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.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the coronavirus, COVID-19, will likely become a pandemic. They state that anyone in close contact with others with COVID-19, including healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to the virus. The CDC recommends using telehealth to prevent patients who can be cared for at home from going to healthcare facilities, link. They also recommend encouraging sick healthcare providers to stay at home, and they have made available infection control procedures for healthcare providers.
When a patient goes to a healthcare facility they are likely to encounter other people who are ill and seeking treatment. The best solution to the coronavirus is to limit the opportunities for it to spread. Telehealth is a great option to treat those who do not NEED to come to a facility for treatment, but who can receive adequate care at home.
How necessary is professional liability insurance? What if I own my own business? If there is a breach of client data, am I covered?
To answer these questions and more, we asked for help from CPH and Associates, a professional liability insurance agency specialized in the mental health field since 2001. Below, CPH shares some common questions they hear from their insureds in relation to malpractice insurance and telehealth specifically.
In this video and blog post, I share my experience switching from using paper charts to using a practice management program.
If I never made the switch I may have burned out from the administrative tasks of running my private pactice.
Many of my alumni have questions on setting up their home office. I love my home office. I often take short breaks to spend time with my wife and youngest child, who is not yet in school. I also love checking in with my older children when they get home from school. To help you get started I will share with you how I have set up my home office.