Ray Barrett of Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC recently appeared as a guest on the Mental Health News Radio Network podcast with Kristin Sunanta Walker to discuss the various aspects of telemental health services and the changes that have occurred over the years.
Increased availability and accessibility of telebehavioral health care means that clinicians need adequate training in order to competently provide services. This training is not usually provided in graduate programs or clinical supervision. Over twenty years ago, the first guidelines for distance care were developed. Agencies continue to improve and update those guidelines as everyone faces the moving target of technological improvements.
Ray and Kristin discuss practice management and EHR platforms; web-based vssoftware-based video conferencing systems; obstacles related to privacy as well as security settings of individual's computer settings; and clinicians becoming comfortable in making telehealth a part of their practice.
They review concerns and uncertainty with regard to insurance reimbursement. The VA cleared the path for clients to receive telehealth care from VA employees while in their own home. Medicaid also allows for in-home care in some states. Medicare is much more restrictive - currently requiring clients in most states to be at an approved site at the time of the session. Because of this uncertainty and changing rules, some are billing improperly, resulting in insurance fraud.
There are some kinks to be ironed out in order for the process of telehealth to become comfortable for everyone involved, and adequate training is needed for health care providers. Ray Barrett has a foot in both worlds as a counselor and one with interest in technology and resulting efficiency. We offer CE trainings and programs, as well as opportunities for individual consultation & technology selection for providers. Simply trying to find a teleheath provider - for any type of health care - is quite difficult. Therefore, we created a directory of telehealth providers. This directory is a free service to both providers and the public and can be searched with filters to find a provider that meets your needs.