Telepsychiatry is Rising in Popularity, Despite Hurdles
Telepsychiatry could help with the major shortage of psychiatrists in the US.
“The practice of telepsychology involves consideration of legal requirements, ethical standards, telecommunication technologies, intra- and interagency policies, and other external constraints, as well as the demands of the particular professional context” the authors wrote.
Two primary concerns are internet security and compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which is intended to protect patients' personal health information and requires clinicians to obtain a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) from the videoconferencing service provider. The BAA “is what really protects you,” said Dr Alvord.
Therapists providing services via telehealth should receive ongoing training, added Wonders, and they should “check with the licensing laws and policies of the insurance companies with whom they are contracted to stay up to date on inevitable changes to come.”
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