New Telehealth Supports at Ally
What Is Telehealth?
For mental health counseling, Telehealth is a platform providers may utilize to see their patients remotely. This is most commonly done via a secure online video conference between the providers and their patients. This allows the provider to speak with and also visually assess the patients in session throughout the duration of the meeting. For the provider, this is offered typically in an office setting that is private and remote, thus offering patients the same level of confidentiality as they'd receive in a traditional office. Most telehealth sessions are between 45-60 min long.
How it works:
Patients receive a secure link to access a virtual office by their provider. This can be communicated to the patient via email or a text message on a cell phone. At the designated appointment time, the patient will click this link to access to the virtual office where the video conference will take place. In the session, the therapist and patient will be able to see each other and communicate just as they would in an office setting. For patients, this can be done in the comfort of their own homes, or any preferred location that offers privacy. At the end of the session, the patient simply closes out the browser and this will automatically terminate the session. No client information is shared electronically during the session, nor are sessions recorded.
Does my insurance cover this?
Recent federal mandates, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, have required all private and public insurance providers to reimburse for mental health counseling services delivered via telehealth platforms. This comes to greatly limit contact among individuals to reduce and curb the spread of COVID-19. At Ally Behavioral Health, we can provide telehealth services for all members with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts as well as all Tufts Commercial Health plans.
How are co-pays paid without coming into the office?
Ally Behavioral Health utilizes a secure online system that allow for patients to receive invoices for co-pays and deductibles directly via email. This is a safe and secure means to ensure that co-pays and deductibles can be promptly paid, without having to mail a check or call to make payment. Co-pays can also be paid in person during live telehealth conferencing at the beginning/end of your session.
Do I need to come into the office first before telehealth can start?
No. All paperwork required to authorize services can be provided electronically where patients can view and electronically sign documents. Prior to an initial appointment, the office will verify all documents and insurance to ensure that initial meetings are best utilized for treatment.
Is the available for children and adults?
Yes. Telehealth supports is available to children, adolescents, and adults. Telehealth also allows for couples counseling as well as family counseling supports.
Is Telehealth private and secure?
Yes, if the telehealth platform is secure and encrypted. Video conferencing services such as Facetime are not secure platforms for telehealth and should not never used. At Ally Behavioral Health, the office uses Simple Practice Telehealth Support Systems. This state of the art system utilizes bank-level encryption to ensure that all videos calls are anonymous and that no personal health information is available or retained during sessions. This is done to meet and exceed HIPAA and state guidelines for treatment.
If you have any questions about telehealth services, please contact our office at 774.225.6256.