The COVID-19 pandemic led to countless changes in how clinicians provided services, and one such change boosted the use of telehealth and increased the number of patients who were transient. When patients left one state and moved to another—whether temporarily or permanently—it created issues for many providers who wanted to keep seeing them over telehealth. And in some cases, the solution to whether you can perform telehealth across state lines came down to joining a professional organization.
Check out a few facts to know about whether joining an association might help you compliantly perform telehealth across state lines.
Check State Laws First
Before exploring whether a professional organization can help you with telehealth credentialing when seeing patients across state lines, you should first check your state laws. Many states relaxed their laws during the pandemic to allow you to see patients in other states over telehealth, at least for short periods (typically a month or so). However, when the public health emergency (PHE) ended in May, some of those temporary authorizations lapsed.
Plus, in some states, you can see a patient in a nearby, or neighboring state, over telehealth if the two states share a border. Other states may allow you to see out-of-state patients over telehealth if you have an existing relationship and you’ve seen the patient in person within the past 12 months.
Because the rules around this issue differ from one state to the next, it’s important to contact your state licensing association to find out what the laws are where you practice, and in the state where the patient is when they want to meet with you over telehealth.
Consider Joining a Professional Organization
Some professional organizations may allow members to have access to a network allowing them to see patients in member states using telehealth. For example, the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) allows psychologists in participating areas to see patients in member states either in-person or over telehealth. Forty states are now part of the network, and psychologists who want to participate must meet strict guidelines.
For example, participants must have a doctorate degree from an accredited program and an unencumbered license to practice in at least one participating state, with no disciplinary actions. The application must be accompanied by official transcripts and proof of passing the Examination for Professional Practice. The cost to apply is $440 and the renewal costs $100 every year.
One important fact to note is that the rules require the psychologist to be located in their home state during the telehealth appointment, while the patient can be in any participating state. This is essential to consider if you (the provider) plan to move around frequently. Although the license allows you to see patients elsewhere, you must be in your home state during the appointments.
If you’re interested in participating in a similar credentialing program, contact your professional association to find out its benefits, drawbacks, application procedures and fees, since they may all differ.
Whether you’re credentialing in your state or across state lines, there’s more to the process than you might think. Let expert Tracey Tokheim show you the way during her 90-minute online training, Credentialing/Enrollment 101, Get Approved/Paid Faster & Easier. Sign up today!
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