Displaying items by tag: Counseling
In our interview with Dr. Laklieshia Izzard, LPC, ACS, shares why over 15 years ago she began providing telemental health services, how it has been a fit for her own self-care, and a fit for both her clients and supervisees.
How COVID-19 is Changing the World of Online Counseling
You may have been an early adopter of telehealth services; perhaps you thought that you would never provide care from a distance; or maybe you fall somewhere in the middle. The fact of the matter is that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic - we have all been forced into becoming distance providers.
Questions you may have asked yourself: Am I allowed to provide telehealth services? Can I deliver those services competently and ethically? Will I be able to follow the constantly changing regulations?
Learn from an expert on how to market your teletherapy services and how to create an attention-grabbing provider profile that connects with those in need of your services. Raymond Barrett, CEO of Telehealth Certification Institute, interviewed Clay Cockrell, a leading expert on these topics.
What can you expect from a consultation session?
Private consultation with Ray Barrett is an opportunity for you -or your group- to seek specific guidance on the topics you want to discuss telehealth services. You may have just finished training and haven’t begun to provide distance services or perhaps you have the foundation for your telepractice but need help evaluating your current systems. Regardless of where you fit on the spectrum as a telemental health provider, consultation is a unique opportunity for you to set the agenda and clear goals for what you want to take away from your session with Ray.
On March 20, 2020, Ray had an opportunity to catch up with Suzanne Gavin, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Nationally Certified Custody Evaluator, and a Nationally Certified Parenting Coordinator.
What caught Ray’s attention, and the attention of other clinicians is her honest breakdown of her transition (and the related anxieties) to what she referred to as a mandated telemental health practice.
H.R. 6074 (“Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020”) is an $8.3 billion COVID-19 funding package that was signed into law on March 6, 2020, to address issues that arise during the coronavirus public health emergency. H.R.6074 includes a provision to temporarily lift restrictions and implement the wider use of telehealth services by Medicare beneficiaries.
HIPAA compliant video conferencing is when a HIPAA-covered entity meets all of the requirements of the HIPAA and HITECH laws when using video conferencing with clients. The totality of HIPAA compliance is too large of a topic for this one article but we will cover specifically the HIPAA considerations of using video conferencing technology with clients.
Clarity results in guidance, pride, and effective partnerships!
Mental health counseling is an honorable profession and vital to the health of a society. Mental health providers offer a unique skill set to clients and healthcare teams. Since there are so many titles used for mental health professionals (LMHC, LPC, LPCC…) and similar types of mental health professionals (Counselors, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists, Psychoanalysis, …), there is often confusion about the specifics of the profession. Because of this, the mental health counseling profession has been in need of an official and unified statement that defines its values, unique characteristics, and qualifications.
What do we call behavioral health sessions where the client and clinician are not in the same location but rely on technology to communicate?
There are so many terms and definitions for this that it often causes confusion. Knowing which term or definition to use is often determined by context. Among other terms used, social workers have used the term technology-assisted social work, psychologists have used the term e-psychology, and counselors have used the term distance-counseling. Clinicians who specialize in using texting for therapy have referred to it as text-therapy, providers marketing to tech-savvy clients have used the terms web-based or cyber-counseling.
In early 2019, the Georgia Senate passed two bills addressing telehealth and telemedicine. Both bills address comprehensive healthcare reform in order to reduce costs, increase access, and enhance quality care for Georgia residents. Since 2006, the state of Georgia has addressed telehealth parity law, and continued to address the need and coordination of telehealth care. The most recent bills (Senate Bill 115 and Senate Bill 118) continue to demonstrate how Georgia legislature has updated and revised existing laws.
"The Medical Practice Act of the State of Georgia" (SB 115) became effective on July 1, 2019. SB 115 allows for the provision of telemedicine licenses for physicians licensed and located outside of Georgia to provide care to patients who are located within the state at the time of service. SB 115 adds a new Code that defines the requirements for a telemedicine license.
In order for a physician to be issued a telemedicine license from Georgia, the physician must:
- Hold a full and unrestricted license in a state other than Georgia
- Have a clean record of discipline and action by any other state or jurisdiction
- Meet the requirements established by the board pursuant to the Code in order to ensure patient safety.
In order to maintain the license, the following requirements must be met:
- Licensee cannot engage in practice while physically located in Georgia
- Notify the board immediately of any restrictions placed on license
- Comply with applicable Georgia laws regarding patient records and confidentiality, regardless of physical location of licensee
- Comply with all provision of the Code Section of SB 115
- Violation of Code is subject to telemedicine license revocation
The Georgia "Telehealth Act" (SB 118) became effective on January 1, 2020. An adaptation of Georgia's previous Telemedicine Act, SB 118 revises the definition of terms related to telemedicine (i.e. "distant site" and originating site") and clearly defines telehealth.
- The term "telehealth" means the use of various forms of technology - including telephones and remote monitoring devices - to support clinical health care, consultation, health related education, public health and health administration.
- The term "telemedicine" is a specific form of telehealth encompassing the delivery of clinical health care by real-time, two-way electronic communication by a provider who is legally allowed to practice in Georgia.
In addition, the Telehealth Act increases reimbursement opportunities and patient participation in telehealth. The bill requires that insurers cover telehealth and telemedicine services, while specifying that insurers cannot require that services are provided by telemedicine.
With the passage and effective dates of SB 115 and SB 118, the Georgia state Senate improved their telehealth laws to reflect new terminology, create more opportunities for health care for state residents, and broaden insurance coverage for services provided from a distance.
Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Licensed Professional Counselors, who provide telemental health services in Georgia, should be aware of Georgia’s Telemental Health Rule which requires at least a 6 hour CE training on telemental health counseling. We provide a course specifically to meet that rule.