HIPAA Compliant Mental Health Telehealth
As a mental health professional working in today’s social climate, you’re probably seeing explosive growth in the demand for your services. People are finally beginning to accept that it’s perfectly ok and even necessary to seek the mental health help they deserve and as a provider, that’s great news for you.
But how will you keep up with this demand? Offering mental health telehealth using an easy and secure platform like HIPAA Video will be a key driver of your success in this landscape. Mental health telehealth means that you can accommodate far more clients, helping you boost your practice’s profit and offering you the scheduling flexibility you’ve always been looking for, all while maintaining HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) compliance. Plus, with the uncertainty around the Covid 19 pandemic, mental health telehealth offers both you and your clients the safety of social distancing so there is no disruption to your practice or to your clients’ lives.
How Mental Health Telehealth can improve your practice
Mental health telehealth, using a simple, cloud-based and compliant platform like HIPAA Video, can improve your
practice by increasing your practice’s business performance, simplifying its overall management and
improving patient relationships in ways that weren’t possible before.
Improve results for clients with frequent check-ins
Mental health telehealth shapes the therapy experience for clients in ways that help them see better results. Mental health telehealth allows you to set up more frequent, brief touchpoints with clients (outside of normal appointment slots) throughout their therapy journey so you can monitor your patient’s health more closely. The HIPAA Video platform also offers tools like robust chat functionalities, built-in recording abilities and the ability to keep psychotherapy notes and treatment records, making it easier for you to keep accurate records of sessions and progress, allowing you to react quickly to client needs. Being able to conduct frequent check-ins can also be particularly helpful with high-risk clients, such as those suffering from substance abuse or those who might be exhibiting suicidal tendencies.
Gain the freedom to practice remotely
Therapists usually must be licensed in the state where the client is receiving the therapy and under the jurisdiction of that state’s mental health licensing board. This means that in-person appointments require both the therapist and client to be physically present in the same state. Mental health telehealth gives you the freedom and flexibility to practice remotely by allowing you to have a license to operate in one state and reside and practice mental health telehealth from a different state/jurisdiction, as long as the client remains in the state in which you are licensed.
Increase access to mental health services
Many mental health clients face barriers to accessing the care they need. Long commuting distances for those in rural areas and lack of transportation options can be among the factors that prevent clients from getting to a mental health provider. Mental health telehealth removes these barriers by bringing the therapy experience directly to clients. HIPAA Video, with its simple-to-adopt mental health telehealth platform provides clients who have issues accessing care with a viable remote solution.
Easily include family members in appointments
There are times patients want a personal representative on hand. Spouses, partners, relatives and friends are often important members of a client’s support network. Mental health telehealth allows therapists and clients the freedom to easily invite support network members to sessions as needed without having to worry about transportation, location or other logistical issues.
Decrease overhead costs
For many therapists, office rental costs have made up a large chunk of their overhead expenses, particularly in larger cities. Mental health telehealth gives you the option to give up your office, maybe even for good. Reducing this huge monthly expenditure can greatly boost profitability while also giving you the comfort of working from your own home or preferred space. HIPAA Video also gives therapists easy options to add assistants to office workflows, decreasing the need for in-person, front desk support, further driving down overhead costs.
You’ve been there. You have a client in your calendar for Thursday but his calendar has the appointment for Wednesday. Now the client has no alternative time and you have to scramble to fill up the empty slot. HIPAA Video helps you avoid these headaches by providing integrated calendar tools that help with accurate scheduling and automatic appointment reminders, both of which reduce no-shows by up to 30%.
Improve practice efficiency
Mental health telehealth shouldn’t complicate the day-to-day operations of your practice and PHI (protected health information) is a part of that. The right mental health telehealth platform will provide easy-to-use features that seamlessly integrate into your existing workflows and software tools. HIPAA Video integrates (via API) with EMR/EHR (Electronic Medical Records) and popular practice management software so you can add HIPAA compliant mental health telehealth easily to your existing office management platform(s), all while adhering to HIPAA privacy rules and sharing information related to mental health.
Ensure your practice grows
According to recent research, the rate that younger people are seeking mental health help has spiked significantly as Millennials and Gen Z are quickly becoming known as the “therapy generations”. Also, those in high-stress fields, such as law enforcement and rescue workers, have a high demand for mental health services. Digital tools are a lifeline for these newer generations of clients so you need to make sure that your practice aligns to their lifestyle needs. Integrating an easy and secure mental health telehealth platform like HIPAA Video is a no-brainer for making sure that your practice thrives as you attract younger clients into the future.
Open up more of your schedule to appointments
With packed schedules, clients are finding it tough to squeeze in their much-needed therapy appointments and you might have found it just as challenging to accommodate their demanding or unusual schedules. Mental health telehealth gives you the flexibility to hold sessions during times that may normally be considered “off-hours”, opening up more time in your schedule for appointments. This helps you see more clients in a day, increasing your practices’ revenue, not to mention your overall impact within your community.
Adhere to state-mandated Covid-19 social distancing guidelines
Many states now have social distancing rules in place, under the guidance of HHS (Health and Human Services) and the Department of Health, due to the Covid-19 pandemic which make it impossible to see clients in a physical office. Mental health telehealth is a reliable alternative that allows you to continue seeing clients while adhering to these state mandates. HIPAA Video’s platform is cloud-based and easy to use meaning you can get up and running quickly with your clients in a way that’s compliant with state-mandated guidelines.
What are the benefits of mental health telehealth for clients?
Clients do a lot of tough work in therapy and it can often be unpleasant and stressful. The last thing you want to do is add complexity to their lives by deciding to use a complicated mental health telehealth platform. HIPAA Video provides benefits to clients by removing any additional burdens for clients that might get in the way of progress through a fully HIPAA compliant telehealth platform that everyone, no matter how tech savvy, will find easy to use.
Offer scheduling and location flexibility
Provide patients with safety during the Covid-19 pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced patients to balance their increasing mental health needs with the need to stay safe and socially distant. HIPAA Video’s cloud-based teletherapy platform provides a simple interface that requires no training or downloads and works with any device and operating system, so patients can easily transition to teletherapy without any headaches.
Avoid breaks in therapy
Just because you go out of town doesn’t mean your clients have to skip their sessions. Since mental health telehealth offers you the flexibility to work remotely, your clients also benefit by avoiding breaks in their therapy journey.
Stay clear of schedule mishaps
Scheduling mishaps can cause major disruptions to your client’s well-being as well to their progress. HIPAA Video provides integrated calendar tools and alerts that help clients avoid schedule mishaps or conflicts, ensuring that clients continue to reap the benefits of therapy.
What are the challenges of mental health telehealth?
Results of randomized controlled trials indicate high client acceptance and positive outcomes with this method of delivering psychotherapy. Nonetheless, psychotherapists wishing to deliver psychotherapy by telemedicine face a number of challenges.
Difficulty conveying empathy through screens
Teletherapy offers a host of benefits for both providers and patients. Though most therapists agree on the value of using Teletherapy, a key challenge they grapple with is being able to effectively convey empathy through a computer screen. After all, many of the subtle facial cues of communication that convey empathy can get lost through a static screen.
This concern is inspiring therapists to rethink their “bedside manner” as they turn toward teletherapy. While speaking through a screen can’t ever replicate a face-to-face discussion, there are certain basic tips to consider as you begin to conduct teletherapy sessions.
- Practice in front of the web camera: Speaking to a camera doesn’t come naturally to everyone. You might find it helpful to have a few practice sessions to get used to being on camera before fully diving into teletherapy.
- Pay even more attention to eye contact: It’s easy to get distracted when you’re sitting in front of your computer so it’s even more important that you pay attention to maintaining eye contact when speaking and listening through the computer camera.
- Maintain the right environment: You’ve put effort into making your physical office a safe, comfortable and relaxing space for your patients. Take the same approach with your teletherapy location. Maintain a background that is professional, uncluttered, and calm. Keep yourself well-lit and visible during sessions.
Lack of patient privacy at home
Teletherapy provides patients with the benefit of participating in therapy sessions from the comfort of their own home. But, sometimes care coordination is required as not everyone has a comfortable or private home environment in which to share information with a therapist. Many patients struggle to find a quiet, private space in their home so therapy conversations are often within earshot of parents, roommates, partners, children and others.
In these situations, patients may end up logging into sessions from locations with poor internet signals such as their cars, garages, outdoor decks and patios which can result in choppy or dropped sessions. For these patients, therapists can open up extended teletherapy hours, providing patients with the option to schedule their sessions during less than ideal times that allow for more privacy with access to a strong internet signal.
Reimbursement / coverage parity with in-person therapy
Reimbursement/coverage parity is one of the most frequently asked questions. Currently, there is no federal statute that requires payers to reimburse American telemental health sessions at the same rate as in-person or even to cover these services at all. So it’s up to each state to issue parity laws in order to guarantee that providers will receive the same payment for mental health telehealth sessions as for in-person sessions. Prior to COVID-19, only five states had implemented telehealth parity laws. While an additional 21 states expanded telehealth services through COVID-19 emergency orders, only 13 required parity. Therapists may need to wait until the Covid-19 pandemic has passed to see how this parity will be addressed on a more long-term basis, in terms of insurance portability and accountability.
Common mental health telehealth FAQs
How does mental health telehealth work with insurance?
Reimbursement across federally funded insurance, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and private health insurance varies. Please check with your state’s office of mental health website for more detailed information and resources. Additionally, the Center for Connected Health Policy semi-annual State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies report offers the most current summary guide of Medicaid provider manuals, applicable state laws, and telehealth-related regulations for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
My clients are all currently residing all over the United States due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Will mental health telehealth allow me to continue providing services to them?
Generally speaking, your client must participate in the therapy session from the state/jurisdiction where you have a license and abide by what each state’s rule permits. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, many state licensing boards have loosened certain practicing restrictions which may provide you with more flexibility in terms of where your clients can be located when receiving therapy. We recommend that you check with your state’s licensing board to understand the specific changes.
HIPAA Video Capabilities for
Mental Health Telehealth
For the Health of Your Practice.
For the Health of Your Patients.
- 5.0 from 5 reviews
Susan Blum, LCSW, New York, NY.
I am thrilled with how robust and simple the system is, and with the clarity of both the video and the audio transmission. Best by far of any platform I've tried! I know this will enhance my practice, and I am very grateful to you and to the rest of the team for doing all the behind the scene work so that we therapists can focus on our patient.
Dr Bob Goldberg, New York, NY.
It probably goes without saying that this experience was completely different from my outreach to Zoom to learn more about their HIPAA-compliant platform. It's been over a week since I got a form email from them saying that someone would be back in touch with me "as soon as possible." Not holding my breath… Any colleagues I speak to have found Zoom to be confusing and/or unresponsive. All this, for Zoom's outrageous charge of $200/month.
Dr. Stephanie Wellon, M. Ed, PA
I am forever grateful for the day that I made contact with you by phone. It was to my surprise (amid a public health crisis due to Covid -19) that I was able to actually speak with a live person that is and after scurrying through many websites and contacts to inquire about tele-counseling options to support the students in our school district.
Dr. Efi Inyang, Clinton, MD.
Thank you for helping us to make a smooth transition to HipaaVideo with the sudden change we had to make in light of the Corona virus pandemic. Our clinicians are able to hold their therapy sessions and the doctor is able to see her patients for medication management with ease. It is also great that your system is Hipaa compliant. We are already recommending HipaaVideo to others and will continue to highly recommend it.
Dr. Terry Martin & Bob Cayne Scottsdale, AZ.
HIPAAVIDEO.NET fits perfectly with our digital practice, NoCouchTherapy.com that conducts telehealth sessions globally. Thank you, Frank and Marlene.