Thanks to the 35 colleagues who responded to this survey!
For my 6 previous MHConcierge surveys, I sent an invitation to participate in to a variety of listservs, social networking sites – and a list that purchased from the MN Board of Psychology. The MBOP list provided the majority of responses. While preparing for the current survey, I learned that the services that I use (Survey Monkey and MailChimp) both forbid using purchased lists. Therefore, I chose to not risk trouble with those services (and MBOP), and did not use the MBOP list – but unfortunately have much lower numbers to work with. I hope you will find the results, albeit limited, to help you have a reading on what colleagues are doing, and thinking, about video telehealth services.
Also, please keep in mind that this is not intended to be a scientific research study – it is a social networking survey. Participation is limited to psychologists who participate in listservs and social networking sites, and who are interested enough in the topic to open the invitation and follow up by completing the survey.
I had 34 valid responses. About 63% practice in an urban community, 34% practice in an “urban cluster” community, and only one participant practices in a rural setting. 85% identified as providing primarily treatment. Each of the following categories had one participant: assessment, neuropsychology, forensic, academic, and organizational/consulting.
About 32% of the respondents currently provide video telehealth services. 45% of them report no problems with reimbursement. About 55% use a free video platform. About 67% report that their video platform is HIPAA compliant, 17% do not use a HIPAA complaint platform, and 17% were unsure whether their platform is HIPAA compliant.
33%s of video telehealth providers report that their platform has functioned without problems. About ½ of the rest of the video telehealth providers report problems with audio or video quality, losing the connection, or the service being confusing for clients/patients to use. The rest reported what sounds like relatively minor problems, such as having to take some extra time to orient the patient/client to the login process and having to take some time to learn to use the service by practicing with a non-client/patient.
The respondents who do not currently provide video telehealth services were asked whether they plan to provide it in the future, and if not, why not. Interestingly, 44% are “considering” video services. About 20% are unsure. 17% do not plan to provide it due to concern that it would be less effective than in-person services, 7% do not plan to provide it due to concerns about confidentiality, and 3% (one person) does not plan to provide it due to not feeling sure of understanding the technology of video services. 17% selected other.
Finally, one of the best parts of these surveys is the comments section, and -as is usually the case- I received a lot of thoughtful and interesting comments. Several participants commented on the fact that telehealth services are limited – at least if you want to avoid serious problems – to serving people who are physically in states where the psychologist is licensed. Several comments were very positive about the potential benefits of providing video services to people who have chronic health problems, transportation problems, or live in an area with a shortage of psychologists. Finally, several expressed a desire to learn more about the technology, and how to provide video telehealth services.
MHConcierge is in the process of getting set up to provide video telehealth services and will provide regular blog/newsletter posts as this evolves. This will include providing info about MN-specific requirements (e.g., some insurance companies require that providers sign a document attesting to things like having a HIPAA compliant video platform, having written telehealth-specific policies, and having training in providing telehealth services), info about technology, info about high quality resources for learning more about telehealth, and info about high quality but cost effective – and HIPAA compliant – video platforms.
Thanks for your interest in this survey.
Richard Sethre, PsyD, LP