Benefits and Risks of Telehealth
Telehealth refers to providing psychotherapy and psychopharmacology services remotely using telecommunications technologies, such as video conferencing. One of the benefits of Telehealth is that the client and clinician can engage in services without being in the same physical location. This can be helpful in ensuring continuity of care if unable to meet in person. Telehealth, however, requires technical competence on both our parts to be helpful. Although there are benefits of Telehealth, there are some differences between Telehealth sessions and in-person psychotherapy and psychopharmacology sessions, as well as some risks. For example:
Risks to confidentiality.
Because Telehealth sessions take place outside of the therapist’s private office, there is potential for other people to overhear sessions if you are not in a private place during the session. We will take reasonable steps to ensure your privacy. It is important for you to make sure you find a private place for our session where you will not be interrupted. It is also important for you to protect the privacy of our session on your cell phone or other device. You should participate in therapy only while in a room or area where other people are not present and cannot overhear the conversation.
Issues related to technology.
There are many ways that technology issues might impact Telehealth. For example, technology may stop working during a session, other people might be able to get access to our private conversation, or stored data could be accessed by unauthorized people or companies.
Crisis management and intervention.
Before engaging in Telehealth, we will develop an emergency response plan to address potential crisis situations that may arise during the course of our Telehealth work.
Most research shows that Telehealth is about as effective as in-person psychotherapy. However, some therapists believe that something is lost by not being in the same room. For example, there is debate about a therapist’s ability to fully understand non-verbal information when working remotely.
Kerzner Associates uses a platform called doxy.me. It is HIPAA compliant. At our scheduled time, I will send an email invitation to you, and after you click the link provided, you will be directed to enable your phone or computer’s camera and speaker. If there is a technological failure and we are unable to resume the connection, you will only be charged the prorated amount of actual session time.
The same fee rates will apply for Telehealth as apply for in-person psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. However, insurance or other managed care providers may not cover sessions that are conducted via telecommunication. If your insurance, HMO, third-party payor, or other managed care provider does not cover electronic psychotherapy or psychopharmacology sessions, you will be solely responsible for the entire fee of the session. Please contact your insurance company prior to our engaging in Telehealth sessions in order to determine whether these sessions will be covered.
Records of the Telehealth session are maintained in the same way that records of in-person sessions, in accordance with our policies.
This agreement is a supplement to the general informed consent that you agreed upon at the outset of your clinical work at Kerzner Associates and does not amend any of the terms of that agreement.
Your signature below indicates agreement with its terms and conditions.