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Displaying items by tag: Social Work

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.

Published in Blog
Friday, 13 March 2020 05:50

HIPAA Compliant Video Conferencing

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.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 14:57

Terms for TeleMental Health

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.  

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 07 January 2020 08:47

Georgia Telehealth Laws are Now in Effect

georgia telehealth laws are now in effect

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.

Published in Blog

In order for a social worker to retain their license in NY they must complete 36 hours of continuing education every three years by a CE provider who has been approved by the NY Social Work Board.  Only 12 of these hours can consist of self-study activities.  Live webinar courses are considered live hours.

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Every day patients are transitioning back home from hospitals.  Often, they are not able to do all that they once were able to do.  This not only is distressing for the patient but also for the family.  Medical social workers who provide home health services get an insider’s view of what life is like for the patient and their family.  This allows them to be more effective and accessible. 

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I am excited to announce that the Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is now an approved provider for continuing education by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners and the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work.

LCSWs and LMHCs in NY can now earn CE hours while qualifying to become a credentialed telemental health provider.

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017 16:22

Social Work Standards for Technology

Collaboration at its best! Two years ago, NASW partnered with ASWB, CSWE, and CSWA. They created the Task Force for Technology Standards in Social Work Practice which produced a thorough set of standards on the use of technology in the practice of social work. In 2016 the task force released a draft to the public for comments. After careful review of the comments received and many other sources of best practices, they released the NASW, ASWB, CSWE, & CSWA Standards for Technology in Social Work Practice.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 08:25

ASWB Continuing Education for Social Workers

I am glad to announce that the Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is now approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) as a provider of continuing education.

Telehealth Certification Institute LLC, #1609, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 05/02/2021 – 05/02/2024. 

We are also happy to hsare that we have ASWB ACE Invididual Course Approval for the following courses (specifically applicable to New Jersey Social Workers):

Click here to view all of our online self-study courses.

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Georgia is using telemental health for assessments, treatment, supervision, coordination of care, school-based services, and in many other facilities. The Partnership Georgia Partnership for Telehealth has had 240,000 telehealth patient visits in 2014, and it currently includes over 600 locations with over 200 specialists and healthcare partners. Georgia has had a telehealth parity law since 2006. Georgia has been requiring counselors, social workers, and MFTs to receive 6 hours of CE training in telemental health. Georgia’s Office of Telehealth & Telemedicine is establishing a new sophisticated telemedicine network.

If you want to start offering telebehavioral health services in Georgia, I highly recommend earning a telebehavioral health credential. A training credential in telebehavioral health will not only teach you important best practices but will inform referral sources of your credibility.

Read about Georgia's CE requirement for telemental health.

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