As the novel coronavirus concerns continue, many professionals are turning to telemental health for client care. Whether you are new to practicing telemental health or not, there are a few critical items you need to know before you start.
As a policyholder with the NASW Risk Retention Group, your professional liability policy covers client care over the phone and other communication vehicles the same way in-person client care is covered. The coverage support is provided the same way other incidents are handled and held to the same agreement terms and conditions.
But, Before You Start...Make Sure You Take These Steps.
- Most Importantly, Check with Your State. Regulations for telemental health vary state by state. It is up to you to check the licensure and regulatory requirements surrounding telemental health services. Your policy may not cover you if you are not following your state regulations.
- Remain HIPAA Compliant. Consider online delivery mediums that comply with HIPAA, federal, and state regulations for the provision of services. Choose a platform that is easy to use so that you can offer confidential and secure care for your clients.
- Maintain Technology Standards. Standards for technology have been set by NASW, ASWB, CSWE & CSWA. Review the standards online.
- Adhere to the Code of Ethics. Professional ethics are at the core of the profession. The Code of Ethics sets forth values, principles, and standards to guide professional conduct. Review the Code of Ethics online.
Additional Resources to Guide You
National Association of Social Workers
NASW has been working on multiple fronts to support social workers as they help address the many concerns that are arising as a result of this public health crisis. From providing valuable resources to ensuring access to services, including telemental health, NASW will continue to monitor developments and work to protect social workers and the clients they serve. For more details, go to NASW's COVID-19 Telehealth page.
NASW Risk Retention Group
The NASW Risk Retention Group has been working to empower our policyholders so that they can continue to serve their clients wherever they are during this national public health emergency. Resources to support our policyholders during this unprecedented time in our country can be found on NASW RRG’s dedicated resource website.
Risk Management Webinar
This risk management webinar is an excellent resource if you are exploring new communication options. Technology in Social Work Practice, offered by the National Association of Social Workers, is CEU eligible and an excellent tool for anyone using technology to deliver services. Visit the Social Work Online CE Institute online.
Learn more about the liability products offered by the NASW Risk Retention Group, designed specifically for behavioral and allied health professionals.