Therapists and other mental health clinicians have relied on telehealth to continue to provide services during these difficult times. Some are working from home, and find that this works pretty well. Some are considering closing their brick-and-mortar office and transitioning to a home office, providing telehealth-only services. MHConcierge wonders whether and how this will work, and if there might be unforeseen consequences. To get help with these questions, I posted questions on several local and national listservs. I also sent questions to Provider Relations staff at 5 Minnesota insurance companies: BCBS MN, Medica/UHC/Optum, HealthPartners, UCare and PreferedOne.
Providing telehealth/telebehavioral services can be an opportunity to both expand your practice and help people with difficulty getting to your office. There are, however, a lot of regulatory and authorization details that you need to attend to. Here is another update from MHConcierge, following up on previous posts, Telehealth, an Overview and Telehealth, Getting Started.
I decided to provide telehealth, or telemental health, services to expand my practice, meet the expectations of my increasingly technology-savvy patient/client population, and to help meet the needs of local underserved populations. I quickly learned that getting ready to start providing telehealth services requires some research and training – my “homework.” My first step was researching whether my licensing board allows, or at least does not forbid, telehealth. In Minnesota, it is OK. Next, I researched whether my contracted insurance companies cover telehealth services, and if so whether they have limitations on this coverage. One crucial question is whether