Stanford is strengthening student access to telehealth appointments for both medical and mental health services with new offerings from TimelyCare.

TimelyCare expands both the times and the locations where Stanford students can receive care by offering virtual care to students anywhere in the United States. The program, which launched earlier this month, is offered as a supplement to the extensive existing in-person and virtual services offered by Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Vaden Medical Services, and other Vaden and on-campus resources.

“Experiences here and globally during the pandemic demonstrated the utility of telehealth for many clinical situations, and we are pleased to partner with TimelyCare to expand student access to medical and mental health telehealth services,” said James Jacobs, executive director of Vaden Health Center and associate vice provost for student affairs.

For both medical appointments and mental health care, TimelyCare offers numerous benefits:

Easy access: Students can speak with a TimelyCare mental health professional or a clinician on the medical side any time of day or night, every day of the year. No referral or screening call is required to set up a TimelyCare appointment, and it’s easy to schedule an after-hours TimelyCare appointment or an appointment between classes during the day.

“This increases the number of accessible options for services and lowers barriers to care for students,” said Bina Patel, director of counseling and psychological services at Vaden Health Services.

No cost: Care is fully paid for by Vaden – there are no copays or other costs to students. Students do not have to engage with their insurance plans to pay for the visits.

Out-of-state care: Students can use TimelyCare anywhere in the United States, whether they’re studying in another state, doing an internship, or traveling for spring break.

“Their ability to work with students outside of California is a real plus,” Patel said.

Expanded mental health and medical care

TimelyCare also fills a need for students who need ongoing mental health services by providing up to 12 counseling visits per academic year.

“This model will help students with mild to moderate mental health needs who could benefit from additional support,” Patel said. Students with more acute or urgent needs should connect with CAPS’ existing 24/7 support and students with longer-term or more intensive needs can still engage with providers covered by their insurance.

Additionally, TimelyCare offers TalkNow, a feature that connects students in real time with a licensed counselor. This feature offers students another option for immediate support, increasing access.

On the medical care side, TimelyCare offers virtual appointments with clinicians who can diagnose a condition and, if necessary, prescribe treatment. For conditions where the student needs to be seen in person, the TimelyCare clinician can recommend an in-person appointment at Vaden or suggest an appropriate option near the student’s location.

Student Vaden health records are not able to be viewed by TimelyCare staff. Authorized Vaden staff, however, can access “visit” records generated by TimelyCare clinicians, on a need-to-know basis. 

TimelyCare does not replace existing resources for students who are studying or traveling overseas, since its clinicians are licensed only in the United States. For students in the United States, though, the service provides significant benefits.

“We’re excited to be able to partner with TimelyCare to expand our services,” said Robyn Tepper, director of medical services at Vaden. “This will allow students to receive medical care and advice at the time they need it, for no extra cost, as long as they’re in the United States.”