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The National Voice of Clinical Social Work 

Strengthening IDENTITY  | Preserving INTEGRITYAdvocating PARITY

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Info on Videoconferencing

16 Mar 2020 12:17 PM | CSWA Administrator (Administrator)

There have been many questions about how to establish a telemental health practice as we address COVID-19.  Here are some ideas about what to consider.

  1. Take a course to understand the basic skills that are needed to provide telemental health videoconferencing. The TBHI Courses offered by Marlene Maheu are excellent and can be found here.   There are many others, but Dr. Maheu has based hers in part on the ethical standards for clinical social workers.
  2. Read the Technology in Social Work Standards, that CSWA helped develop, which can be found here .
  3. Find a platform to use for your videoconferencing work. There are several available but the ones that seem to be the best are VSee, Zoom, doxy.me (which has some service problems from recent reports), Simple Practice and Theranest.  Most have a monthly charge.  Some are more reliable than others. To see comparisons of the platforms, go to Rob Reinhardt’s website www.tameyourpractice.com .
  4. Find a payment method for videoconferencing. The ones that seem to be the best are Zelle and Paypal.  Zelle is bank related and have privacy protections; you will need to get the patient’s bank account number.  I believe Paypal will sign a BAA.
  5. Develop an Informed Consent form for videoconferencing. CSWA has developed a template which can be found at CSWA - Telemental Health Informed Consent - 3-20.docx.
  6. Check with all third party payers as to whether your patients will be covered for videoconferencing or telephonic sessions. Medicare patients await guidance from CMS and HHS which should be forthcoming in the next two weeks.  If patients are not covered, see if arrangements for private pay can be made.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice, Government Relations Chair
Clinical Social Work Association
The National Voice of Clinical Social WorkStrengthening IDENTITY | Preserving INTEGRITY | Advocating PARITY

PO Box 10
Garrisonville, Virginia  22463

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