Thank you for considering a telemedicine option for your mental health care and wellbeing. The age of the Internet continues to facilitate new ways to assist people to meet their healthcare requirements and ADHD & Autism Psychological Services and Advocacy, PLLC (AAPSA) is happy to move in step with technological advancements. Telemedicine is the use of electronic transmissions to treat the needs of a patient, and this means the practice of health care delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of medical data, and education using interactive audio, video, or data communications. In this case, we offer both video and audio forms of communication via the Internet and/or telephone. As part of AAPSA’s commitment to your wellbeing and safety, there are a few statutory and consumer guidelines that must be followed.
By engaging in telehealth services and signing AAPSA’s Therapy Contract, you acknowledge that there are logistical and privacy issues that may or may not be compromised in the use of such telemedicine systems. AAPSA will continue to abide by the HIPAA/PHI standards you have received as part of your Initial Intake Packet. However, please thoroughly read the following information:
(1) You, “the patient”, or your legal representative, retain the option to withhold or withdraw consent to telemedicine at any time without affecting the right to future care or treatment nor risking the loss or withdrawal of any program benefits to which you or your legal representative would otherwise be entitled. However, if you are unable to attend appointments at our office locations and opt out of teletherapy, AAPSA will not be able to provide any care or treatment and your case will be discharged. You may revoke your consent by contacting AAPSA at 315-732-3431.
(2) The risks involved with Telemedicine include the potential release of private information due to the complexities and abnormalities involved with the Internet. Viruses, Trojans, and other involuntary intrusions have the ability to grab and release information you may desire to keep private. Furthermore, there is the risk of being overheard by anyone near you if you do not place yourself in a private area and are open to other’s intrusion. If you are in a place that is not deemed appropriate for session by your clinician, your clinician will not proceed with the session and you will be asked to reschedule. The advantages of Telemedicine include the benefit of continuity of care in the absence of your clinician, as well as the ability to be treated from any location at any time. It is your responsibility to create an environment on your end of the Telemedicine transmission that is not subject to unexpected or unauthorized intrusion of your personal information.
(3) All existing confidentiality protections apply as noted in your HIPAA/PHI information portion of your Initial Intake Packet.
(4) All existing laws regarding patient access to medical information and copies of medical records apply.
(5) Dissemination of any patient identifiable images or information from the telemedicine interaction to researchers, individuals, physicians, or other persons and entities shall not occur without your consent.
(6) You acknowledge that you have both reviewed this information and have given both written and verbal consent to utilizing Telemedicine as part of your treatment.
(7) The written consent statement signed by you or your legal representative shall become part of your medical record.
(8) AAPSA has agreed to provide tele-health services at your request and as a result is indemnified from any breach of confidentiality issues or insurance issues as you assume complete responsibility for them.
Method of Telemedicine
(1) Video Conferencing - Zoom: AAPSA’s clinician will have their computer on and Zoom service available. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom and are a new user, go to http://www.zoom.us to download the software. Please shut down all other programs prior to starting the Zoom program. Using a headset is often better than using the computer speaker and microphone, and more private. Most computers have the necessary jacks to allow a headset plug in. Please have some patience. Technology continues to get better, but it is still imperfect. If the Zoom session is unable to be utilized after two or three attempts, be open to having a phone session for that time. Also, if the connection becomes broken and lost, reconnect and carry on from where you left off.
(2) Telephone: Some of the same procedures apply, including, calling AAPSA or being available when your session is expected; depending on who is supposed to initiate contact. A window of two minutes prior to and ten minutes after will be held open for your call. If you call more than ten minutes after your scheduled time, the clinician may or may not be available to answer and the session will be considered a “no-show” and be charged in accordance with office policies and procedures stated within your Initial Intake Packet. For your session, remember to be in a place where you feel comfortable speaking about personal, confidential, and private information. If you are using a cell phone, remember that not all calls or phones are considered secure and may be compromised through various detection devices.
(3) At times, a video conferencing platform other than Zoom may need to be used for services. In such cases you will be informed prior to the session. It is your responsibility to know and understand the security and confidentiality of such platforms before engaging in the session.