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Using Telehealth for Behavioral Health in the Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2020
5 pages
This article explains how the use of telehealth - the interactive electronic exchange of information for diagnosis, treatment, support, or care management - can be a useful component for grantees of the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP), which focuses on a collaborative intervention strategy to address substance abuse.
The article notes that when implemented successfully, telehealth can improve access to care under recent social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also describes the types of telehealth services that can address impediments that prevent in-person interaction with treatment providers. The types of telehealth modes described are live video; the electronic transmission of photos and x-rays; the transmission of data from monitoring devices; and the use of cell phone apps that provide health-related information. Descriptions of key steps to telehealth readiness address the selection of one or more types of telehealth services to be offered; the identification of which policies and procedures must be changed; preparation of the staff involved in the program; the preparation of patients; and the analysis of costs and benefits. 17 references