During the last few weeks, every day has brought changes to how we practice. In some ways this is no different than what we always do as clinical social workers, but the pace and breadth of these changes are more dramatic by far. I wanted to offer you some resources and information to help.
**Please Note: KSCSW is cancelling March & April in person events- Soul Collage, Immigration 101 CE, The Use of Aromatherapy in Social Work Practice CE, and Louisville Membership Drive.** We are looking at online options for our CEU and April events and will send out information as we are able. The Board meeting on 4/13 will be on Zoom, please email me for the link if you would like to join us. We will be refunding all those registered for the March CE, and will be sending out more information about rescheduling this event.
Importantly, to echo the information provided by the Chair of the Kentucky Social Work Board, Jay Miller:In terms of treatment - For our licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) in Kentucky, the use of telehealth is permitted! Our social work statute on using telehealth, KRS 335.158, dictates that a treating clinical social worker who provides or facilitates telehealth must ensure that they: (1) Obtain informed consent before services are provided through telehealth; and (2) Maintain confidentiality, which includes (at a minimum) appropriate processes, practices and technology that conforms to federal law. Per Section 3 of this statute, "telehealth"; refers to the use of interactive audio, video, or other electronic media to deliver health care. It includes the use of electronic media for diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of health or medical data, and continuing education. For information about telehealth coverage and reimbursement, review KRS 304.17A-138. For information about telehealth, visit Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center. In terms of clinical supervision - Clinical social work supervision is governed by 201 KAR 23:070. Section 8 permits the use “electronic supervision” and is limited to two hours of supervision per month, and only after the first 25 hours of individual supervision has been obtained in the traditional face-to-face method. Please rest assured that your Board of Social Work will carefully monitor this ever-evolving situation. At this time, we are reviewing the potential of submitting emergency protocols to offer regulatory relief related to licensing processes. We will communicate that info as it becomes available.
Additionally, CSWA has also put forth detailed information about resources around practice and telehealth: There have been many questions about how to establish a telemental health practice as we address COVID- 19. Here are some ideas about what to consider.
Take a course to understand the basic skills that are needed to provide telemental health videoconferencing. The TBHI Courses offered by Marlene Maheu are excellent and can be found here. There are many others, but Dr. Maheu has based hers in part on the ethical standards for clinical social workers
Read the Technology in Social Work Standards, that CSWA helped develop, which can be found here.
Find a platform to use for your videoconferencing work. There are several available but the ones thatseem to be the best are VSee, Zoom, doxy.me, Simple Practice and Theranest. Most have a monthly charge. Some are more reliable than others. To see comparisons of the platforms, go to Rob Reinhardt’s website www.tameyourpractice.com.
Find a payment method for videoconferencing. The ones that seem to be the best are Zelle, Venmo, and Paypal. Zelle and Venmo are bank related and have privacy protections; you will need to get the patient’s bank account number or mobile phone respectively. I believe Paypal will sign a BAA.
Develop an Informed Consent form for videoconferencing.
Check with all third party payers as to whether your patients will be covered for videoconferencing or telephonic sessions. Medicare patients await guidance from CMS and HHS which should be forthcoming in the next two weeks. If patients are not covered, see if arrangements for private pay can be made If you have any other questions, please let me know.
Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice, Government Relations Chair
Thank you so much for your patience and understanding. We value your membership and our work individually and together.