At Hope Springs, we are providing all services via telehealth, including evaluations. We will not be seeing clients in person until the COVID-19 pandemic 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 the HIPAA-compliant version of Zoom to connect with our clients. Many of the providers at Hope Springs have been providing telehealth for the last few years. As such, we have completed trainings on how to provide ethical and effective care through telehealth platforms.
Are there 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 pandemic.
Another important part to telehealth is that you are able to continue your treatment. No one knows how long this pandemic will last. 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 or your family during this stressful time.
Telehealth can 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.
Are telehealth services covered by my insurance?
Each insurance has a different deadline for extending telehealth coverage. Many plans have extended this coverage through the end of 2020, however, some have expired. We encourage all clients to call and speak to their insurance administrator.
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 provider 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 provider’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 providers believe that something is lost by not being in the same room. For example, there is debate about a provider’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. Many people feel that communication via telehealth is better than communicating through masks and visors.
How do I schedule a telehealth appointment?
Our scheduling process is very similar to our original system. Please call our office at (319) 358-6520 or email us at email@example.com. Clients may also schedule directly with their provider upon completion of their session.
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 Cloud Meetings application – it is free.
Please refer to this page for our Informed Consent for Telepsychology. If you have questions at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us.