At Hope Springs, we are providing telehealth services to our patients. We will not be seeing people in person until the COVID-19 crisis resolves.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth refers to providing healthcare services remotely using telecommunications technologies, such as video conferencing or telephone. At Hope Springs, we will continue to provide many of the same services that we always have, but through a telehealth platform.
Currently, we are using a HIPAA compliant version of Zoom to connect with many of our patients. Many of the providers at Hope Springs have been providing telehealth for the last few years. As such, we have completed trainings in how to provide ethical and effective care through telehealth platforms.
Are there some benefits to telehealth?
One of the benefits of telepsychology is that the client and clinician can engage in services without being in the same place. This helps to keep yourself and others safe during the COVID-19 crisis.
Another important part to telehealth is that you are able to continue your treatment. No one knows how long this crisis will last. But it is estimated that it could be several weeks. Without telehealth, you may have a significant lapse in treatment, which can make it more difficult for you to manage your mental health needs. We care about you and would like to continue to serve you and your family during this stressful time.
Telehealth can also serve as another social connection. Currently, many people are feeling isolated from their family and friends. Being able to connect with your psychologist and receive care at this time can be very helpful.
Is Telehealth covered by my insurance?
Currently, most insurance provides coverage until June 2020. However, we encourage all patients to call and speak to their insurance representatives for care after June 2020.
Is it weird to talk to someone this way?
It is a different way to connect with people. Many of us are not computer experts. However, the process is relatively simple, and we will help you get connected or troubleshoot difficulties before they arise. If you are new to telehealth, we will contact you prior to your appointment to answer any questions.
We can assure you that after using telehealth once or twice, many of our patients enjoy their experience and appreciate their care. We often hear that the telehealth experience was better than what was expected.
Can you use Telehealth to work with children?
Yes, we certainly can. There are protocols in place to use PCIT and other child services through Telehealth. Many of these have been found by research to be effective. Many times, we will ask for a parent to be in the home or potentially involved with their child’s care. Teens are often very skilled in online platforms and typically are comfortable with this medium. Your therapist will likely talk with your family directly about your child’s needs.
Are there risks with telehealth?
Because telepsychology 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 always take steps to ensure your privacy on our end. It will be important for you to make sure you find a private place for your session where you will not be interrupted or where other people are not present and able to overhear the conversation. For some, this is a room in their home with a closed door. For others, it could be sitting in their car while it is parked.
There are many ways that technology issues might impact telepsychology. For example, technology may stop working during a session or stored data could be accessed by unauthorized people or companies. We have done our best to minimize these risks by choosing a high-quality provider who is HIPAA compliant.
If you are in crisis, we will need to take extra measures to keep you safe. Before engaging in telepsychology, we will develop an emergency response plan to address potential crisis situations that may arise during our telepsychology work.
How helpful is telehealth?
Most research shows that telepsychology 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.
However, there are times and circumstances where telehealth may even be more helpful for you than in-person therapy. For example, if you have a long drive, limited availability, or just need a quick check-in, telehealth can be a wonderful service.
How do I schedule a telehealth appointment?
Our scheduling process is very similar to our original system. Please call our office (319) 358-6520. Our office staff are also working remotely, and so please leave a message. We will get back to you within 24 hours to help you with the process. Many patients also schedule directly with their therapist upon completion of their sessions as well.
Can I use a phone or tablet?
Yes. Our platform, Zoom, works well on phones, tablets, and computers. To use it on your phone or tablet, you will have to download the Zoom App from the App store.
Please refer to this page for our Telepsychology Informed Consent. If you have questions at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us.