New York State Office of Mental Health Expands Access, Preserves Quality Through Telehealth

graphic of a man using technology

Washington, DC -- The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has announced that it will accept telehealth accreditation as evidence of regulatory compliance for part of the state’s telepsychiatry requirements.

To expand access and meet the needs of patients, the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has expanded the ability of clinics to contract with a telepsychiatry company to provide services. While the practitioner must be located in New York, the telepsychiatry company does not. A clinic must seek OMH approval via a waiver process to contract with a company to provide telepsychiatry services.

As defined by the state, telepsychiatry is the use of two-way, real-time, interactive audio and video equipment to provide and support clinical psychiatric care at a distance.

A clinic that contracts with an accredited telepsychiatry organization, upon review and approval by OMH, is considered to be in compliance with a segment of state regulations.

“The high demand for mental health services is not unique to New York, but they are at the forefront of national efforts to find creative solutions to meet patient needs in a pragmatic manner,” said Aaron Turner-Phifer, URAC’s Vice President of Government Relations. “New York is to be commended for their commitment to expand access to these much-needed services in a manner that ensures quality care is delivered to patients. “

In March 2016, URAC launched the first independent, third-party national Telehealth Accreditation program, offering comprehensive oversight of diverse telehealth programs. URAC’s approach defines the standards of excellence for telehealth, without prescribing how organizations must meet those standards, allowing the telemedicine industry to continue innovating while ensuring patient protection.

For a complete description of OMH requirements for telepsychiatry, visit

Learn more about URAC’s Telehealth Accreditation, visit

About URAC

Founded in 1990, URAC is the independent leader in promoting healthcare quality through leadership, accreditation, measurement and innovation. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs that reflect the latest changes in healthcare and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability. URAC’s evidence-based standards and measures are developed through inclusive engagement with a range of stakeholders who are committed to improving the quality of healthcare. For more information, visit