As the novel coronavirus concerns continue, many professionals are turning to teletherapy to continue client care. Whether you are new to practicing teletherapy or not, there are a few critical items you need to know before you start.
The professional liability insurance policy, offered by the NASW Risk Retention Group, 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 are held to the same agreement terms and conditions.
But, Before You Start! It is Critical You Address These Issues Before any Teletherapy begins.
- Most Importantly, Check with Your State! Regulations for teletherapy vary state by state. It is up to you to check the licensure and regulatory requirements surrounding teletherapy 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 the 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.
An Additional Resource to Guide You
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 a great tool for anyone using technology to deliver services. Visit the Social Work Online CE Institute online.
NASW Risk Retention Group (NASW RRG) provides information based on our helpline inquiries, corresponding claims history, and an understanding of a varying nationwide professional state regulatory environment.
Due to COVID-19, many states have implemented or waived specific regulations; it is the individual professional's responsibility to research, implement, and monitor those regulations; and apply our risk management content as a consideration in your practice environment. Do not interpret this risk management material as any means to alter professional training, standards, nor any ethics information provided by your professional association.
Please understand, the NASW RRG makes no representations or warranties other than those stated to our current policyholders in the insurance policy contract. Please contact us if you have further questions.