How much does Telehealth cost?
Telehealth by SimplePractice costs $10 per month, per clinician ($120 annually) and is only available in the Professional plan. For one provider, the monthly subscription cost would be $59 ($49 + $10).
Is SimplePractice HIPAA compliant?
Yes, we meet or exceed all the requirements of HIPAA as a business associate, including the Business Associate Agreement (BAA) in which SimplePractice agrees to be responsible for keeping all client information private and to immediately report any breach of personal health information.
What equipment do I need?
To provide telehealth sessions, you will need the following:
- A computer (laptop or desktop). Newer devices (purchased in the last two years) will be better equipped to provide telehealth sessions.
- An integrated or external microphone.
- An integrated or external web camera.
- An internet connection that is at least 10 Mbps. For optimal results, a reliable, high-speed internet connection with a bandwidth of at least 10 mbps will minimize connection issues and provide the best quality.
What can I expect in terms of the sound and video quality?
Connection problems can be caused by a variety of outside factors such as low quality or older equipment or an overloaded computer (e.g., too many programs running), but in general, poor video quality is attributable to a poor internet connection.
Here are some basic steps that can improve the overall quality:
- Use wired Ethernet instead of wifi whenever possible. Wifi will work, but you may experience a lag and interference, which can make your video and audio choppy. Wired internet will give you a much smoother, more consistent experience.
- Test your internet connection speed. Google provides an easy way to test your internet connection directly from the Google homepage. Simply search: “internet speed test”. Click the blue button that says Run Speed Test. If it is under 10mbps and you’re using wifi, try using a wired internet connection or restarting your router.
- Close other programs. If you have several programs running in the background, closing them will almost certainly improve the quality.
- Adjust your light. Some small lighting tweaks can have a huge impact including placing a lamp or other light source behind your monitor, pointed toward you. Also, make sure you don’t have too much light behind you. If you’re on a laptop, make sure the camera is at eye level and not pointing up at the ceiling lights, or down at the floor.
Will my clients have to install or download anything in order to join the session?
Your clients will be able to easily and effortlessly join the session by simply clicking a link you provide. They will not have to:
- Download or install software or extensions
- Enter a password or ID to access the session
- Create an account or login into an account
We do offer a mobile app that clients have the option to download if they prefer to use a mobile device rather than a laptop or desktop computer for their session.
If my client prefers to use a mobile device, is there an app they can get?
Yes! We offer secure, HIPAA compliant Android and iPhone apps.
Where can I get information on my state’s telehealth policies?
The following organizations provide resources to help you learn more about your state’s specific policies and regulations:
Does insurance reimburse telehealth sessions? If so, is there anything special I need to do? Is the amount less than an in-person session reimbursement?
Navigating telehealth reimbursement can be very tricky. In order to find out more about your specific state’s telehealth rules, here are a few resources:
- The Center for Connected Health Policy’s (CCHP) publishes an annual report that has up-to-date reimbursement policies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
- American Telemedicine Association (ATA) also provides a map showing which states reimburse telehealth services.
- Your local state board will have resources and information on how telehealth reimbursement policies relate to your specific license type (LMFT, LPC, etc.).
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Medicare Telehealth Payment Eligibility Analyzer allows you to check if specific addresses are eligible for Medicare telehealth reimbursement.
How does billing work?
When billing insurance, we recommend that you always check with the individual insurance payer to determine whether telehealth services are covered and, if they are, which codes or modifier should be used for different types of services.
If It is very important to check directly with the insurance payer because coverage for telehealth services is constantly changing.
How does state licensure work?
Clinicians must be licensed in each state in which he or she wants to provide telehealth sessions.
How does informed consent work for telehealth?
Some states do not require consent, while some require verbal consent, and others require written consent to be stored in the client’s record.
Here’s how to find out what your state requires:
- Go to The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center’s state map.
- Select your state and scroll down to the Consent section. Here you’ll be able to see whether state law requires you to get client consent, and if there are any corresponding requirements state Medicaid programs.
Do you have some examples of informed consent documents?
Here are a few sample consent forms collected from various online sources. These are for informational purposes only, so it is your responsibility as the provider to update the content to meet your specific states’ requirements.
What are the requirements and restrictions regarding providing telehealth services to minors?
The age at which a person may lawfully consent to care varies with the health condition at issue, the person’s state of residence, or the state where the patient is at the time of the telehealth visit. Therefore, clinicians should be aware the rules for the state in which the client is physically located for that visit.
For more information, see American Telemedicine Association Practice Guidelines for Telemental Health with Children and Adolescents.