all of the time out of pocket for the patient and/or the provider?

L: Yes. That’s a great question. Theo asked me that question a couple of years ago. What I would told you is, it’s a lot about the pocket and there’s not a latter reimbursable dollars associated with this. However, CMF and the federal government obviously has really moved to adoption of the telehealth market in general across many different categories. The fortunate piece for this is it is something that you can file through an insurance claim around this CPT form and such and be reimbursed for it. So the use of obviously telephony and video-based technology is becoming more and more relevant and it also being obviously supported by reimbursement both at the payer level and the federal levels. I think it is evolving every day, but the good news for the patient and the provider or organization is that reimbursement is there and so to support a cost.

N: When our listeners navigate over to, what would we expect to find there?

L: Well, hopefully a complete solution that really leverages bio communication through bio connections. And at the end of the day, we’re trying to deliver solutions that really help support multiple things. In a time of the United States where we have many different language barriers across the country and the ability to supply technology, obviously, we got our core root in language services around delivering limited English proficiency population support around different speaking languages. We have now transitioned into seeing a converge of both the ability for those language services and telehealth solutions come in together. If you think about for just one second, a patient that leaves the hospital that is a limited English proficient person who doesn’t speak English. The idea being able to communicate with that patient once at least either the hospital or facility is extremely challenging and we think that our solution at Stratus Video is really kind of bridging that gap of being able to do an engagement to deliver not just obviously a video communication but a video with a video interpreter that will do the interpretation services for that patient when they’re at home. So, the idea of losing that communication once the patient is out of the hospital or health system that they’re involved in, that gap becomes much smaller with the use of Stratus Video.

N: Now, other than, is there a telephone number where our listeners can possibly get in touch with Stratus.

L: Absolutely. Our direct number is 727-451-9766.

N: Great. It’s been a pleasure, thank you for talking with us today Lee.

L: Thank you very much.

N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio in this Health Supplier Segment. In studio with Mr. Lee Horner, Stratus Video’s President of Telehealth. We’ve been discussing the solutions that telehealth can offers especially when it comes to accessible mental health care. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at, you can also subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and listen in at and on SoundCloud.

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