For Therapists: Teletherapy & Treating OCD Online

In response to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that healthcare providers take steps to implement telehealth services where appropriate. By limiting in-person, face-to-face contact, telehealth is a tool that could help slow and prevent the spread of infectious disease.

If you are a therapist or psychiatrist, you might already be thinking about how you can continue to provide care to your clients even if their normal routines are disrupted. You may be considering a temporary switch to providing teletherapy, or you may have had clients reach out to you with questions. We’ve collected some information below that might be useful to you as you continue to provide treatment and support to your patients.

Education Staycation: A COVID-19 Training For Professionals

The Education Staycation webinar series helps professionals — including therapists, psychiatrists, and social workers — as they guide their patients through these trying times. Click here to learn more about the Education Staycation.

Education Staycation (1)
Taking Your Practice Online

Taking Your Practice Online

What are teletherapy and telepsychiatry?

Teletherapy and telepsychiatry refer to the delivery of traditional behavioral health and psychiatric care using a phone or the internet. Video teleconferencing allows patients to continue therapy even if they can’t physically travel to an appointment. A pilot study found that exposure and response prevention delivered remotely via video teleconferencing was as effective as in-person treatment.

Steps you can take to offer teletherapy:

  • Contact the insurers that you work with and confirm whether they will pay teletherapy claims
  • Confirm the appropriate billing codes for any teletherapy services you plan to provide
  • Check whether insurers will pay claims at different rates for teletherapy vs. in-person visits
  • Find a HIPAA-compliant video teleconferencing service. You can find a large number of these services with a Google search, but a few popular examples include:
    • Zoom for Healthcare
    • Google Meet
    • Doxy
    • SimplePractice
    • SecureVideo.com
    • VSee
    • Kareo
    • Your electronic health record provider may offer a built-in video teleconferencing service
  • If you have clients that live in other states, check local regulations to make sure that you are able to provide teletherapy to them under your current licensure
  • Learn about interstate agreements that facilitate teletherapy across state lines: Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and PSYPACT

More information and resources:

Adapting OCD Treatments to Telehealth
Public Health Recommendations & Exposures

Education Staycation: A COVID-19 Training For Professionals

The Education Staycation webinar series helps professionals — including therapists, psychiatrists, and social workers — as they guide their patients through these trying times. Sign up to be alerted when the next webinar will go live and watch past webinars below:

  • Vol 1: Never Tried Teletherapy? Well Now is the Time! 101 on Setting Up a Teletherapy Practice Watch the webinar recording.
    Moderated by Eric Storch, PhD with panelists Patrick McGrath, PhD, Liz McIngvale, PhD, and Allison Solomon, PsyD
  • Vol 2: OCD Treatment in the Context of COVID-19: What to Consider Watch the webinar recording.
    Moderated by Jon Abramowitz, PhD with panelists Jon Grayson, PhD, Sony Khemlani-Patel, PhD, and Jason Spielman, PsyD
  • Vol 3: Helping Clients Detach from Specifics to Focus on Their Treatment Watch the webinar recording.
    Moderated by Reid Wilson, PhD with panelists Jon Hershfield, LCMFT, Marisa Mazza, PsyD
  • Vol 4: Working with Families to Decrease Accommodation
    Moderated by Jon Abramowitz, PhD with panelists Stephen Whiteside, PhD, Perrie Merlin, LICSW, and Lillian Reuman, PhD — Airing Thursday, April 23rd at 7:00pm EST — Sign up to receive more information.