What is Telehealth?
Telehealth (also known as Telemedicine, Tele Mental Health, or “Skype Therapy”) is the practice of conducting a standard counseling session with a client in a remote location using some form of audio/video conferencing software/hardware. Telehealth can broadly refer to many service delivery options (e.g. sessions conducted by phone or by video conferencing). Select providers at Radzom Counseling are available to meet with clients remotely via telehealth. We utilize Doxy, a HIPAA compliant video conferencing platform to conduct telehealth visits with clients. The service is free to clients and is secure and easy to use. If you are interested in scheduling a telehealth session, please read below to learn more about it and contact us to schedule a telehealth session.
requirements for telehealth
Telehealth can be a convenient method of accessing counseling. To make sure we are offering effective, high-quality services, we must take some clinical and logistical aspects into consideration and do have some requirements that clients participating in telehealth must meet:
- Clinical: Not all situations are appropriate for telehealth. For example, clients who are experiencing crisis may require an in-person visit.
- Location: Because of state licensing, providers may only conduct therapy sessions with clients who are physically located in the state of Illinois during all telehealth visits.
- Modality: Because it can be difficult to hear and see more than one person in a telehealth visit, we have chosen to limit telehealth sessions to only individual counseling to preserve the effectiveness of the therapeutic environment. Couples and family counseling may not be conducted via telehealth at this time.
- Age: Clients must be at least 16 years-old to participate in telehealth visits.
- Technical: Doxy, the system we use to conduct telehealth visits works on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox but not on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer. It can be used on Android devices using the Google Chrome browser or on Apple devices using the iOS Doxy app.
scheduling a Telehealth Session
Please contact our office by phone (618-248-2040) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a telehealth appointment. We will help you get connected to a provider who has experience with your concerns and who is also equipped to provide telehealth sessions. Please be aware that many insurance plans do not cover telehealth sessions and that special paperwork must be completed and submitted to our office prior to any telehealth sessions. While we do offer the ability to schedule on-site appointments using our online web-scheduling feature, you will need to contact our office to get setup for a telehealth appointment.
TELEHEALTH AND INSURANCE
Our office is equipped to submit claims to insurance for telehealth visits but it is important to note that not every insurance company covers counseling delivered via telehealth. Most insurance companies that do cover telehealth cover it on a plan-by-plan basis. This means that some plans may cover telehealth while others may not. Companies or plans may have other restrictions about telehealth coverage. For example, telehealth may be only covered if there are no local providers or pre-authorization may be required. Radzom Counseling will attempt to obtain benefit information about telehealth prior to your visit and relay that information to you. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently misquote benefits that relate to telehealth. When insurance companies quote benefits, it is only an estimate and final coverage determinations are not made until a claim is submitted. We can relay to you what the insurance company tells our office about your coverage but we cannot guarantee the information they provided is accurate. For detailed information about your coverage, you are advised to contact your insurance company directly and consult your plan documents. Clients are ultimately responsible for session costs not covered by insurance.
Before Your Telehealth Session
Prior to your appointment, any copays, fees for self-pay visits, and unpaid statement balances must be paid on our payment page or by enrolling in autopay (scroll to autopay enrollment) to have your statement balance automatically charged to your credit or debit card each month. Coinsurance or deductible amounts do not need to be pre-paid, are due after claims adjust, and will be billed to clients via email and/or standard mail. Be sure to follow the checklist below.
If this is your first telehealth appointment, please note that our office must receive a completed "Telehealth Client Office Policies and Consent Form" prior to your first telehealth appointment. Please email, fax, or mail this form as soon as possible to allow for processing time. New clients will also need to complete the "Initial Paperwork" packet and submit before the first appointment. Forms must be received at least three business days prior to your scheduled appointment to ensure proper processing. All paperwork can be accessed on the forms page of our website. The office not having forms on file will require appointments to be cancelled until paperwork is in place.
We also urge you to click the "Pre-call Test" button below to test your device with Doxy, our telehealth system before your appointment to ensure your system is compatible with ours and will work on the day of your appointment. To stay on schedule, providers will need to end sessions at the scheduled end time regardless of technical issues. If your system will not work and the issues cannot be resolved, please contact us to see about changing to an in-person appointment or cancelling.
Telehealth Checklist: Before Your First Appointment
- Read and complete the "Intial Paperwork" located on the forms page of our website.
- Read and complete the "Telehealth Client Office Policies and Consent Form" located on the forms page of our website. Make sure you understand all aspects of the document and contact our office with any questions. If you wish to enroll in autopay, please mail that form as sending scanned credit card information is not secure.
- Submit both your completed "Initial Paperwork" and "Telehealth Client Office Policies and Consent Form" documents to our office by mailing, faxing, or emailing them to us. We must receive these documents no less than 3 business days before your appointment. The forms must be on file at the time of your appointment and they can take time to process. Appointments will have to be rescheduled if paperwork is not received in advance of the appointment.
- Run the "Pre-Call Test" by clicking the button above to test the compatibility of your system with ours.
- Prepay any copays, fees for self-pay visits, and unpaid statement balances on our payment page or by enrolling in autopay.
- A few minutes before your appointment, click the link to your provider's online waiting room by going to the counselor profile page and looking for the black button on the right column under the "telehealth" heading that says "enter online waiting room." Wait for your provider to connect to you. See the Quick Reference button below for more information about this process.
Connecting to a TElehealth session
Shortly before the time of your appointment, navigate to the online waiting room of your provider. There, you will see your provider's status and can wait for your provider to initiate your session. You can find the link to your provider's online waiting room by going to the counselor profile page and looking for the black button on the right column under the "telehealth" heading that says "enter online waiting room." While our counselors make every effort to begin sessions on time, some clinical circumstances do cause delays. If the counselor has not connected with you exactly on time, please accept our apologies and know that your counselor will be with you as soon as possible. For more information on how to connect to your provider, click on the Quick Reference button below.
If you are having problems connecting to your provider at the time of your appointment, use the contact information on your provider's profile page to contact your provider directly since office staff may not be readily available. You can also check out the Quick Reference guide by clicking on the button below or look at some of the tips below for solving poor connection issues.
solving poor connection problems
Try some of the steps listed below if you are finding that your connection is poor, lagging, or having other quality issues.
- High quality connection: position yourself close to Wi-Fi router, have good quality router, use an ethernet cable, have high speed bandwidth, make sure no other parties on the network are eating up the bandwidth.
- CPU/GPU usage: ensure no high intensity programs are running on the computer and close unnecessary tabs, windows, and programs
- High quality camera and mic (this is only really relevant for older devices, but can have a noticeable effect).
- Updated software: your operating system has frequent updates, and for performance reasons it is important to have the most recent update installed.
- Call Optimization Feature: Doxy's new Call Optimization feature should help reduce choppy calls. It is currently available to all users (while in beta).
- Pre-Call Test: Click the button below to run a test to make sure your system is compatible and see if Doxy can identify any problems.