SDPA COVID-19 Resources:
Things are moving quickly in terms of response to COVID-19. Thank you to all who have written in with questions, concerns and comments. I have not been able to personally reach back out to all of you, so I hope to address some of your feedback below. Several of you have reached out in search of information about telehealth and insurance coverage. Although the Federal Government has announced that it will waive federal rules to make telehealth easier, we are hearing that insurance companies have been slow to respond re: mental health services. I have included some information below about advocacy efforts in that area, and I have also included a range of important information and links below relevant to telehealth and more.
Joseph Severino, PhD
COVID-19 & TELEHEALTH-ADVOCACY UPDATE
The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), California Psychological Association (CPA), National Association of Social Workers-California Division (NASW) California Association of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (CALPCC), and the California Psychiatric Association have drafted a letter to the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) regarding telehealth credentialing. Together they are advocating to allow clients to access treatment through telehealth by easing the credentialing process for 60-days and require health plans to reimburse for telehealth. I will keep you informed as we learn more information.
FROM APA: Comparing the latest telehealth solutions
APA’s panel of experts review 3 telehealth platforms: Doxy.me, thera-LINK and Zoom.
FREE 1 HOUR TELEHEALTH WEBINAR
Marlene Maheu, a local psychologist who is a leading expert on TeleHealth is offering a free 1 hr. webinar.
Here is a link to her website.
INFORMATION FROM THE CALIFORNIA BOARD OF PSYCHOLOGY
The BOP has sent out an interim guide answering a range of questions regarding practice and supervision. I’ve included the full text below:
* Continuity of Care for your Clients
Question: What if I am in an impacted area and I cannot see clients?
Answer: The American Psychological Association has published guidance on how to prepare their practice for continuity of care including telepsychology guidance. For more information, go to
Please stay informed by visiting the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website
Both websites are updated daily with the latest information and advice for the public.
Question: Can the face-to-face, direct, individual supervision with the primary supervisor be conducted virtually if work site is closed due to COVID-19?
Answer: Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), section 1387(b)(4), provides:
“Trainees shall be provided with supervision for 10% of the total time worked each week. At least one hour per week shall be face-to-face, direct, individual supervision with the primary supervisor.”
If the state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing or mandate site closure where a trainee has been performing psychological functions under the immediate supervision of a primary supervisor, the one hour face-to-face, direct, individual supervision may be conducted via HIPAA-compliant video from March 16, 2020, until April 19, 2020. The trainee should clearly indicate this on the weekly log and the primary supervisor should verify this information.
* Mode of Psychological Services Delivery
Question: Can trainees provide psychological services and accrue supervised professional experience (SPE) via telehealth?
Answer: Yes, trainees can provide psychological services via telehealth as long as they are properly supervised in doing so and the supervisor is adequately trained and experienced in providing services via telehealth. SPE can be accrued if they meet the requirements set forth in title 16 CCR section 1387.
Question: Does the primary supervisor need to be physically present at the work site if it is closed due to COVID-19?
Answer: Pursuant to title 16 CCR section 1387(b)(6): “The primary supervisor shall be employed by the same work setting as the trainee and be available to the trainee 100% of the time the trainee is accruing SPE. This availability may be in-person, by telephone, by pager or by other appropriate technology.” Additionally, pursuant to title 16 CCR section 1387(b)(7): “Primary supervisors shall ensure that a plan is in place to protect the patient/client in the event a patient/client crisis or emergency occurs during any time the supervisor is not physically present at the established site at which the trainee is working. The primary supervisor shall ensure that the trainee thoroughly understands the plan in the event of a crisis/emergency.”
* Continuing Education
Question: My renewal is due on or before May 31, 2020, and I have not met the nine live-hour requirement. Can I take a webinar or online continuing education course?
Answer: The Board of Psychology would like to ensure its licensees are aware of their options regarding continuing education. Currently the Board requires 25% (9 hours) of the 36 hours of continuing education requirement for renewal, to be live or live-interactive. Live-interactive courses are completed via webinars. While the Board is confident that licensees are able to find webinars that meet this requirement, in the event that scheduled live or live-interactive courses are canceled, or licensees are unable to attend a live course due to local public health department advisories, any licensee whose license expires between March 16 and May 31, 2020, may complete their Continuing Education requirement via online non-live courses with evidence of the above.