Video therapy (also known as teletherapy or telehealth) is simply psychotherapy conducted over the internet, usually via videoconferencing. Using a secure, HIPPA compliant platform, video therapy allows you to attend psychotherapy sessions from anywhere you have access to a computer or mobile device. Research shows that therapy via video conferencing can be just as effective as in-office visits and has many benefits over traditional in office visits. Not having to travel to an office allows you to add more time into your day, save money on travel expenses, and offers increased privacy. In Virginia, most private insurers who reimburse for in office psychotherapy visits will also reimburse for video therapy. To help you decide whether video therapy might be an option for you, feel free to contact me. I’ve also included a list of Frequently Asked Questions below.
Do I have to come to the office at all?
Many people prefer to come into the office for the first visit or two to help get to know the therapist and feel more at ease with the therapy process in general. If it is geographically feasible, this is recommended, but not required.
Can switch between video therapy and in office visits?
Absolutely! Many people who prefer to meet in the office appreciate that they can use video therapy to maintain continuity when a session might otherwise be cancelled (e.g., while traveling, when home with a sick child or during inclement weather, or when skipping the travel time to the office really makes a difference in keeping the balls in the air that day!)
How does it actually work?
You’ll be sent a link for the video session. Click on it when our session is scheduled to start or open it through the Telehealth by SimplePractice app (download free in the app store). You can use the camera and audio on your computer or mobile device.” Telehealth by Simple Practice is a secure platform, and, unlike Skype or Facetime, it is 100% HIPPA complaint.
Do I have to be in the same city as my teletherapist?
Not at all! This is the beauty of video therapy. In the privacy of your home, workplace, or your chosen location, you can access psychotherapy with any provider who is licensed to conduct therapy in your state. Currently, I can conduct video therapy with a client located anywhere in Virginia.
How do I know if my insurance company covers video therapy?
By Virginia law, all private insurers who cover in office psychotherapy must also cover video therapy. Occasionally, however, there might be rules about the location of the therapist or client, and reimbursement rates may differ between in office or video delivery. To be sure, call your insurance company to see if they cover video therapy (or telehealth or teletherapy) and if there are any differences in coverage. More specifically, you can let your insurance company know you will be using the code 90834 with the modifier “GT” or “95.” I am also more than happy to inquire on your behalf to your insurance company, and, in most cases, can even submit the claim forms for you.
Are there any situations where video therapy is not appropriate?
Video therapy has been shown to be just as effective as in office psychotherapy for a range of conditions and issues and allows me to provide services throughout Virginia. As a therapist, however, it is important for me to know about services in your community in case of an emergency. When it is foreseeable that outside services might be an integral part of care (such as in the cases of suicidal risk, risk of self-harm, risk of violence towards others, substance abuse, or psychosis), it is generally considered a better option to find a provider more local to the client.