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Two Day Telebehavioral Health Training for Certification: Essential Legal, Ethical, Technical, & Clinical Best Practices

Friday, September 14, 2018

This is a Two day training.

Co-sponsored by Rivier University, Nashua, NH

In the United States, behavioral interventions typically are delivered using a 100-year old model, the face- to-face, talking session. As the gold standard it has come to be respected, but is largely inaccessible to the vast majority of people who could possibly benefit. Most people are hesitant to ask for time off of work, or have problems with transportation or childcare that prevent them from seeking treatment. In rural areas, effective care may be many miles away from home. In addition, weekly, face-to-face psychotherapy can be expensive and is stigmatizing. Over 80 million people in the US live in federally designated mental health underserved areas.

In fact, with behavioral healthcare being the largest unmet need in the US, behavioral health is now being responsibly augmented with 21st Century, evidence-based alternatives. Telebehavioral health, digital and other innovative services are dramatically improving access and reducing costs for treatment. Digitized tools now can expand capacity, reduce cost, provide new revenue streams for practitioners, is effective and accessible for patients.

Meanwhile, technology-based care is not for every patient, every condition, or even every practitioner. Mandated to be competent in the care delivered, many professionals are seeking training to better understand their mandates when using very specific types of technology, such as telephone, email, text messaging and videoconferencing.

According to a variety of recently updated national association standards and guidelines, the professionally trained practitioner can legitimately consider technology to augment the range and in many cases, improve the quality of services offered to a wider group of clients/patients. Furthermore, interprofessional, telebehavioral competencies have been established. Evidence-based telebehavioral health treatment plans need to be delivered appropriately for each client/patient diagnosis and phase of treatment, taking into account cultural, religious linguistic and other differences; after informed consent processes fully articulate risks and benefits, and for which accurate and complete documentation is kept. Clinicians also need to be aware of how to anticipate, prepare for and legally manage emergencies according to their state laws, maintaining privacy and respecting the client’s right to choose whether or not to use not only which technology, but also whether or not any technology is used in their care.

Clinicians also want to know how to appropriately modify intakes and how to ethically use assessment instruments when services are delivered via telecommunication technologies. Other informed choices must be made about technology, including whether or not to use SKYPE or HIPAA-compliant alternatives, conduct GOOGLE searches to find added information about clients, and how professionals can best maintain their professionalism in their own websites, and especially when marketing themselves online.

Many clinicians are unclear about the limits of their licensure, whether they can practice over state lines; which services are allowed; or how to collect reimbursement. For example, they are unfamiliar with the specialized CPT codes that exist for telehealth, or how to appropriate manage their bill staff, which most likely is billing inaccurately for telebehavioral health. The goal of this workshop then, is to impart the “how to” of best practices, including legal, ethical and risk management information about practicing via telebehavioral health, and to familiarize the attendee with the range of technologies that can legitimately be used to meet the “quadruple aim” of healthcare reform: improve access, improve outcomes, reduce costs, and improve the satisfaction of clinicians who deliver care.

Attendees will enjoy an invigorating 2-day workshop that provides an in-depth look at the theoretical, ethical, legal, and technical bases for telebehavioral telehealth. Licensed professionals who attend the 2-day workshop in full will be awarded the Telebehavioral Health Professional (TBHP) Certification from the Telebehavioral Health Institute (this certification is valid for five years). Designed with engaging teaching methods, this program outlines best practice issues, including how to legally practice over state lines; informed consent; intakes and assessment; privacy and confidentiality; record keeping; mandated reporting; federal laws, including HIPAA and HITECH Act, as well as state-based privacy, confidentiality and security laws. Topics also include diversity; safety protocols; preventing and handling emergencies; referrals; triage; and assigning apps. Reimbursement and technology choices for video, email, text messaging and telephones will be covered. Legal and ethical online marketing through social media and online practice management will also be covered in detail.

Ample opportunity will be created for attendees to ask questions. Over 1,000 peer-reviewed books and journal article references will be available.


About the speaker: Dr. Marlene M. Maheu, PhD has been a telebehavioral health pioneer since 1994. As the Executive Director of the Telebehavioral Health Institute, Inc., she has also overseen the delivery of online training to professionals from more than 55 countries worldwide.

Having trained more than 15,000 professionals, Dr. Maheu’s focus has been the legal and ethical use of technologies in behavioral health. She has served various organizations to develop telebehavioral health standards and guidelines, including the American Telemedicine Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association. She now serves as the CEO for the non-profit Coalition for Technology in Behavioral Science (CTiBS). She is lead author for the Telebehavioral Health Competencies, 2017 and has published four textbooks in the field, and written numerous book chapters and journal articles.

Dr. Maheu consults with technology start-ups to develop products for behavioral health. She also consults with medical groups, clinics, agencies, schools, community mental health clinics and group practices to include telehealth services.

Marlene Maheu, Ph.D.

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