Telehealth Consent Form – The Struggle is Real

  • Monday, March 11, 2019
informed consent forms, informed consent in counseling, therapy consent forms, client consent form, consent to treat mental health,consent forms templates, consent forms private practice, consent for teletherapy, consent form example, consent form for telehealth, consent form for telemental health, consent form for telespeech, consent form for telepractice, consent form for telepschyology, consent forms for SLPs, consent forms speech therapy, consent forms OT, consent for PT, consent form physical therapy, consent form occupational therapy, consent form counseling, teletherapy, telemental health, telepractice, consent form social worker, informed consent, consent to treat mental health, telehealth mental health, telehealth counseling, documents for teletherapy clients,paperwork for teletherapy

Telehealth Consent Form, misconceptions and tips will be covered in this blog article. As a licensed clinician, you are likely required to obtain consent for treatment. Depending on where you are in the world, you may have more than one type of consent that is required. You probably have standard form(s) and a process that you use to get it signed. Easy right? Well, yes, if the client is sitting in your waiting room.

But what about your telehealth clients? What are the requirements for informed consent in your jurisdiction? And, working virtually, just how do you get it signed? These are the dilemmas that telehealth clinicians have to work with on a daily basis.

The Misconceptions

There are some misconceptions about telehealth informed consent

  • You’re working virtually and don’t need formal consent
  • The area your client lives in doesn’t require formal consent
  • You can use your standard consent form for both your in-person and telehealth clients

 

Of course, there are exceptions somewhere in the world but in general, as a licensed mental health clinician, you are required to obtain informed consent whether a client is in-person or online. The issue is further complicated by geographical and board requirements. This issue can be particularly relevant if you work with international clients. Their home country may not require informed telehealth consent form. Your jurisdiction probably does. What’s a clinician to do?

Know the Facts

Before you embark on a telehealth practice, get the facts about informed (and other) consents. You want to fully understand your responsibilities as a clinician both legally and ethically. If you are seeing clients in other states, find out what that state’s requirements are.

Did you know that in some states, you have to be licensed to practice in BOTH the state you’re in AND the state the client is in? Do they have different requirements for informed consent? Maybe.

Working with international clients is a bit more dicey. Your board may stipulate that you have to be licensed in the state where the client resides. OK, but what if your new client lives in Croatia? Does the licensure requirement still apply? What are the mental health laws in Croatia regarding licensure and informed consent? Hmm…it gets real complicated real quick.

The short answer is: know your mental health law and responsibilities regarding informed consent. “I didn’t know” will not fly with a disciplinary board.

One Size Does Not Fit All

When it comes to clients and telehealth consent forms, you have to be sure that your consent forms provide all of the necessary information for a client to make an informed decision about care. In fact, if you’re in practice already, you probably have one. But does it address telehealth? 

Just as with in-person therapy, there are limits and risks inherent to technology and telemental health. There are issues with:

  • the use of technology
  • protection of PHI and confidentiality
  • internet security
  • connectivity and more

It is your ethical (and maybe legal) obligation to make sure your client fully understands what therapy in a virtual setting is and is not. These unique aspects of telehelath such as teletherapy or telemental health need to be in your informed consent document.

Now, you might be thinking that you can just use your standard informed consent. Well, if it fully addresses telehealth then maybe. Some therapists make one big informed consent for all to sign. Others have separate consents for in-person clients and telehealth clients. How you structure your consent is up to you, your board requirements and the best fit for your clients.

Obtaining Consent

Now we get to the struggle of many a telemental health therapist: getting documents signed. These clients may be hundreds of miles away. They are often not tech savvy.

You might be asked if a verbal consent will suffice. If you’ve been in practice long enough, you’ve heard someone say, “If it isn’t in writing, it didn’t happen.” Except in maybe a very rare emergent situation, verbal consent will not suffice. Written consent ensures that you can prove that the client was fully informed and provided consent. This protects you and it protects the client.

You could email forms but there is the issue of secure email, scanning and returning forms, copying and filing to a chart or EHR. Document signing services are an option but they tend to be a bit pricey for small practices and you have to navigate between platforms – telemental health, EHR, document signing, claims – that may not play well together. That is time you can never get back.

So what’s a savvy clinician to do? Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a platform where you can house your forms AND have a way for clients to sign them all in one place?  Now you can!

TheraPlatform is one of the few telehealth health video conferencing platforms that offers clinicians a library of forms and templates, the ability to house their forms and documents AND document signing capability within the platform! Because TheraPlatform is designed for telehealth clinicians, they understand the unique challenges that telehealth clinicians face with administrative kinds of tasks. Depending on your practice needs, one platform may be all you need!

Make a list of what you need from a video conferencing platform. Look at all the options. Then compare and choose the one that makes your practice flow more smoothly and offers the best client experience.

At the end of the day, you have to make sure that any consents you’re required to have are informative, accessible and signed by your client. You may never have to produce them but they are there for a reason and you can rest assured knowing your client is fully informed and that you are maintaining the highest standards for care in your practice.

No one likes dealing with paperwork but having a HIPAA compliant video conferencing platform that helps you manage your practice forms efficiently can lighten the load. Less time chasing paperwork means a more efficient process and more time helping your clients. That’s a win for everyone.  

TeletherapyResourcesBehavioral Therapy
superbill, superbill template, how to create superbill; what superbill should include, superbill generator, superbill software, speech therapy superbill template, physical therapy superbill,occupational therapy superbill therapy, superbill insurance,superbill reimbursement, patient superbill form, superbill example,psychotherapy superbill template, superbill template mental health

2/21/2019

The Superbill: What It Is and Why You Need It

A superbill is a document that contains all of the information necessary for an insurance to make a decision on reimbursement for health expenses incurred by a client. What’s in the superbill and why you need one?

intake forms for counseling, intake forms mental health, intake forms for psychologists, intake forms for social workers, intake form for counselors, intake forms for occupational therapists, intake forms for speech therapists, intake forms for physical therapists, intake forms for psychiatrists, client history forms, new client form mental health, counseling forms, Speech therapy forms, clinic forms for private practice

10/30/2018

Intake Form Follows Function: Finding Intake Forms That Work For Your Practice

Building Intake Forms for Mental Health, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Telehealth

Start 30-day Free Trial
Teletherapy e-book
Resources
Teletherapy
Law
Telepractice
Marketing
Getting Started
Press
Behavioral Therapy
Insurance
Case Studies


Latest Posts

  • Therapy Activities and Icebreakers

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020

    This blog will review therapy activities that can be used as ice breakers for new pediatric clients in one on one or group sessions. Whether in person or via telehealth, an initial meeting with a new client can make you feel a certain type of anxious. Though there may be some guilt around “wasting” time getting to know the client and building rapport prior to getting to the meat of the therapy, the research actually says that taking the time to build a strong relationship with your client is likely more important than any specific therapy task. Here are 10 fun therapy activities.

  • Anxiety Counseling Techniques during COVID- 19

    Friday, September 4, 2020

    This blog will review anxiety counseling techniques that counselors and therapists can apply when treating individuals during the current coronavirus pandemic.The coronavirus has obvious physical health implications but it has also brought along with it significant anxiety problems. Not only are people afraid of catching COVID-19 but the resulting restrictions have led to worries about finances, education, and the future. For mental health professionals, the challenge is to help people cope effectively with their anxiety issues. Here are suggestions on what counseling techniques can be considered to assist the anxious client.

  • Tips and Activities for Social Skills Group and Language Group via Telepractice (teletherapy)

    Tuesday, August 18, 2020

    Social Skills Group or Language Group is a great way to help children learn and practice both their social and language skills with their peers but how is it done via telepractice (teletherapy)? What social skills group activities can be utilized when seeing clients online? Not only will this blog answer those questions, but it will also provide you with a repeatable session plan and activities that can be used for small group language or social skills therapy via telepractice and a list of 20 Youtube videos to utilize as a basis for those lessons.

Teletherapy e-book

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Learn More