Comprehensive Resources for Clinicians, Clients, and Patients
Displaying items by tag: Practice Management
In May of 2021, the Association for Play Therapy (APT) released their voluntary practice guidelines for play therapists. This guide outlined key recommendations for conducting safe, effective, and ethically-appropriate therapy sessions. We’ve included our 5 main takeaways from the APT guide, so that you can better assess your level of clinical competence.
HIPAA and TeleMental Health: Get Compliant!
Is your telemental health practice HIPAA compliant? It’s a question that can cause a knot in the stomach of even the most experienced telemental health professionals. For those just starting out in telehealth, it may even cause a bout of panic. Exactly how does HIPAA impact counselors who are using telehealth? Are the rules different than the rules for in-person therapy?
Even if you’ve taken a continuing education class covering HIPAA, it may not have covered telemental health and you may have questions.
Let’s start with some basics:
Maybe you tried telehealth for your counseling practice during the COVID-19 shutdown, and you’ve decided you would like to stick with it. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to go all-in on telehealth but weren’t sure you could get enough clients to sustain your business.
The good news is that many counselors are successfully carrying a full caseload of telehealth clients.
How do they do it? And how long does it take to get a full caseload if you only see clients via telehealth?
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an overhaul of school services, with many social workers and counselors switching from in-person counseling to telehealth. This transition can encourage safer student access to behavioral health services, but it can also increase the need for telehealth training.
According to the policy group, Education Commission of the States, 1 in 6 children experience a mental health disorder in a given year—with over half forgoing proper treatment. Many students who received care pre-pandemic used school counseling offices as a safe space for processing emotional hardships. School social workers and counselors are now pivoting to provide the same standard of care virtually as they offered in person.
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a forceful period of transformation for the healthcare field, as economic pressures and safety concerns have intersected with medical and mental health needs. In response, healthcare organizations are pivoting to offer multi-layered treatment plans with a focus on telehealth.
Across the country, organizations have tasked telehealth directors, managers, or telemedicine program coordinators with implementing an ethical and practical telehealth transition plan. But directing a telehealth program is a complicated endeavor; few practices are prepared to effectively launch compliant, large-scale telehealth operations. Professionals in these roles need to understand the full scope of managing telehealth services (from strategy to implementation and evaluation). Learning about these competencies can help directors avoid pitfalls, maximize efficiency, invest in a long-term utilization plan, and increase satisfaction for customers and clinicians.
Jay Ostrowski describes how his telemental health platform, Adaptive Telehealth, offers modern features for well-reasoned clinicians. With expertise in HIPAA compliance, Jay created his platform to anchor therapists as they walk an unstable mental health tightrope. Choosing Adaptive as your telehealth home base accommodates your clients, while attuning to your practice goals.
You may have switched your practice to telehealth-only sessions when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and – like many in America – you are still working from home. You also may be paying rent for an office you’re no longer using.
Why not just give up the office and work from home for the foreseeable future? Can you continue your practice as a telehealth-only home-based business? Is it just a matter of filling out a few change-of-address forms and ending your lease?
Here are some things to keep in mind before switching to a telehealth-only home office:
Jorge Mastrapa, the co-founder of the cybersecurity company CySeSo, discusses his user-friendly approach to helping healthcare organizations feel more secure. As an MBA/PhD with an executive background in analysis, strategic development, and international business, Jorge brings a wealth of experience to his consultations. CySeSo helps organizations keep their patient data safe from predatory digital opportunists.
Most of CySeSo’s customers are individual practitioners or medium-sized healthcare companies seeking end-to-end cyber solutions. Issues range from security breaches to comprehensive disaster recovery scenarios. Regardless of their specific concerns, Jorge individualizes consultations to construct a security plan around the existing business.
How can I safely reopen my practice and offer face-to-face counseling sessions during a global pandemic? Many therapists are grappling with this question.
Counselors, psychologists and social workers quickly switched to Telemental Health sessions in March 2020 when the dangers of the deadly new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) hit home in America. Telemental Health has allowed us to continue offering much-needed therapy to clients during this national crisis without risk of exposing ourselves to the virus or spreading it to our clients.
Many of us are opting to keep using Telemental Health until a vaccine for the virus becomes available. The American Psychological Association recommends psychologists continue using telehealth if possible. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) reminds social workers they are “not professionally or ethically required to provide in-person services.”
It’s not just behavioral health clinicians who have made the switch to distance counseling. The CDC recommends all healthcare providers keep using telehealth if possible to “provide necessary care to patients while minimizing the transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to healthcare personnel (HCP) and patients.”
But not all counseling clients are comfortable with Telemental Health, and it may not work at all for young children or clients with attention deficit and other mental health disorders.
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.