TBHI is delighted to be launching a series of Q&A from our audiences. In this blog, then interspersed with our other news and features, we’ll post a question obtained from one of our Trainees. One such question will be drawn and answered regularly. While we can’t answer each question individually, we will try our very best to respond to all your queries. Send us your questions/enquiry/concerns by dropping an email here.
Telebehavioral State Requirements: Is there a place that lists all state requirements for licensed telemental health, substance use and telebehavioral health professionals, or do you have to search each state?
Here’s such a resource for psychologists, just to give you an idea of the factors that were relevant at its latest revision: Telepsychology 50-State Review. The Center for Connected Health Policy has a federally funded document that is available for free at this address. The American Telemedicine Association also compiled a 50-state “report card” of telemental health laws as well. Rene Quashie and Amy Lerman compiled a specialized document that summarized the results of a survey for telemental health laws in particular (2016). Titled, 50-State Survey on Telemental Health Laws in the United States, the survey shows trends as well as specifics of state laws for the discipline.
Other lists have been complied by private groups, but TBHI cautions against use of such lists without knowledge of the date of their last revision. States are in rapid flux with regard to telehealth issues. Even a review of legal issues that is a year old may be woefully out of date.
In addition to the above, you may want to ask your professional association’s Ethics Office for a document compiling all relevant telemental and telebehavioral state laws. In the absence of such a resource for your discipline, you may want to search each state you wish to enter, as well as your own. Just be mindful that laws are changing quickly and any listing will need to be updated regularly. (If you create such a list, be sure to let us at TBHI know about it!)
For more information about state law and telemental or telebehavioral health, see Telebehavioral Health Related Court Cases.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Please leave your comments below.
Are you already practicing telemental health over state lines, or contemplating such practice?
Many forward-thinking health care professionals are drawn to practicing online because of the many inexpensive conveniences. The issue is that many are also unsure or simply incorrect about how to practice ethical and legal telebehavioral health and telemental health over state lines. They have questions about what they consider to be Skype therapy over state lines. They are finding plenty of information about practicing distance therapy legally and ethically, but the information is unwieldy and often, contradictory. The good news is licensure is not as complicated as it may seem at first glance. This telemental health professional training program will outline the scope of distance therapy and detail telemental health licensure portability.