Associated Therapists, Inc.
Providing administrative support to a group of independent Mental Health private practitioners located in Southern California

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Teletherapy at Associated Therapists

This page is intended for Associated Therapists clients that are new to teletherapy.  They may be existing clients of our providers and are starting teletherapy sessions or they may be new to our office and are beginning sessions using the teletherapy format.

What is Teletherapy?
Teletherapy or video counseling is therapy done over the internet using an electronic device such as a computer, smart phone, or tablet. Clients are connected to a mental health provider through the internet.

Clients get the same counseling they receive in person except that it is done through an electronic device such as a computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Those who have used Face Time or Skype are familiar with the technology of Teletherapy.

Is Teletherapy private?
Yes. Mental health providers are required to maintain client privacy just as they normally would in an office setting. Sessions that are conducted through a secure HIPAA compliant platform protect the privacy of the clients confidential information.

Providers are required to hold sessions in a private setting that will protect the confidentiality of the client. The greatest risk to privacy mostly depends on the client’s environment. If clients sessions are held in a public place, privacy may be compromised.

Does Teletherapy work as well as traditional counseling?
Yes, teletherapy is very effective. Research shows that video counseling is as helpful as counseling done in person. Teletherapy is also very convenient and accessible, which helps people with consistency in counseling sessions.

Who is teletherapy for/not for?
The decision to use teletherapy is partially determined by the comfort of the participants with the technology. Usually there is an initial “learning curve” that requires more attention given to the mechanics of the process. Clients and therapists quickly adapt to the process and the equipment and electronics quickly become “invisible” much like a telephone is “forgotten” in a conversation.

Teletherapy was pioneered in rural environments where a sparsity of qualified counselors prevented reasonable access to services. Urban settings have many providers available in traditional settings but their access can be difficult due to the difficulty of travel to a professional office at a specified time. A clients anxiety, and or busy hectic daily routine may negatively impact access to services.

Will my insurance cover teletherapy?
In general yes. Most insurance policies cover teletherapy as they do for mental health services.

California law AB744 requires contracts issued, amended or renewed after January 1, 2021 between a health care service plan and a health care provider to specify that the provider who delivers services appropriately through telehealth be reimbursed on the same basis and to the same extent that the plan would have had the same service been provided in-person. 
The health plan cannot require the use of telehealth if the health care provider has determined that it is not appropriate nor does it limit the ability of the health plan and provider to negotiate the rate of reimbursement for a service.

What are the risks?
All counseling has a risk because the process toward change can be messy.  Teletherapy carries the same risk of traditional therapy along with a few additional considerations, the biggest being a failure of technology.   Most counselors will have a backup plan like having a phone session or rescheduling option if technology fails.

How do I begin seeing my provider at Associated Therapists?
Associated Therapists has subscribed to a HIPAA compliant online service (Clocktree) that you and your provider can use to conduct video and text appointments.

Your provider will send you an email invitation to become a client on Clocktree.  To proceed, respond to the email by filling out the required information and sending it back to Clocktree. 

You will receive an email welcoming you to Clocktree and giving you further information and instructions on how to use their system.  Below is most of the information given on that email:

Welcome to Clocktree

You have successfully joined Clocktree as a client of Associated Therapists, Inc.. Here
is some helpful info for your first video appointment.

Use Any Computer or Device
Clocktree will work on any computer or mobile device
with internet access and a camera.

Clocktree does not use an app to provide service.  There is nothing to download.  You simply use a browser on any computer.

Recommended Browsers:

PC: Google Chrome
Android tablet or phone: Google Chrome
Mac: Google Chrome or Safari
iPhone or iPad: Google Chrome or Safari
Amazon Tablets: Silk Browser (included in the devices)

Getting Ready

From your internet browser log in to clocktree.com before your appointment time to test your camera and microphone.

To do this, click the user icon in the upper right and select Test Audio/Video. We
recommend you close other apps and browser tabs before your Clocktree appointment,
and make sure you have the strongest internet connection possible.

Both your upload and download internet speed should be at least 5 Mbps. To test your connection speed you may go to the free website: www.speedtest.net

Your Appointment

At your appointment time, go to clocktree.com and log in. When you hear a ring, click Join
to be connected to your video appointment.  Your done! Start your session.

If the video freezes at any time during the appointment, click the Reconnect button.

Appointment Notifications

You can receive appointment notifications via text message (SMS), email, or both. To
adjust your preferences, click My Account then your Notifications tab.

Most people are pleasently surprised at how easy this process is and how well a video appointment can proceed. 

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact our administrative office at Associated Therapists and we will attempt to help you.

 

Forms for New Clients and Existing Clients New to Teletherapy

New Client Administrative and Insurance Information Online
Online form to enter new client and insurance information that will help setup a new administrative account in our system.

New Clients (Insurance and Cash) Consent for Treatment and Fee Schedules
This online form contains both an agreement to begin services and a fee schedule for both Insurance and Cash accounts. This does NOT authorize teletherapy sessions.
This form requires a signature in TWO spaces.

Teletherapy Consent (Clients New to Teletherapy) 
A HIPAA compliant online form that authorizes the use of Teletherapy /medicine in the services that you receive. This form must be used to satisfy federal and state requirements.

Release of Confidential Information (Online Version)
HIPAA compliant online form that authorizes the release of your confidential information to a specific person for a specific reason for a specific length of time.  This form is used only if there is going to be an exchange of information between our provider(s) and an outside party.

Page Last Updated: 3/23/2020