Telemental Health Guidelines
The general rule regarding the provision of telemental health services is that therapists must meet any licensure requirements of the jurisdiction where they are licensed and any licensure requirements of the jurisdiction where you are physically located during a session — not where you are a resident. If you are visiting Florida, for instance, you would not be able to schedule a session during your visit.
Each state has their own provision of telemental health service requirements.
You can find the latest updates to inquire about the state where you are located during the session by downloading the relevant app for your device:
Our therapists are licensed social workers (Travis, Paul, Scott, Chris) or marriage and family therapists (Jack) in the State of New York and licensed independent social workers the State of Vermont (Travis).
If state law and licensing boards are silent on this issue, then social workers and marriage and family therapists have not been expressly granted the authority to provide telemental health services in that jurisdiction outside of the state licensing of the therapist.
We strongly advise you to check the regulations in your jurisdiction where you will be physically present during the session before setting up an appointment. If you are unsure, please contact us to confirm eligibility.
Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, some states (e.g., Massachusetts, Iowa, Indiana) temporarily suspended some of their regulatory provisions for telemental health requirements. Many of these emergency provisions have expired.
The federal pandemic emergency declaration is scheduled to expire on October 22, 2022 unless it is renewed. A 151-day transition period has been allotted after the pandemic emergency declaration to transition care, such as referring to another therapist who meets licensing requirements in your physical location during telemental health sessions.
The key for a Telemental Health session to be acceptable in terms of licensing involves where you will be physically located (the state) when the session occurs, not your state residency.
Telemental Health Informed Consent
It is important to understand that you will be giving your consent for Telemental health to address many issues, including but not limited to the risks associated with Telemental health, exceptions to confidentiality, what to do if there are technical difficulties, interruption of service, and what to do in case of an emergency.
You will be asked to review and sign a Telemental health informed consent form as a requirement to participate in Telemental health with our office.
Video Conferencing Platform
Normally, all video conferencing platforms used for telemental health are required to be HIPAA compliant, and their companies are required to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).
However, in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Office of Civil Rights has agreed not to enforce these technical requirements for the duration of the emergency. This means that providers subject to HIPAA Rules may provide telemental health services through platforms, such as Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, or Skype, that may not fully comply with the requirements of HIPAA Rules, and without a BAA. All available encryption and privacy modes will be enabled when using our application, and you will be notified of the potential privacy risks associated with the use of third-party applications.
We only use a HIPAA compliant video platform with a signed BAA.
All privacy and confidentiality rules still apply to Telemental Health. All laws regarding the confidentiality of protected health information and your rights to your medical information applies to Telemental Health interactions.
Telehealth policy changes after the COVID-19 public health emergency
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services took a range of administrative steps to expedite the adoption and awareness of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the telehealth flexibilities are temporary and will lapse at the end of the COVID-19public health emergency.
As the public health emergency ends, more resources and guidance will be made available to keep you up-to-date regarding the latest changes to telehealth policies.