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TBHI Emergency COVID-19 Telehealth Resource List

by | Mar 14, 2020 | 38 comments

Telehealth Resources

Colleagues,

Now more than ever, behavioral health professionals are being thoughtful about their intentions, conservative in their actions, and mindful of their resources. Unlike what we see happening to our grocery store shelves, we at the Telebehavioral Health Institute ask that you join us to create a shared telehealth resource page.  Let’s give to each other in this time of international suffering.

Our colleagues need important information, and in particular, telehealth information. As the world’s first and largest international telehealth training center, the Telebehavioral Health Institute is regularly frequented by professionals from the majority of countries from around the globe. While we can offer both pro-bono and reduced pricing for COVID-19 telehealth courses training as well as Micro Certifications, we want to — and can do more. Whether you have benefited from our work in the past, or wish to join us now, we invite you to join with us to create this telehealth resource page and share it with your colleagues.

Emergency Telehealth Resource List

Let’s use this open blog space to share telehealth resources by state and country. When you post information, please specify the information’s state and country of relevance in the SUBJECT LINE of your post. Let’s all do what we can to keep each other informed of changing laws, grants, shifting news, and whatever else you think might be useful to other professionals to protect the emotional wellbeing of people who share this planet with us.

Please note: This is a space for professionals to communicate with each other about offering telehealth services. Please keep your posts factual and resource-driven. To keep this space manageable and useful to the majority, other types of content will be removed. Love it or leave it. Anyone posting off-topic posts will be banned at the sole discretion of TBHI.

Moderators: If you are known to us here at TBHI, and have the time and ability to help moderate this page, please contact us through our contact page. We could use your help.

Marlene

Marlene M. Maheu, PhD

Executive Director

Telebehavioral Health Institute

What Are Your Thoughts?

Please leave your comments below.

Marlene M. Maheu, PhD has been a technologist-psychologist and pioneer since 1994. She has served various organizations to assist with the development of technology-focused standards and guidelines, including the American Telemedicine Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association. She has overseen the development and delivery of telehealth training to more than 41,000 professionals worldwide and consulted with hundreds of hospitals, clinics, agencies, groups and independent practitioners seeking start-up guidance.
 
Dr. Maheu serves as the Founder & Executive Director of the Telebehavioral Health Institute, which offers over 64 hours of both basic and advanced telehealth training online and offering two Micro Certifications Telehealth. She is the CEO for the non-profit Coalition for Technology in Behavioral Science (CTiBS). She has authored five telehealth textbooks, including the Telebehavioral Health: Foundations in Theory & Practice for Graduate Learners (2020); the APA-published, A Practitioner’s Guide to Telemental Health: How to Conduct Legal, Ethical and Evidence-Based Telepractice (2016), and Career Paths in Telemental Health (2016).

Basic Telehealth Legal Issues

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Disclaimer: The Telebehavioral Health Institute (TBHI Telehealth.org) offers information as educational material designed to inform you of issues, products, or services potentially of interest. We cannot and do not accept liability for your decisions regarding any information offered. Please conduct your due diligence before taking action. Also, the views and opinions expressed are not intended to malign any organization, company, or individual. Product names, logos, brands, and other trademarks or images are the property of their respective trademark holders. There is no affiliation, sponsorship, or partnership suggested by using these brands unless contained in an ad. We do not and cannot offer legal, ethical, billing technical, medical, or therapeutic advice. Use of this site constitutes your agreement to TBHI Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

38 Comments

  1. Jean Ware

    Arizona
    Can anyone tell me if the restriction for Medicaid/Medicare Clients to be at a licensed facility to receive telehealth services has been lifted? I dont want to be out of complaince but our families want to do services from their homes.

  2. Marlene Maheu, PhD

    URGENT: HHS Office for Civil Rights Will Not Impose Penalties on Physicians Using Telehealth in Event of Noncompliance Under HIPAA

    From the American Medical Association, March 17, 2020:

    “In light of the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is exercising its enforcement discretion and, effective immediately, will not impose penalties on physicians using telehealth in the event of noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

    Additional information can be found at this notice from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).”

    Kentucky Medical Association / http://www.kyma.org

  3. Marlene Maheu, PhD

    President Trump Expands Telehealth Benefits for Medicare Beneficiaries During

    COVID-19 Outbreak

    CMS Outlines New Flexibilities Available to People with Medicare

    The Trump Administration today announced expanded Medicare telehealth coverage that will enable beneficiaries to receive a wider range of healthcare services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. Beginning on March 6, 2020, Medicare—administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the entire country.

    To read the Fact Sheet on this announcement visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheet

    To read the Frequently Asked Questions on this announcement visit: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/medicare-telehealth-frequently-asked-questions-faqs-31720.pdf

    This guidance, and earlier CMS actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19 click here https://protect2.fireeye.com/url?k=1dc3b044-4196b994-1dc3817b-0cc47a6a52de-daff918c3d41b4a0&u=http://www.coronavirus.gov/. For information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.

  4. Marlene Maheu, PhD

    OCR Announces Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote
    Communications During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency

    Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced, effective immediately, that it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

    In support of this action, OCR is providing further guidance explaining how covered health care providers can use remote video communication products and offer telehealth to patients responsibly.

    Learn More

  5. Marlene Maheu, PhD

    Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet

    Medicare coverage and payment of virtual services

    INTRODUCTION:

    Under President Trump’s leadership, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. These policy changes build on the regulatory flexibilities granted under the President’s emergency declaration. CMS is expanding this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. The benefits are part of the broader effort by CMS and the White House Task Force to ensure that all Americans – particularly those at high-risk of complications from the virus that causes the disease COVID-19 – are aware of easy-to-use, accessible benefits that can help keep them healthy while helping to contain the community spread of this virus.

    Please click here to read more.

  6. Marlene Maheu, PhD

    COVID-19 Stakeholder Call Recording/Transcripts

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers in the wake of the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In an effort to be transparent and share this information broadly, CMS will be posting several of our stakeholder calls. CMS held a National Stakeholder Call on March 13, 2020, to update the healthcare community on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation which was declared a national emergency by President Trump on March 13. This bold move empowered CMS to waive certain federal requirements in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP to rapidly expand the Administration’s aggressive efforts against COVID-19 led by the White House Coronavirus Taskforce.

    For more information, please click here.

  7. Marlene Maheu, PhD

    Telehealth Coverage Policies in the Time of COVID-19

    As things rapidly develop regarding what we know about COVID-19, policies around telehealth have also
    been developing alongside of it. Below is a summary of what is covered by various public and private
    payers with the information that has been released.

    For more information, please click here.

    To download the guide, please click here.

  8. Marlene Maheu, PhD

    Covid-19 Related State Actions

    As a result of COVID-19 many states have taken action to remove policy barriers to telehealth utilization to address this pandemic. Below is a list of state actions taken at this time. If you have additional information on state actions that are not included here, please submit your information to info@cchpca.org and we will be sure to include it in future updates.

    For more information, please click here.

  9. karen marshall

    yes it was

  10. Marlene Maheu, Ph. D.

    Jean, As Karen stated, it was approved. See the HHS.gov report cited in a few resources listed below. It is titled, “Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet”.

  11. CD

    What are the best free resources for introducing psychology graduate students to telehealth? Most good training isn’t free, but as the director of a training clinic that’s currently without revenue during a University shutdown, I want to roll out quality, no cost training to our students so they can continue to aid their community clients. How do we train them quickly but robustly?

  12. Marlene Maheu, Ph. D.

    CD, Your question is one that is shared by many directors these days. Thank you for asking it here. Couple things come to mind:

    1) For grad students, in particular, a useful text that was just published in January about telebehavioral health competencies is one that I helped to write. It isn’t free, but it is a remarkable piece of work that took us two years to write, and it is competency-based, literally written for graduate students and assumes that they are first-year grad students to boot. Perhaps you or one of your associate professors could pick it up to design course materials from it, and if you consider it for your class, they will send you a review copy for free: https://titles.cognella.com/telebehavioral-health-9781516530595 Cognella also offer digital training tools with it. We supplied them with quiz questions, videos, flashcards and post-test questions for every chapter to make it easy to develop a course with it alone.
    2) We are currently offering a FREE 1-hour webinar on-demand to address the main behavioral issues involved with COVID-19. You can find it here: https://telehealth.org/covid You may want to consider asking one of your faculty to take our Basic Micro Telehealth Certification training at the very least, given that it is 50% right now to help professionals get properly set up to work with the COVID-19 emergency.
    I hope this helps.
    Marlene

  13. SR

    Can Non-Medicare providers provide telehealth to Medicare patients and receive payments from Medicare at this time? Thanks

  14. Michael Edwards

    Michael Edwards, Northeast Telehealth Resource Center
    netrc.org

    You posted many key resources.
    People with questions should seek out their regional Telehealth Resource Center: http://www.telehealthresourcecenter.org

    Some MH related resources:
    –American Psychiatric Association. Telepsychiatry and COVID-19. APA, March 2020
    https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/telepsychiatry/blog/apa-resources-on-telepsychiatry-and-covid-19
    –Richardson J, Ingoglia C. Best practices for telehealth during COVID-19 public health emergency. National Council for Behavioral Health, March 23, 2020
    https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Telehealth_Best_Practices.pdf
    –Zhou X, Snoswell CL, Harding LE, et al. The role of telehealth in reducing the mental health burden from COVID-19. Telemed. e-Health [epub ahead of print], March 2020
    https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/tmj.2020.0068

    Some toolkits and implementation guides:
    –Northeast Telehealth Resource Center. Telehealth Resource Toolkit for COVID-19 Epidemic. NETRC, March 2019
    https://netrc.org/docs/COVID-19-Epidemic-Telehealth-Toolkit-NETRC-March-2020.pdf

    –Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center. MATRC Telehealth Resources for COVID-19. MATRC website, 2020
    https://www.matrc.org/matrc-telehealth-resources-for-covid-19/

    –National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers. COVID-19 Telehealth Toolkit. NCTRC, March 18, 2020
    https://netrc.org/docs/COVID-19-Epidemic-Telehealth-Toolkit-NETRC-March-2020.pdf

    –National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers. Telehealth and COVID-19. Webinar, March 19, 2020 Slides; Recording
    Slides: https://www.telehealthresourcecenter.org/event/nctrc-webinar-telehealth-and-covid-19/
    Recording: https://youtu.be/HtMYM9zdqM0?list=PLJ3YvVX2HpzVXTnfXMUG_dd6RcGWd4Pt7

    –Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center. Quick start guide to telehealth during the current public health emergency. NRTRC, March 2020
    https://nrtrc.org/content/blog-post-files/Telehealth-Quick-Start-Guide.pdf

    –Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. General Provider Telehealth and Telemedicine Toolkit. CMS, March 2020
    https://www.cms.gov/files/document/general-telemedicine-toolkit.pdf

  15. Marlene Maheu, PhD

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Information Hub

    The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic is unprecedented in its global reach and pace which continues to spread on a global scale that impacts our customers and their communities. We’re here to help our customers, their businesses and employees through this pandemic with our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic resource center dedicated to helping them face the future with confidence.

    Read More >>

  16. Marlene Maheu, PhD

    Information on Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

    Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers and themselves healthy.

    Read More >>

  17. Marlene Maheu, PhD

    COVID-19 CARES ACT SIGNED

    After passing in both the House and Senate, the President signed into law HR 748, the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act or “CARES Act”.

    There are some telehealth items in the CARES Act, one of the most significant is allowing Federally Qualified Heath Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in this emergency period to be a distant site provider for a telehealth service covered by Medicare. However, these services will be paid an amount calculated from the fee-for-service schedule, not the prospective payment system.

    Other telehealth items in the bill include significant changes to the telehealth network grant program and the telehealth resource centers.

  18. Phyllis Z. Levy

    I am licensed to practice in both Hawaii and Florida. I am presently living in Florida and went thru the process of being certified as a Medicare Provider in Florida.
    1- Since I am licensed in Hawaii as well, can I begin seeing Patients in Hawaii using Telemental Health or do I need to go through another certification process with Medicare for the second location?

    2- Are we allowed to practice across State lines with Medicare patients during this time?

    Thank you and Aloha

  19. Tracey Byram

    Hi, thank you so much for this information. I read the updated legislative information and can’t find the answer to my question. Can we provide outpatient therapy to Medicaid clients via telehealth during this pandemic? I spoke with a company that manages many Medicaid policies last week, and that told me that, no, we are still not allowed to provide services via telehealth to Medicaid clients. So I assume the answer is still no. However, I wanted to check on this because I am very concerned about some of my adolescent Medicaid clients at this time, and their parents have reached out to me to repeatedly to see if there is any way that they can receive continued care via telehealth. I thought it best to leave no stone unturned in my effort to ensure continuity of care for them. Thank you for any guidance you can provide.

  20. Michael Boroff

    Is there something like this specific to behavioral health providers? It seems like every list I see like this is focused on MDs and nurses.

  21. Brett Snow

    How do I become a resource for telebehavioralhealth services? We have an online pastoral counseling ministry using VSee, which is a HIPAA compliant platform. Additionally, I am a 32-year veteran of the fire service having first hand experience with PTSD and other debilitating emotional/psychological side effects coupled with being a first responder. Thank You.

    We are powerless alone.

    Brett Snow, PhD, Commissioned Clinical Pastoral Counselor.
    Surviving Life Ministries
    sl-ministries.com
    survivinglifem@gmail.com

  22. Marlene Maheu, Ph. D.

    Brett, Getting legal and ethics-based training in telebehavioral health competencies is your first step. The second step is deciding on/setting up your team, checking it with colleagues and then opening your doors. Where are you in those processes?

  23. Marlene Maheu, Ph. D.

    Tracy,

    Medicaid has approved reimbursement for telehealth in many states for years now. It all depends on whether or not your profession is approved (MFTs and counselors are not), and the laws of the state in question. For details, don’t trust people out there. Go to the source. Go to Medicaid.gov and read a bit, then ask them a direct question in email. They will give you a correct answer.

  24. Marlene Maheu, Ph. D.

    SR, Everyone who is licensed in the US for medicine, psychology, and social work is automatically enrolled as a Medicare provider. In fact, you have to opt-out if you don’t want to provide services. If you are a counselor or MFT, you are not eligible for some strange reason. You will want to contact a Medicare office to get the details or look for it online. Be warned, reaching Medicare is a significant task and not for the weak of heart. Last time I tried by telephone, it took me 4 hours.

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