Telehealth services and their availability are expanding rapidly and the state of New York is prepared. Numerous avenues exist for those seeking services and providers are in place as well.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS published their final rule for 2018 stating the changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule(PFS) and other Medicare Part B payment policies.
Here is a summary of the important updates for behavioral health providers. However, DO NOT consider this as guidance for your Medicare billing. We advise that you consult directly with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for guidance and to ensure the accuracy of your billing practices.
Telehealth is a constantly evolving mode of healthcare and there are numerous aspects of the field in need of clarification so that statutes, policies and practices follow the same guidelines. Telehealth is not a type of health care, rather it is the manner in which care is given. And as the standards for that care become more defined and the use of this mode more prevalent, so will the need for caregivers who are adequately trained and licensed to deliver telehealth.
In 2016, the State of Florida created the Telehealth Advisory Council in order to survey, research and recommend changes to telehealth in order to better serve those living in the state. The increase in both access and use of telehealth will also require an increase in health care practitioners offering telehealth services.
Vendor Management and Video Chatting Clients
HIPAA compliance for telebehavioral health professionals is essential to running your business in the digital age.
According to HIPAA regulation, telebehavioral health professionals must be fully HIPAA compliant in order to avoid serious violations and government fines.
BA and Vendor Management
One of the most common mistakes health care professionals can make is improper vendor management. The HIPAA rules here affect telebehavioral health professionals in particular because of the electronic and digital mediums by which care is given.
Telebehavioral health services for those with eating disorders not only overcomes barriers to access but allows clients to receive treatment in their own environments and provides continuity of care.
Often the treatment of ADHD is fragmented and difficult to track, not only for parents and caregivers but for the person with ADHD as well. I was very impressed and inspired by Esteem Therapeutics. This new and emerging technology, known as digital therapeutics, empowers both the person with ADHD and their entire care team, with the tools to be very effective in combatting ADHD.
Great tools such as Esteem Therapeutics can only be effective if they are utilized. Esteem Therapeutics is a very well-designed platform that is easy to use and understand. The user quickly experiences how engaging and effective it is. I expect clients will really enjoy using it.
Dr. Marla Chalnick is a License Professional Counselor and Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) in North Carolina. She provides counseling via the phone and video conferencing to those with chronic illnesses.
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.
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.
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 as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 05/02/2018 – 05/02/2021. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.
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 are wanting to begin offering telebehavioral health services in Georgia, I highly recommend earning a certification. A certification in telebehavioral health will not only teach you important best practices but will inform referral sources of your credibility.
North Carolina is greatly utilizing telemental health. The Statewide Telepsychiatry Program (NC-STeP) in NC anticipates connecting eighty or more hospital emergency departments with psychiatric assessments and consultations. Most major insurance companies in NC are reimbursing for telebehavioral health services. The Center for Rural Health Innovation’s Health-e-Schools program provides school-based telehealth services to thirty-three schools in four counties. North Carolina has a proposed telehealth parity law, HB 283. Both Licensed Professional Counselors and Social Workers in North Carolina can now receive supervision hours through the use of technology.
The expansion of telemental health in North Carolina is helping overcome the barriers to access to treatment. If you are a behavioral health clinician in North Carolina, I encourage you to seek training in telemental health.
You can earn you Telemental Health Training Certificate (THTC) by taking one of our upcoming courses. Click here to find a training closest to you.