As technology advances, psychologists increasingly have the opportunity to engage with patients or other users of psychological services via less traditional methods. However, little guidance exists to prepare psychologists to navigate the legal, regulatory, reimbursement, and ethical issues that can arise when providing psychological services via technology. A review of relevant state and federal laws reveals inconsistencies even in the terminology used to describe provision of services via technology with some referring to “telehealth,” others to “telemedicine,” and others using additional terms. The following overview of laws, regulations, and existing guidelines in the area of telehealth and telemental health provides some preliminary guidance for psychologists as they attempt to meet the needs of their patients using available and emerging technologies. Specific issues addressed include the applicability of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, informed consent and reimbursement by third party payers.
Baker DC, Bufka LF. Preparing for the Telehealth World: Navigating Legal, Regulatory, Reimbursement, and Ethical Issues in an Electronic Age. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 2011 Dec;42(6):405–11.