Telehealth involves using computers or mobile devices in order to have real-time live audio and video interactions between the provider and the patient. It allows for a professional service to be provided, almost the same as if they were meeting face to face. Telehealth is vital for many seniors, who may be sick, fearful of getting sick, may not have access to transportation and/or might have mobility issues that make it difficult to get to the doctor.
On March 17th, 2020, The Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) issued guidance that outlines how telehealth (including teletherapy) can be provided and reimbursed to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this guidance, Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) and Psychologists can:
LCSWs and clients can use video chat technologies such as FaceTime and Skype for Teletherapy sessions during the public health emergency. While it is always preferred to use HIPAA-compliant video conferencing technology, CMS will be waiving any penalties for HIPAA violations related to the platform until the public health emergency declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services ends. Claims can be backdated to March 6th 2020.
Blue Moon Senior Counseling is currently providing telehealth counseling sessions to existing and new Medicare beneficiaries who need and can benefit from our service. We offer our client’s a variety of audio-video conferencing options including Facetime, Skype, Doxy.me, Zoom and more. These platforms can be accessed via computer, smart phones and/or tablets. There is no additional charge for telehealth sessions, we accept Medicare assignment.
We understand that technology can be difficult for many of our seniors. Our therapists do their best to help clients be able to use and benefit from teletherapy. For some clients in ALF’s, the staff at the facilities are able to help clients utilize tablets or computers and can assist in starting the sessions. Other times, friends, family or caretakers have been helpful in initiating sessions when technology is too complex for the client. When seniors are isolated and having mental health issues, a counseling session via telehealth can be a real and true lifeline.
Blue Moon Senior Counseling is currently accepting referrals for teletherapy and proud to be offering this service to so many in need.