COVID-19: Telehealth

Update: June 9, 2020

My services are available to new and existing clients via Telehealth (video conferencing) format. My practice now provides these services through the SimplePractice platform. Feedback about this platform from most of my clients has been positive. It is fairly easy to use. You can review SimplePractice Telehealth FAQs here.

For those who are new to “Telehealth” and are accustomed to (and prefer) in-person therapy experiences–I get it. The in-person therapy experience is different. There is a period of adjustment to the Telhealth experience, and there are steps we can take to optimize the therapy “space”. As a therapist, I also had to adjust (…and adjust…and adjust…) to this new modality over several weeks…and…I eventually settled in. It feels more natural now, and at this time, I do not plan to return to in-office services.

Additionally, The Center for Deployment Technology, “Suddenly Telehealth” May 2020 training informs about research confirming that Evidence-Based Therapies provided through Telehealth are as effective as in-person services:

  • CBT-I (McCarthy et al, 2018)
  • CPT for PTSD (Morland et al., 2014, 2015; Maieritsch et al., 2015)
  • PE for PTSD (Acierno, R. et al., 2017)

Will my insurance cover Telehealth?

Historically, some insurance plans required you to specifically request this service in order to be covered by your insurance provider. Now, your private health insurance will likely cover Telehealth services. Providers who are out-of-network may be excluded. Please review the information below for more information.

Medicare historically has had very, strict rules governing coverage for Telehealth services; and only covered this service in private practice settings, except under very specific and limited conditions. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE. However, since Congress passed the COVID-19 Appropriations Act, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has temporarily permitted Medicare to waive the previous Telehealth restrictions under this specific emergency circumstances. My understanding is that this permission waiver currently exists through December 31, 2020. I encourage you to advocate for yourself and contact your Senators to advocate for a permanent expansion for Medicare access to Telehealth services.

Doxy.me: Back-up Telehealth Platform

Attention current clients: You may enter the Telehealth Waiting Room shortly before your scheduled appointment time.

  • To enter the Waiting Room, please click on the “Start a telemedicine call with” (very light turquoise text) in the Telemedicine by Doxy.me badge below.
  • You must be using a compatible browser: Chrome, Firefox or Safari (for iOS). For more information, click on the thumbnail instructions to the right or video link below.
  • Please note that due to the COVID-19 crisis, most of the Telehealth platforms are overwhelmed, and we may encounter technical difficulties. Please refresh your browser and try again. I will call you if I don’t find you in the Telehealth Waiting Room at your scheduled time.
Click this image for Doxy.me instructions on how to check into the Telehealth waiting room.

CLICK HERE to watch a 1 min. Doxy.me instructional video on YouTube.

March 14, 2020 UPDATE: Out of an abundance of caution in response to the World Health Organization’s March 11, 2020 declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, as well as national, state and local declarations of emergency, my practice will be moving to video-based services (i.e., Telehealth or Telemental Health) using Doxy.me to help control community spread of the virus. Doxy.me is a HIPAA compliant Telehealth platform. Our local effort and cooperation will help reduce the risks associated with infection for our families, friends, clients and colleagues. Please note: California State laws governing Licensed Clinical Social Workers only allow Telehealth services to be conducted when the client is in the State of California. A special Telehealth Consent Form will need to be signed to receive Telehealth Services.