This post is about the pairing of social distancing and telehealth. I am sure you have gotten as many COVID-19 emails as me, but it is my duty to you, my dear present and future clients, and as owner of a business establishment open to the public, to update you also. We realize this situation remains very dynamic as information continues to change day-to-day. We will of course keep you updated as the situation evolves. I have recently (and successfully!) converted all of my clients to telehealth to keep them safe.
SOCIAL DISTANCING AND TELEHEALTH
Social distancing should not lead to social isolation for those of you with already high anxiety, and especially those with health anxiety. Online real-time video sessions can safely support you through this pandemic. All you need is a smart phone or computer, and a reliable internet connection. Laptop connections work best! You can schedule appointments online, just like your regular appointments. You can also email a request for appointment and I will schedule it for you if that is more comfortable for you. If you use your smart phone, you will need to download the “Telehealth by Simple Practice” app. There’s a version for IOS and one for Android in the app store.
After I accept your telehealth appointment request, (which you can easily make online; just click the blue button on my homepage) you will get my typical 24 hour reminder, plus an email reminder of your online session 10 minutes ahead of time. You just click the link to join me if using a laptop (preferred for best connection). On your smart phone, you simply copy the link into the app and type in your name to join. Your personal link is the same for each session, so you can even bookmark it if you like.
INSURANCE COVERAGE IS NOT GUARANTEED, BUT IS HIGHLY LIKELY
BCBS, Tricare, and Medicare (all of which I accept) have loosened restrictions on telehealth. However, you should check your policy. Your particular policy restrictions, deductibles, coinsurance, and copays ALL apply just as they normally would. And it is possible, and widely variable, that some of these loosened restrictions on telehealth may end after the virus subsides. Despite the loosened HIPAA restrictions announced, my platform is HIPAA compliant. Your privacy is protected.
HOW TO SCHEDULE
Go to my home page, click the blue button and select existing client (if you are) to schedule. If you are new, click new client, and you will be sent the required online forms to complete prior to starting. After the epidemic ends, you will have the choice to select in person or online sessions. For now, all sessions are being held online for your protection.
IF YOU ALREADY HAVE AN APPOINTMENT AND WANT TO CONVERT TO TELEHEALTH
Hop online to my home page and click the blue button. Pick existing client, cancel you old appointment and choose a telehealth appointment for the same slot, or a different time if you like. Make certain you have a quiet space with no interruptions. May get yourself a snack and go to the restroom before we get started.
Please know that you can reach a certain point where staying up-to-date on the latest news and information is doing you more harm than it is good. You’ve got to separate the actionable information from unactionable information, just like you do with anxious thoughts. One of the key teachings of therapy for anxiety is to ask yourself the following.
Is it a solvable problem, or your anxiety habit talking?
Telehealth is a completely viable, and research-proven effective option for those of you who want help, but do not feel safe coming in to an office right now. For that matter, it is a convenient option for anyone to use regardless of the current corona virus outbreak. Remember, you have to be in North Carolina where I am licensed. Contact me here if you want to discuss it on the phone. Don’t forget to leave your best phone number! Be safe, be well, and don’t let the corona virus steal your peace of mind. Social distancing and telehealth make a great team! And remember, to get accurate information, use the CDC website or your local health department. Stay out of the weeds of too much overload. It doesn’t help.