Aurora gives $250,000 to help launch tele-psychiatry services in Kenosha

Response to psychiatric practitioner shortage


Aurora Health Care is giving a $250,000 grant to help launch a new telemedicine program in Kenosha County aimed at expanding access to behavioral health care.

A new collaboration between the Kenosha County Department of Human Services and Kenosha Human Development Services will provide tele-psychiatry services to Kenosha residents. Aurora Health Care, through its Better Together Fund, will pay for the startup costs to implement the program, including personnel, equipment, licensing fees and contractual costs. Services will be funded through insurance reimbursement and other contracted arrangements.

InSight Telepsychiatry will provide the services, which will be delivered at Kenosha Human Development Services’ mental health clinic. Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser said it’s expected that an additional 1,000 patients will be served thanks to the grant.

A 2015 Kenosha County Health Rankings study found that the county has an insufficient pool of psychiatric practitioners, with one provider for 1,075 people, and even fewer providers who accept Medicaid.

That same year, a Kenosha County Mental Health Study showed all local providers have had difficulty recruiting psychiatric practitioners.

“Access to behavioral health is a critical component of overall health care, and Aurora Health Care is committed to helping meet the unmet needs of Kenosha County residents,” said Doug Koch, president of the Racine, Kenosha and Northern Illinois service area. “We are excited to support organizations that wish to work in creative partnership to solve health care issues.”

The new services will be available to adults and children in Kenosha and those referred by Kenosha Community Health Center.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.

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