Update on Therapy Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
posted: Mar. 19, 2020.
Extraordinary times we are living in! Every day and throughout each day, we receive information on what's open, what's closed, adjusted hours, and changes in the number of positive cases. I have come to believe that the decision of whether I can meet with clients face to face will be made for me in the very near future. So I have chosen to get ahead of that likelihood.
Let me first say, I prefer and will meet for face to face sessions as long as we are allowed and my clients feel comfortable doing so. Carmel's mayor issued an emergency declaration restricting travel which does allow travel for medical reasons ~ counseling appointments fall under "medical reasons." So until a shelter in place order is activated, I will see clients who want to be seen in person.
A number of third party insurance companies are providing free HIPAA sites and are working hard to meet the demand by providers. I am in waiting mode to receive the links to download these sites. In the meantime, I am so grateful that the Dept of Health and Human Services has waived restrictions on HIPAA compliant telehealth platforms. Cell phones, FaceTime, and Skype are all platforms that have been approved for telehealth during the national health emergency.. Clients can keep their appointments and use any of these 3 telehealth platforms during this national health emergency. Insurance companies have sent emails to providers about coding and coverage recognizing the need for mental health services during this stressful time for individuals, couples, and families.