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South Carolina

Social Workers

PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, AND PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL SPECIALISTS 

Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-Educational Specialists 

Source

Effective Date: November 17, 2015

In response to inquiries from licensees, supervisors, and other interested parties, the SC Licensure Board has confirmed that it has no separate view per se with regard to the provision of services via electronic means as long as a licensee is practicing in a manner consistent with his/her training and experience, is receiving supervision as is appropriate, and the medium for doing so is not an issue. However, it is incumbent upon any licensed counselor, therapist, or psycho-educational specialist to recognize that as he or she moves away from direct face to face contact with clients, there are losses to the processes and interactions. The Board considers that the practice of counseling, marriage and family therapy occurs both where the therapist who is providing therapeutic services is located and where the individuals (patients/clients) who are receiving services are located. In order for an individual to provide counseling and therapy services in South Carolina, that individual must be licensed by the South Carolina Board for Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-educational Specialist. On this basis, if an individual licensed in South Carolina renders services electronically to an out-of-state client, it is recommended that the licensee contact the licensure board for counselors, marriage and family therapist, or psycho-educational specialist in the state in which the clients reside to determine whether or not such practices are permitted in that jurisdiction. Licensees are advised to review the South Carolina Licensure Law and the Code of Ethics.

Delivery of clinical services via technology-assisted media such as telephones, the use of video, or the internet requires the therapist to be sensitive to various issues. These areas include: confidentiality, acquiring required signatures on intake forms (consent to treat, release of information, professional disclosure forms, consent to treat minors, consent to tape, etc.). Other issues include: confidentiality, boundaries of competence, computer security, avoiding harm dealing with fees and financial arrangements, and advertising. Other specific challenges include, but are not limited to verifying the identity of the client, determining if the client is a minor, explaining to the clients the procedures for contacting the therapist/counselor when he or she is off-line, discussing the possibility of technology failure and alternate means of communication if technology occurs. It is important for counselors and therapists to use encrypted technology as required by HIPAA. Clients should be informed of the encryption methods used to help ensure the security of communications. Also, counselors and therapists should inform clients as to whether session data is being preserved and if so, for in what manner and for how long. In addition, clients need to be informed regarding the procedures that will be in place in receiving and releasing client information received through the internet and other electronic sources.

Last of all, it is important that when providing services through electronic methods, the counselor and therapist be knowledgeable regarding emergency services available in the communities where their clients live.

CHAPTER 36.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION-- BOARD OF EXAMINERS FOR THE LICENSURE OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, AND PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL SPECIALISTS
Code of Ethics for Professional Counselors: Chapter 36-19, Article 7, (B) Counseling Relationship, 12, 13, 14.

(12) Professional Counselors who employ electronic means in which the counselor and client are not in immediate proximity must present clients with local sources of care before establishing a continued short or long-term relationship. 

(13) Professional Counselors shall obtain legal authorization to practice in any jurisdiction in which they maintain an electronic presence via the internet or other electronic means.

(14) Professional Counselors shall ensure that clients are intellectually, emotionally, and physically compatible with computer applications used by the counselor and understand their purpose and operation.

Social Workers

We are not aware of any specific rules and regulations of the practice of telemental health services for Social Workers.

Marriage and Family Therapists

PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, AND PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL SPECIALISTS 

Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-Educational Specialists 

Source

Effective Date: November 17, 2015

In response to inquiries from licensees, supervisors, and other interested parties, the SC Licensure Board has confirmed that it has no separate view per se with regard to the provision of services via electronic means as long as a licensee is practicing in a manner consistent with his/her training and experience, is receiving supervision as is appropriate, and the medium for doing so is not an issue. However, it is incumbent upon any licensed counselor, therapist, or psycho-educational specialist to recognize that as he or she moves away from direct face to face contact with clients, there are losses to the processes and interactions. The Board considers that the practice of counseling, marriage and family therapy occurs both where the therapist who is providing therapeutic services is located and where the individuals (patients/clients) who are receiving services are located. In order for an individual to provide counseling and therapy services in South Carolina, that individual must be licensed by the South Carolina Board for Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-educational Specialist. On this basis, if an individual licensed in South Carolina renders services electronically to an out-of-state client, it is recommended that the licensee contact the licensure board for counselors, marriage and family therapist, or psycho-educational specialist in the state in which the clients reside to determine whether or not such practices are permitted in that jurisdiction. Licensees are advised to review the South Carolina Licensure Law and the Code of Ethics.

Delivery of clinical services via technology-assisted media such as telephones, the use of video, or the internet requires the therapist to be sensitive to various issues. These areas include: confidentiality, acquiring required signatures on intake forms (consent to treat, release of information, professional disclosure forms, consent to treat minors, consent to tape, etc.). Other issues include: confidentiality, boundaries of competence, computer security, avoiding harm dealing with fees and financial arrangements, and advertising. Other specific challenges include, but are not limited to verifying the identity of the client, determining if the client is a minor, explaining to the clients the procedures for contacting the therapist/counselor when he or she is off-line, discussing the possibility of technology failure and alternate means of communication if technology occurs. It is important for counselors and therapists to use encrypted technology as required by HIPAA. Clients should be informed of the encryption methods used to help ensure the security of communications. Also, counselors and therapists should inform clients as to whether session data is being preserved and if so, for in what manner and for how long. In addition, clients need to be informed regarding the procedures that will be in place in receiving and releasing client information received through the internet and other electronic sources.

Last of all, it is important that when providing services through electronic methods, the counselor and therapist be knowledgeable regarding emergency services available in the communities where their clients live.

CHAPTER 36.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION-- BOARD OF EXAMINERS FOR THE LICENSURE OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, AND PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL SPECIALISTS
Code of Ethics for Professional Counselors: Chapter 36-19, Article 7, (B) Counseling Relationship, 12, 13, 14.

(12) Professional Counselors who employ electronic means in which the counselor and client are not in immediate proximity must present clients with local sources of care before establishing a continued short or long-term relationship. 

(13) Professional Counselors shall obtain legal authorization to practice in any jurisdiction in which they maintain an electronic presence via the internet or other electronic means.

(14) Professional Counselors shall ensure that clients are intellectually, emotionally, and physically compatible with computer applications used by the counselor and understand their purpose and operation.

Psychologists

Source

S.C. Code Ann. § 40-55-50

"(C) A person is deemed to be practicing as a psychologist within the meaning of this chapter if the person engages in any of the activities enumerated in subsection (A) electronically within this State including, but not limited to, by means of the internet, phone lines, and personal computer modems."

Refer to the source provided for all requirements and limitations.

Psychiatrists

Source

SC Code Annotated Sec. 40-47-20(52)

“"Telemedicine" means the practice of medicine using electronic communications, information technology, or other means between a licensee in one location and a patient in another location with or without an intervening practitioner.”

South Carolina Professional Regulation/Health & Safety Online Prescribing

No reference found

Refer to the source provided for all requirements and limitations.

Nurses

“As a party state to the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), South Carolina issues multistate licenses to nurses and applicants who reside in the state and recognizes multistate licenses issued by other party states, for practice in South Carolina. A nurse holding a multistate license is entitled to practice in any NLC party state, but must comply at all times with the laws of the state where he or she is currently practicing.”

“It should be noted that not every state in the US is an NLC party state; a map of participating states, as well as further resources related to the NLC, are available on the Nurse Licensure Compact website.”

Refer to the source provided for all requirements and limitations.

South Carolina Professional Regulation/Health & Safety Online Prescribing

No reference found

Medicaid Telehealth Parity Law

Source: SC Health and Human Svcs. Dept. Physicians Provider Manual, p. 29

Refer to the source provided for all requirements and limitations.

Originating Site Reimbursement: There is no reference of the member's home as an approved originating site.

Source: SC Health and Human Svcs. Dept., Physicians Provider Manual, p. 28-29 (July. 2019)

 

Private Pay Telehealth Parity Law

We are not aware of any parity law.

Payment Parity

We are not aware of any explicit payment parity.

 *Clinicians who have had an experience with telehealth reimbursement in this state are invited to share their experiences in the comments section below: a) type of service provided; b) insurance provider; c) payment parity, payment issues, or insurance requirements

Permission for the Temporary Practice of Clinicians Licensed Outside the State

Source: SC Code ann 40-55-110

"A person or firm of consultants not licensed in this State and nonresidents of this State who wishes to perform practices under the provisions of this chapter for a period not to exceed sixty days within a calendar year must petition the board for a temporary permit to perform such practices. If the petitioner is licensed or certified in another state deemed by the board to have standards equivalent to those set forth in this chapter, a permit will be issued for a fee to be fixed by the board."

Refer to the source provided for all requirements and limitations.

Note: As this is a free resource and Rules and Regulations regarding Telehealth are always changing, we appreciate any updates or corrections. They can be emailed to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a link to the source or a citation of the rule or regulation.

THTC Program Button

Telemental health is not a separate service from mental health services. All state licensing boards require that licensed clinicians follow all the regulations for practicing under their license no matter what medium of communication is used. All licensing boards also require that clinicians only practice within the boundaries of their competence. This usually requires education, continuing education, and/or supervision in telemental health. Complete our telehealth training program to cover all the essential competencies of providing telemental health services and earn the THTC (Telemental Health Training Certificate).

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