COVID-19 Resources for you and your practice

ADDED 3/30/2020 7:40am
Click here for APA resources.

ADDED 3/28/2020 7:40am
Free Webinar TodayTomorrow!!  
COVID-19 Conversations for Clinicians 
Offered at two times: 
Saturday, March 28 at 9-10am PDT / 12-1pm EDT ~  Sunday, March 29 at 4-5pm PDT / 7-8pm EDT
Click here to find out more

ADDED 3/27/2020 10:50am
As you know, as a result of the crisis, several governors have relaxed or suspended regulations concerning interjurisdictional telepsych practice. However, the devil is in the details. Some of states' emergency orders allow for interjurisdictional telepsych practice without notifying the state while others require you to notify the state and fill out forms before you can see patients. Some orders allow you to only see existing patients while others are more expansive. Hereis the linkIt is updated twice a day as new states have added emergency orders and others have modified their orders to meet the crisis. 

ADDED 3/27/2020 10:45am
List of NH essential workers click here

ADDED 3/26/2020 4:10pm
New information from Aetna click here

ADDED 3/26/2020 9:15am
APA resources for students, faculty, psychologists, supervisors, trainees and high school teachers of psychology. Click Here

ADDED 3/26/2020 7:20am
Here is the emergency license application form pursuant to Executive Order #15.

ADDED 3/25/2020 11:00am
Free webinar tomorrow (Thursday, 3/26) for students from the APA. More info and register here

ADDED 3/25/2020 7:00am
On 3/24/2020 Governor Sununu 
issued Emergency Order #15 Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-4  allowing temporary licensure of medical professions, including psychologists, to perform Telehealth services within the State of New Hampshire. A temporary license may be obtained at no cost to individuals licensed in good standing in another jurisdiction. Here is the Executive Order. And here is the Executive Order related to reimbursement. ADDED 3/25/2020 10:55am Individuals seeking a temporary NH license, should email their current license and a request for temporary licensure to Psychologists.Board@oplc.nh.gov 

ADDED 3/24/2020 2:40pm
Pandemic resource list from the APA click here 

ADDED 3/24/2020 10:45am
COVID-19 Resources from The Trust click here

ADDED 3/23/2020 9:30am
This falls under self-care - Calm.com is offering free resources.

ADDED 3/23/2020 8:20am
**From Tufts click here And here 

ADDED 3/21/2020 9:45am
**Beacon update click here

ADDED 3/21/2020 9:15am
Self-care for psychologists/mental health professionals
Headspace.com is offering free membership for the rest of 2020 to all healthcare professionals at the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic. You just need a personal NPI number. Here's the link: https://www.headspace.com/health-covid-19

ADDED 3/20/2020 12:50pm
This from the NH Insurance Department. Information for NH Residents Who Have Recently Lost Their Employer Sponsored Health Insurance.

ADDED 3/20/2020 8:30am
Here's a link to Magellan's provider information during COVID19

ADDED 3/20/2020 7:30am
**Update from Anthem click here

ADDED 3/19/2020 11:00am
Governor Sununu's Executive Order
https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/emergency-orders/documents/emergency-order-8.pdf?utm_source=New+Hampshire+Public+Radio&utm_campaign=1f76d97f66-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_08_16_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0e92408183-1f76d97f66-53084893  

Regarding relaxing the HIPAA rules for videoconference:
Here is what the US Department of Health and Human Services is saying about relaxing HIPAA in order to accommodate usage of various platforms and apps for teletherapy:
https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html  

NHPA's BHAC still recommends the conservative route where possible -- using a HIPAA compliant version along with a BAA.  However, in situations where that isn't possible, when systems are down or causing problems, or if the client is having difficulties, the US DHHS announcement (see link posted above) allows for other popular platforms such as FaceTime and Google Hangouts.  PLEASE READ THE DOCUMENT as it would be important to document in your client record/note the "good faith provision" for using whatever platform you are using if it isn't HIPAA compliant.  The above link also details what you should NOT use, such as public facing platforms.  

Medicare
Here is the information directly from APA:
"On March 6, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 (H.R. 6074, Public Law 116-123), which provides $8.3 billion in emergency funding, including a provision that allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to waive Medicare telehealth restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak so that patients can receive care no matter where they are located, including at home.

House sponsors of the CONNECT for Health Act, another bill that would waive telehealth reimbursement restrictions during national emergencies, sent a letter last week to HHS Secretary Alex Azar urging the expeditious waiver implementation and guidance, as did Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. 

On March 17, HHS waived key restrictions and issued public guidance on that waiver. Notably, the guidance allows Medicare patients to receive telehealth services in their homes and permits psychologists to provide services to both existing and new Medicare patients allowing for greater service delivery than what was enacted into law. Providers can use telephones for patient services as long as they are equipped with audio and video capabilities that enable two-way, real-time interactive communication. The Office of Civil Rights at HHS announced it would waive penalties for potential HIPAA violations during this public health emergency.
 
APA will be releasing more details on these waivers as soon as possible. In addition, APA will continue to advocate for increasing patient access to telehealth services at the federal and state level so that psychologists can provide essential mental health care. "

Once we receive more information we will add it to the website.

Interstate Practice
ASPPB has developed the attached chart to help everyone determine licensure aspects of practicing in states where the session is being held at the client's location.  As you can see, not all states are listed on this document, which means they are still working on the other states.  For those states not on the list, we recommend you contact the licensing board in the state directly to ask about temporary practice in that state. Click here for the chart.

From APA: PracticeUpdate: Your road map for telehealth practice during COVID19 
https://www.apaservices.org/practice/update

ADDED 3/19/2020 9:55am
**Governor Sununu Emergency Order For Telehealth Click here

APA Webinar: Telepsychology Best Practice 101 Series https://apa.content.online/catalog/product.xhtml?eid=15132

ADDED 3/18/2020 3:30pm
**Scroll down to the section What to know about Insurance Companies Reimbursing for Telepsychology for updates.

If you use American Professional Agency for liability insurance click here


ADDED 3/18/2020 10:40am


Click here to learn about resources, On Demand & Live CE opportunities offered by The Trust

ADDED 3/18/2020 10:15am
Click Here to read about the Relaxation of HIPAA Requirements for Remote Interaction with Clients 

ADDED 3/18/2020 8:45am
Sununu’s Emergency Order #5 that provides unemployment benefits to Self-Employed individuals whom are closed down for the COVID19 pandemic.  The website is not very user friendly- but it is painless to file (do it on a laptop or computer for better usage). There is a specific drop down for self-employed and then for Coronavirus effected closure or loss of income. You must create an account first. 

The website is: 
https://www.nhes.nh.gov/

If you’re concerned about covering your expenses during this crazy time- it’s worth a look.  You’ll need to know your average weekly income based on your last 5 weeks, as well as generate an average hourly rate. 

ADDED 3/17/2020 4:00pm

Click here for information from CIGNA on telehealth.

ADDED 3/17/2020 11:10am

Recommendations for HIPAA-conforming telehealth platforms.  Review APA’s free online article, “Comparing the Latest Telehealth Solutions.”  It is like a Consumer Reports review of 3 popular telehealth platforms: Doxy.me, thera-link, and Zoom.    

ADDED 3/17/2020 10:50am

Please see below for recent statement from NH Board of Psychologists and attached document for full statement and clarification.

At its most recent meeting, and in reply to a related question, the Board of Psychologists reiterated that online courses that are live and interactive satisfy the requirement for live continuing education as long as the sponsoring organization qualifies under the category A as indicated in Psyc 402.01 (cited in part below)           

Category A credit shall consist of 60 minute hours spent by licensees in the following:

(1) Participation in seminars or workshops; 

(2) Participation in home study courses, up to a maximum of 20 hours; 

(3) Preparation of a seminar or workshop, up to a maximum of 10 hours; 

(4) Graduate academic coursework; or 

(5) Service to the board as a professional conduct investigation committee member, up to 20 hours. 

(Here is a document for further clarification on the list of approved sponsoring organizations and clarification between Category A and Category B requirements.)

To summarize: 

- 30 of the 40 CEUs for the two year period must be in category A

- 6 of these must be in Ethics. 

- At least 10 of the category A hours must be live - either in person or, as the board has already clarified, online live & interactive.

- The sponsor list for category A is found at 402.01 (d). Note that NHPA is listed there. 

- 402.01 (c), (e) and (f) have additional methods to achieve category A credit though coursework and presentations etc. 

It is helpful that NHPA is providing an online live and interactive attendance option for the NHPA live seminars in fulfillment of CE licensing requirements for those who wish to avoid gatherings. 

If there are further questions or issues concerning these issues, please let me know and hopefully I may be able to answer these. 

Questions can be directly submitted to the Board by emailing: 

Psychologists.Board@oplc.nh.gov

In addition, we can address such issues as well at our upcoming board meeting on April 3, 2020. 

Robert Walrath, PsyD Chair, Board of Psychology     

ADDED 3/17/2020 9:15am

From Beacon Health

Top 5 commonly used approved telehealth platforms (Free or low cost

  1. Zoom (Free) https://zoom.us/pricing 40 min time limit per video call on the free account. The next level up is $14.99 per user per month and has no time limitations. Very stable platform and very user friendly for both members and providers
  2. VSee (Free) https://vsee.com/hipaa-messenger-2 Free version offers video, chat, and picture sending capabilities. User friendly platform and is the preferred video choice for some very large name companies (e.g. NASA, Walmart). Next level up is $50 per month per user.
  3. Doxy.me (Free) https://doxy.me/pricing great functionality, free account offers many ideal features including unlimited video visits. User friendly platform. Next level up is $35 per month per user.
  4. Vidyo (Low Cost) https://www.vidyo.com/video-conference- systems/desktop-video-calling/vidyoconnect-pricing not quite as user friendly as the previous 3 companies. 60 day free trial and $20 per month per user after.
  5. WeCounsel (Low Cost) https://www.wecounsel.com/pricing/ For $25 per month you get unlimited video visits, basic scheduling, and calendar sync capabilities. Has been very user friendly for our providers and members.

KEEPING THE OFFICE GOING: ETHICAL AND LEGAL TELEHEALTH PRACTICES FOR THE PROVIDER AND STAFF
https://apa.content.online/catalog/product.xhtml?eid=18936

Earning Continuing Education (CE) credits during COVID-19

NHPA is aware of the concerns regarding COVID-19 and the unique and unusual impact it may be having on your
plans to earn CE credits via in-person workshops, especially if your license renewal time is approaching. 
Here are some helpful reminders and resources:

  • Online trainings are considered the same as face-to-face, in-person trainings IF they are live streamed AND interactive (meaning you can interact with the presenter during the presentation).
  • NHPA will now offer the April 17th Trust Ethics workshop via live stream (using Zoom videoconferencing), rather than in-person. This live streamed event will count for 6 Ethics CEs (Category A). click here to register
  • Up to 20 hours of home study courses are accepted by the NH Board of Psychologists (BOP) for Category A credit as long as they are sponsored by an organization on the list found on the BOP website click here for the BOP website. These options can assist you in avoiding large groups at traditional in-person trainings. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) listed on the BOP website for further clarification.
  • NHPA is partnering with the National Register to provide live discounted workshops. click here to see the offerings on our website (scroll down to National Register)

NHPA has been in contact with the NH BOP Chair who stated that the BOP understands the issue and is currently working on a position statement. NHPA will keep members updated as we receive information.

NHPA has adapted the April Trust Ethics workshop from in-person to LIVE stream via Zoom
(LIVE stream will count for Category A Ethics)

Click here to register

Resources for your Practice and Teletherapy
During COVID-19

New Hampshire Psychologists have an opportunity to take leadership during this time.
NHPA has resources to support you.

Summary points from APA (link to full report):

  • Prepare your Practice
  • Explore telepsychology options
  • Review your malpractice insurance policy
  • Develop a patient communication plan
  • Implement a plan for group practices
  • Promote hygiene in your practice
  • Help manage patient & community anxiety
  • Make self-care a priority

COVID-19 & Psychology Services: How to Protect Your Patients & Your Practice

COVID-19 Fact Sheet

World Health Organization (WHO) Daily updates on COVID-19


What to know about Insurance Companies Reimbursing for Telepsychology...

The NHPA Behavioral Healthcare Advocacy Committee (BHAC) has been working hard to gather the most updated information available from the NH Insurance Department (NHID) and health insurance companies regarding reimbursements for telepsychology services. Here is what we have so far:

It is always best practice to contact the provider services number on the back of the insurance
card or through the insurance company websites to verify coverage as you would
with any new patient/client.

NH Insurance Groups
The NH Insurance Commissioner released this order "In the Matter of Health Insurer Coverage of Health Care Services Related to the Coronavirus" (click here to access). BHAC is asking for more specifics related to behavioral health. BCBS Rhode Island is allowing both video and phone calls and reimbursing at the same rate as in person with certain coding. We are using this as a template to ask if other insurance companies are doing this as well.

Medicare UPDATED 3/18/2020 1:00pm
NHPA is awaiting clarification from APA and Medicare about any changes to the longstanding policy of NOT covering telehealth.

Anthem
Anthem's telehealth policy is hereWe are not aware of any changes to this because of COVID-19 but are confirming this.
ADDED 3/20/2020 7:30am Update click here

Optum
The formal policy will be sent to NHPA BHAC when it is available. However, the link for Telehealth (Virtual Visit) information is posted on the Provider Express website's main page. If a provider will be using the Optum free platform, the attestation needs to be completed, and Optum will load the profile in the Live and Work Well in order for the member to access the platform. Optum is working to make that available 5 days or less from return of attestation. If you are using one of the approved technologies as listed here, you can return the attestation and start providing services once Optum receives and approves it. This has been happening the same day. Reimbursement is the same as face-to-face and only needs the POS 02. ADDED 3/18/2020 
recently released information from Optum: https://www.providerexpress.com/content/ope-provexpr/us/en/Important-upates.html

Beacon
Providers are to complete the attestation for Telehealth. Beacon's policy for telehealth is hereWe are not aware of any exceptions to this policy because of COVID-19. The top 5 platforms suggested by Beacon are here. Please be advised to check on any platform listed to be sure it is HIPAA compliant and provides a Business Associate's Agreement (BAA). ADDED 3/18/2020 1:00pm  Click here for the latest from Beacon. ADDED 3/21/2020 9:45am Update click here

Tufts

The following notice just went out to Tufts members:
They advise that providers can access their payment policy which is publicly available online.  It does not appear that there have been any changes made to the payment policy for behavioral health. Teladoc is available to all Tufts fully insured members through the Tufts Health Freedom Plan app with no member cost sharing. Providers can still use other telehealth platforms and bill according to the payment policy.
ADDED 3/23/2020 8:25am click here and here 

Cigna ADDED 3/18/2020 1:00pm
Click here for the 
telehealth attestation form.

Aetna ADDED 3/18/2020 3:30PM
Click here for Aetna's telehealth policy. ADDED 3/26/2020 4:10pm New information from Aetna click here

Magellan ADDED 3/20/2020 8:30am Here's a link to provider information during COVID-19.

For Doctoral Students and Training Directors

From our friends at the Massachusetts Psychological Association, click here for some advice on how to handle
issues at clinical training sites.


ABOUT US

The New Hampshire Psychological Association is a 501c6 non profit organization.  Our mission is to  advance the field of psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare.


CONTACT

NHPA PO Box 1492 Dover, NH 03821
Phone: 603-415-0451 
Email: office@nhpsychology.org


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