We have treated over 7,000 patients virtually since 2016. That’s 7,000 connections made, 7,000 lives changed. Over the years, we’ve honed the art and practice of virtual treatment and have seen firsthand how virtual intensive outpatient programs (IOP) can change lives.
In At Home, our first digital magazine, we take the latest research and trending stories and distill them into inspiring patient narratives, clinician insights and industry best practices that you can learn from today. We also feature expert perspectives on leading mental health issues impacting our communities, from the mental health crisis on college campuses to how we can support family members and caregivers of our patients.
Highlights From the Issue
7 Evidence-Based Reasons Virtual IOP Works
What the data shows about patient experiences, attendance and outcomes
The Mental Health Crisis On Campus
How campus providers are supporting students today
Cohesion: The Key to Effective Group Therapy
Best practices for fostering patient connections, in person or virtually
Building Confidence in Treating Trauma
How to offer targeted treatments for your patients
How to Activate Exposure Therapy At Home
With virtual IOP, this eating disorder therapy can be embedded in everyday life
A message from Anne Marie O’Melia, MS, MD, FAAP (she/her/hers)
Chief Medical Officer and Chief Clinical Officer
Together we’ve witnessed the rise of telebehavioral health. Over the last few years, the ubiquity of virtual treatment has increased access to care and allowed us to meet our clients where they are in their everyday lives. And it shows no hint of slowing down.
Here’s what ERC Pathlight’s chief medical officer and chief clinical officer has to say about the future of virtual care:
What is the future of virtual care?
Virtual care is changing the way we think about behavioral health care. It allows us to truly meet people where they are, in their everyday lives, with their everyday stressors and supports. Since 2016, we have seen the impact of our virtual intensive outpatient treatment model. We have come to believe that, for many people, expert and specialized virtual care is key to sustainable recovery.
We are confident that it’s here to stay. That’s why we changed the name of our proven virtual IOP to Eating Recovery and Pathlight At Home. As our new names suggest, we’re offering the same expert treatment we provide on-site from the comfort and convenience of home.
As I travel around the country, clinicians frequently ask for more information about virtual behavioral health care. Here are some of the questions I hear most often.
How do you evaluate whether virtual treatment is effective?
A number of meta-analyses have shown online and in-person therapy to be equally effective . That tracks with our own research at Eating Recovery Center (ERC) and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center (Pathlight). We continually study the results of Eating Recovery and Pathlight At Home, our virtual IOP, and we have published peer-reviewed research. Our patient data shows clinically significant improvements in all outcomes measured, including self-reported eating disorder symptoms, depression, self-esteem, quality of life and overall satisfaction.
Read our article about telebehavioral therapy
 Seymour, M. (2022). Does online therapy work? National Center for Health Research, Washington, D.C.
How do patients truly find connection to each other and their clinicians in a virtual setting?
As clinicians know, group cohesion is a key factor in successful outcomes. The way we achieve cohesion in our virtual model is all about having a small, core group of patients and providers who meet regularly. Each member is part of a group where attendance is taken, participation is expected and people are held accountable. This milieu mirrors the experience of on-site group therapy. That’s how we develop what I call a “healing community” online.
Does insurance cover virtual IOP?
Eating Recovery and Pathlight At Home is covered by most commercial carriers. See our article on how to navigate insurance coverage. As a child psychiatrist and pediatrician, I’m passionate in my belief that the longer and better we can support our patients in their everyday lives, the greater their chance for permanent change. My team of clinicians has treated more than 7,000 patients and their families in our virtual programs so far. I’m confident in their expertise and in their ability to partner with you to treat your patients.
Have You Considered Virtual Care?
Eating Recovery and Pathlight At Home, our virtual intensive outpatient programs for eating disorders and mood and anxiety disorders, offer specialized treatment from the comfort and convenience of home. As effective as in-person treatment, these programs fit seamlessly into everyday life for children, adolescents and adults.
What Our Programs Include
- Three 3-hour weekly groups including:
- Evidence-based skills focused groups
- Process-oriented group therapy
- Behavior modification group therapy
- Nutrition groups with meal-time support, cooking classes and group meals to provide structure and accountability*
- One weekly individual/family therapy session
- One weekly session with a registered dietitian*
- Recovery Record mobile app tracks treatment, moods and meals*
- Remote patient monitoring with numberless scale*
- Continuing education options for all referents
- Weekly peer, alumni and caregiver support groups
*Eating disorder programs only
What to Expect
- Coverage by most major commercial insurers
- Same proven treatment offered on-site from the comfort of home
- Specialized experienced care team
- Group therapy sessions
- Extensive family involvement, education and support
- Robust alumni network and resources available post-treatment
Our positive outcomes and high levels of engagement speak volumes
- More than 40% improvement in anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms1
- More than 50% improvement in overall eating disorder behaviors2
- Almost 90% attendance rate
- More than 25% completion rate in virtual IOP vs. on-site IOP
- All patients reported feeling connected to facilitators and group members
 General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Eating Recovery Center, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Eating Recovery Center, PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), Pathlight. November 2020 – April 2022.
 Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q), Eating Recovery Center. November 2020 – April 2022.
 Michel, D.M., O’Melia, A.M., Mathes, W.F., & Tallent, C.N. (2022). Telebehavioral health intensive outpatient program attendance and length of treatment compared to in-person service. [Manuscript submitted for publication]
 Blalock, D.V., et al. (2020). Pilot assessment of a virtual intensive outpatient program for adults with eating disorders. European Eating Disorders Review, 28(6), 789-795.
Beyond the Magazine: Continue Your Education with Us
This year, we’d love to help you adopt best practices in telebehavioral health. Through our free, on-demand continuing education courses and in-person upcoming events, you’ll reach your professional goals while learning key insights from leading clinicians in the field.
Sign up for It Takes a Virtual Village: a complimentary, on-demand continuing education series where you’ll learn from top clinicians in the telebehavioral health field. Together we’ll explore:
- Ethics in the virtual space
- Virtual treatment for children, adolescents and families
- Exposure and response prevention treatment of binge eating disorder
- Virtual treatment on college campuses.
Plus, you can earn up to 4.5 CE hours.
Join us at our 2023 Conference on Eating Disorders and Mood & Anxiety Disorders
Presented by The Eating Recovery and Pathlight Foundation, our 2023 conference brings together hundreds of professionals for evidence-based presentations that examine the complexities of treating eating disorders as well as mood and anxiety disorders.
More information coming soon!
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