Top 4 Ways Telehealth Supports Online Counseling


Telehealth is now the go-to solution for general physicians since the advent of COVID19. Likewise, it has opened new opportunities for diverse medical specialties. “We’re seeing a diverse set of healthcare practices using OnCallMD”, said David Hanowski CEO for OnCallMD. “For instance, psychologists provide online therapy services and traditional therapy for patients at remote locations or with travel restrictions”.

The federal government and most of the states in the U.S validates online counseling via telehealth apps. However, there are a few crucial points to consider while using an application for online therapy.

Credibility: Licensed Providers

More often, teletherapy apps offering online therapy services lack credibility. If patients receive treatment from general therapists who do not have a license to practice in a particular state, they might not have recourse to problems resulting from online therapies. Besides, patients need to receive online counseling or therapy from licensed psychologists who have treated them through in-person consultations in the past rather than consulting with a new therapist online.

Advanced telehealth solutions like OnCallMD ensure online therapy compliance with the licensure law. It first verifies and then registers licensed psychologists and healthcare providers to deliver distance counseling for patients 24/7. The registered providers share a link with their patients for online patient registrations. It facilitates a safe and secure online environment for a wide range of teletherapy services, including diagnosis, assessment, medication management, and one-to-one sessions.

Confidentiality: HIPAA Compliance 

Online counseling demands a safe and private space for both mental health providers and patients. Every patient encounter includes highly sensitive patient data, which requires the highest security level for online therapy sessions. It is crucial for psychologists and healthcare providers to maintain the confidentiality of patient information. HIPAA compliance is a must-have for all telehealth apps that support online counseling or telepsychotherapy.

HIPAA-compliant telehealth apps like OnCallMD support secure online counseling and other psychotherapy services via encrypted video chats. The provider-provider conversations and provider-patient conversations over text chats and video calls, along with patient records and treatment notes, are stored in compliance with HIPAA regulations.

Reimbursement: Payment Gateway

Most payers reimburse in-person psychotherapy but might not cover teletherapy services. There are several regulatory challenges related to medical reimbursements for online therapy/online counseling services. Psychologists and mental health providers offer time-bound online counseling sessions but receive a lower reimbursement rate than in-person counseling. A well-streamlined clinical workflow and documentation process can help providers tackle reimbursement challenges. 

OnCallMD provides a proprietary payment processing gateway that guarantees physician/providers’ telehealth visit payment directly from the patient or their insurance company. It promotes telehealth practice among providers for their services regardless of the third-party payer coverage. It allows providers to set up a time-based fee structure for both regular and after-hours distance counseling.

Connectivity: Cloud-based Telehealth Platform

Access to remote healthcare at the right moment can save lives, especially for patients with mental health issues. Psychologists prefer user-friendly telehealth apps that promote ease of use for their patients from different backgrounds. Cloud-based platforms provide hassle-free online therapy services.

Why spend time and bandwidth on app downloads? OnCallMD users can get started on their online counseling sessions with a browser and good internet connectivity. The web-based telehealth application runs on all the latest browser versions. They benefit from remote consultations via video conferencing on the secure telehealth platform, especially during the current pandemic situation.

In summary, clinical research suggests that online counseling and other telepsychotherapy services are complementary to in-person psychotherapy. Providers should guide their patients on the relevance and feasibility of telehealth services appropriate for treating their health issues. Opt for HIPAA-compliant telehealth apps to ensure security, timely reimbursement, and hassle-free online counseling.

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