Am I an employee?

No. We only have Independent Contractor positions available.

What's an Independent Contractor?

An independent contractor is a physician (or nurse practitioner or psychologist or therapist) or company or group of clinicians who is/are free-standing, independent from American Telepsychiatrists and who want to provide Mental Health and Neurological services via telemedicine.  The Independent Contractor contracts with American Telepsychiatrists who in turn contracts with HMOs, Managed Care Companies, County/State/Federal Mental Health Agencies, hospitals, emergency departments, and other companies who have patients in need of psychiatric services.  We connect the provider with the patient and provide ongoing coordination and management to both providers and the agencies where they will see patients.

We provide the teleconferencing software license(s), 24/7 IT tech support, EMR/EHR, eRx, electronic lab review where available, training, scheduling, billing/collection, 1-800# phone, 1-800# fax, nursing and admin support, and very high quality professional liability insurance for any patients seen through American Telepsychiatrists.

As an Independent Contractor, you have to think of yourself as a business person, an entrepreneur.  As with any Private Practice or business, there are start-up costs.  You provide your own equipment (in the same way that your accountant or auto mechanic provides his/her own equipment in order to perform services for you).  Your biggest initial investment is Time.  There is a learning curve as you become familiar with the system, telemedicine, equipment, software, and the necessary EMR/EHR, eRx, electronic lab review, etc.  Since it's your business, as an Independent Contractor, you don't get paid for your start-up time.  You only get paid for seeing patients.

Independent Contractors receive the FULL, untaxed compensation.  What this means is that you are responsible for paying ALL local, state, and federal taxes AND payroll taxes.  If you formulate a company, then we can contract with you/your company and provide the full compensation for the services you bill to us, and then your company can pay you a salary (on which you pay payroll taxes) plus dividends and distributions and bonuses (for which you do not pay payroll taxes).  Talk to your accountant about the advantages of setting yourself up as a company.

Do you tell me how to practice?

Absolutely not. You are an Independent Contractor. Every provider has his/her personal method of practice. We make sure that your practice methods meet the Standard of Care in the Community before we bring you on board. As long as you remain within those standards, we have no say in your style. If a contracted facility doesn’t like the services you are providing, they have the right to terminate your services with them through American Telepsychiatrists. While personal style and clinical judgment are your own, you are expected to complete medical chart notes in the way mandated by the particular facility where you work, to meet all federal and state guidelines, to bill in a timely and moral and ethical and legal manner, and to fulfill specific contract obligations as outlined in your contract with us.

What kinds of patients will I see?

If you are contracted to provide services at a county agency, community mental health clinic, or hospital, then the majority of your patients will be Medicaid, Medicare, and indigent patients. We no longer offer direct-to-consumer services.

Our goal is to provide the most legal, ethical, and highest quality mental health services to our patients in a system that is specifically designed for telemedicine and at the same time to protect our providers in every possible way. We have a team of attorneys (in multiple states) who go through every document and every federal, state and local law before we implement the use of any patient contract, release of information, plan of care, medication consent, telemedicine consent, and all HIPAA compliant forms.

Do I get benefits?

No. You are not an employee of our corporation. As the owner of your own corporation (who then contracts with us to provide professional services), you can choose to provide yourself with benefits and then count them off on your taxes. Things that can be considered corporate expenses: life insurance, umbrella insurance, health insurance premiums, a corporate automobile and its mileage and upkeep, office equipment and supplies, office rent (or a portion of your home rent/mortgage if your office is set up at home), CME expenses, business-related travel expenses, professional reference books and subscriptions, etc.  It is greatly to your advantage to be the head of your own corporation.

Do you provide malpractice insurance?

Yes. You have to use our malpractice insurance in order to see patients through us (because we co-insure the agency where the patient is located).

Do you provide the equipment?

No. In the same way that you would never even consider providing independent people/companies you contract for services from (your plumber, electrician, accountant, attorney, auto mechanic, insurance agent, etc.) with his/her/their equipment, we don't provide equipment to independent contractors who provide us with telepsychiatry services.

What kind of equipment do I need?

You need a computer (the newer the better, at the very least a core-2 duo), a high-speed (not satellite, not G3) (though 4G is okay) internet connection (minimum 5 Mbps upload & 10 Mbps download speed--though the faster the better), the costs associated with licensing your business locally, and the following recommended equipment:

1. A good quality Web camera (approximately $60-$100 for a USB connected camera--though most laptop computers have built in cameras that are sufficient).

2. A USB powered speaker/microphone (approximately $120--laptop microphones are often not of sufficient quality to provide consistently clear speech).

3. A good quality scanner/software combo is not essential, but it certainly comes in handy.

4.  It's a good idea to have a "backup system" that you can use if your primary system fails (a good business decision since you only get paid if you are able to see patients--if you can't see patients because of system failures on your end, then you don't get paid, just like you would not pay an electrician who didn't show up to do the work you requested and agreed upon).

How many hours per week can I work?

You can start out by giving us as little as 16 hours per week. This is our minimum weekly contracted time.  For work in contracted facilities, patients are usually seen between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM “Patient Local” time. We limit doctors to no more than 40 hours per week.  American Telepsychiatrists is all about quality of care, not quantity of care.

Is there cross coverage?

Yes, we try our best to provide methods by which we can arrange coverage for you when you are ill or on vacation or have an emergency.

What about vacations?

You may take vacations. We just ask for as much advance notice as possible so that we can find cross coverage.  As an independent contract providing services to us, we do not pay you for vacation time (when you are not providing services to us).

Do I get sick leave?

You are not an employee of our corporation. You are an employee of your own corporation. How you set up and manage your own corporation is up to you. We only pay you for seeing a patient in the same way that you only pay an electrician for the work he/she does at your home. You don't pay him/her he gets sick and doesn't come to your home to do the contracted work.

Do I get IT support?

We have 24/7 IT support (vie phone or email to directly connect to your computer).

Why work with American Telepsychiatrists instead of some other telepsychiatry company?

We provide the teleconferencing software license(s), 24/7 IT tech support, EMR/EHR/PHR, corporate secure email, eRx, electronic lab review where available, training, scheduling, billing/collection, 1-800 phone and fax, Psych Certified Nursing support, administrative support, 24/7/365 live medical office answering service with HIPAA trained English speaking/bilingual staff, and very high quality professional liability insurance.

Most other companies get you to sign on, give you an email account, have one person "on call" for IT support (who rarely gets back to you in time to solve your problem), expects you to use your own phone/fax system, provides zero nursing support, provides little administrative support, and basically just serves as a "finder" connecting you to patients at another facility, and they pay you as little as possible, keep as much of the fee as possible, and give you the least amount of support possible in order to maximize their profits. They want you to see as many patients per hour as you can so that they can bill out as many med evals as possible, and there is very little concern for quality of care or continuity of care or your work satisfaction.

American Telepsychiatrists is all about continuity of care and quality of care.

Another major difference between American Telepsychiatrists and other telepsychiatry companies is the quality of their malpractice insurance. Ask them. You'll be surprised to hear that they pool ALL of their doctors into one shared group policy for 1 million/incident and 3 million/aggregate. What does that mean? That means that if they are covering 5 doctors or 50 or 250, there is the same pool of money that covers them all. So if one doctor takes a hit for a 1 million dollar settlement, then 4 or 49 or 249 doctors now have 2 million left in the aggregate account. If another doctor takes a hit for another million, then there's 1 million left. If another doctor takes a hit for a million, well, then there is zero left for the rest of the doctors. Three doctors in one year taking a 1 million dollar hit each is obviously extremely unlikely, but then these companies are also not particular about weeding out doctors with prior malpractice suits, doctors who can't get boarded, doctors with prior disciplinary actions, etc. And these companies want their doctors to see six to ten patients per hour and to work 90 hours per week.

Our point is that these other companies have a higher risk population of doctors, and they often expect you to cover prison inmates who are the most litigious patients, and the shared insurance is sub-standard. Also, to get cheap insurance, they get policies that include limited defense costs, and those costs are INCLUDED within the 1 million/3 million coverage, and the cheap policies come with a "hammer clause" which states that the insurance company can force a doctor to settle out of court. If you settle out of court, what do you get? A hit on your NPI (National Provider Identifier) database.

How is our insurance different? Each provider gets his/her own 1 million/4 million limit. We only use board certified physicians and NPs with completely clean records (no disciplinary actions, no history of malpractice losses, no hits on their NPI database). The defense costs if a lawsuit is filed against you is UNLIMITED, and those costs are OUTSIDE of the 1 million/4 million limits, AND there is NO hammer clause. If we want to fight the charges in court, then we fight the charges in court, and the insurance pays for it no matter what the cost.

Also, we've discovered that a good many of the other telepsychiatry companies out there just flat out lie to you when they tell you that they can guarantee 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 hours per week when in reality they can only provide 4 or 8 or 10 hours. We tell you up front the reality of what to expect.  We pay you for contracted blocks of time.  Avoid the companies who promise high revenue for fee-for-service work.  Many of our current doctors learned their lesson the hard way and left those companies and now work for American Telepsychiatrists.

Who do you want to work for?

What if I have to cancel an appointment?

You tell our administrative staff and the staff at the agency where you work, and they inform the patient and reschedule if we are not able to provide coverage.  Obviously, the more advance notice we have, the easier it is to provide coverage. 

Do I have to give patients my cell phone number?

Patients need to be able to reach you. We provide you with a toll free number with your own extension, and messages left on that extension are automatically computer translated and emailed directly to you (the message includes a way to listen to the actual message if the computer translation was not good enough to figure out what the caller needs). We provide a 24/7/365 live medical office answering service with HIPAA trained English speaking/bilingual staff. We tell patients that in an emergency, they need to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.