Vermont Psychological Association

Webinars & Workshops

COVID-19

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We wanted to let you know that the Vermont Psychological Association is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Vermont, and we are making appropriate changes to our normal business practices.

Health Information

APA has a good, short summary of some clinical information about COVID-19 and your office that you might want to take a quick look at.  It includes some questions and answers we have not yet addressed here.


The Association for Psychological Science is making its  journal research pertaining to epidemics and related health issues publicly available.  Check it out here.

  

WHO has issued some interesting "myth busters" that you might want to take a look at.


The Vermont Department of Health has an excellent resource page on this topic, where you can find suggested practices tailored to Vermont (rather than general advice from the CDC).

You can also find daily global updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) here.

Teletherapy

Education

APA has a landing page with all of their resources for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.


DVHA had some technical issues with posting the webinar on telehealth and new temporary Medicaid billing from Friday, March 20.  They will be re-offering the session in conjunction with the Vermont Medical Society, and we will give you more information on that as soon as we can.  In the meantime, you can download the PowerPoint presentation by clicking on the link below.


APA's Telepsychology Best Practice Series 101 (a series of 2-hour courses) is available for a limited time for free and on demand.  We've heard good things about it.


Many  of you are scrambling to start a teletherapy practice at this time.  We've included DVHA's summary of telehealth requirements (download the document below).  The American Psychological Association also has free teletherapy resources for clinicians in light of this pandemic.  You can avoid the pitfalls of teletherapy and you can download a sample informed teletherapy consent  and office  technology checklist for teletherapy (download below). You can also access their free resources about this pandemic and about teletherapy online. There's a particularly helpful article on choosing a telehealth platform.


Interjurisdictional  

For those of you need to do teletherapy with out-of-state clients, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards has compiled a list of jurisdictions who have responded to their question about temporary interjurisdictional practice.  They are updating this list frequently, and you can find it here.


HIPAA

HHS is waiving some HIPAA compliance rules regarding telehealth platforms temporarily.   The platform has to be non-public facing, like Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, or Skype.  On the other hand, platforms like Facebook Live, Twitch, TikTok, and similar video communication applications are public facing, and should not be used in the provision of telehealth by covered health care providers.  Read the HHS guidance carefully before diving in.


Reimbursement

The VPA Insurance Committee Chair, Dr. Milt Marasch, has created a summary chart of billing guidance for various insurers in Vermont.  VPA Members can download it on our Members Only page.


Cigna has released some interim guidance on its reimbursement for telehealth sessions.  If you have Cigna-covered clients, you can download that guidance below. 


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont has issued a temporary policy allowing for telephone therapy, although there are requirements and restrictions attached.  

DMH has issued a memo explaining temporary  billing codes & changes to Medicaid and BCBSVT--it's a great summary of the recent developments.  You can download it below.


BCBSVT has issued a 60-day temporary policy allowing reimbursement for telephone (audio-only) therapy.  There are some conditions and restrictions to consider.  You can get a copy of the policy at the Provider Resource Portal at www.bcbsvt.com/provider.


CMS has temporarily waived the restrictions on telehealth for mental health therapy (and some other services).  APA Services has confirmed with our Insurance Committee Chair, Dr. Milt Marasch, that Medicare reimbursement is NOT available for audio-only sessions.  Your can read the guidance from CMS here.  The press release from CMS also indicates that you can use a telephone "with audio and video capabilities," but does not indicate you can use a regular telephone.  If you have questions about billing Medicare during this time, here's a helpful chart.


A bill (H.723) has just been amended and passed in the House Committee on Health Care and referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare that would allow telephone therapy to be included in the definition of "telemedicine."  We will keep you informed as to the progress of that legislation.

Protecting Your Patients & Practice

The Vermont Office of Professional Regulation has provided some guidance on providing clinical supervision during the current restrictions and health guidelines.  You can download that below.


Both the IRS and the Vermont Department of Taxes have extended tax filing and payment day to July 15 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  


The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed some guidance and information for professionals providing mental health and psychosocial supports.  You can find their "Briefing Note" here.  In addition, WHO has issued some practical handouts for clients and guidance--you can download those documents below.


The APA has prepared some excellent materials for handling this pandemic, including a fact sheet on How to Protect Your Patients and Your Practice.


The Trust Risk Management has also developed guidance for clinicians to handle their practice during this pandemic. 


The  Small Business Administration has set up a low-interest loan Disaster Assistance program.  Vermont is now  one of the areas designated to be eligible for these loans.  You can see which other areas have been designated eligible here.  We advise that you get financial advice and think carefully before applying--these are loans that have to be repaid and you should be sure you can absorb the additional financial burden.

VPA Workshops

April 3, "The Future is Now:  Beginning Telepsychology Practice"  --  RESCHEDULED


April 27, "Borderline Personality Organization & Transference-Focused Therapy"  --  PLANNED (subject to change)  Will be live-streamed


June 26, "The Digital World & Social Media:  Understanding & Working with Families & Adults"  --  PLANNED (subject to change)  Will be live-streamed

OPR Temporary Guidance on Supervision (pdf)

Download

DVHA PowerPoint March 20 (pdf)

Download

BCBS Temporary Telephone Therapy Policy (pdf)

Download

Cigna Telehealth Reimbursement (pdf)

Download

DMH Memo Temporary Billing Changes (pdf)

Download

VT Medicaid Guidance for Telehealth (pdf)

Download

Informed Consent Checklist for Telepsychology Services (docx)

Download

Office Technology Checklist for Telepsychology Services (docx)

Download

WHO Coping With Stress Poster (pdf)

Download

WHO Coping With Stress Poster (Children) (pdf)

Download

WHO Social Stigma Guide (pdf)

Download

On This Page

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April 8

Supervision Ethics & Risk Management

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Webinar

Event Details

April 8

Supervision Ethics & Risk Management

Dr. Daniel O. Taube

Find out more.

VPA members receive $10 off registration with the code VPA10. Click here to reserve your spot.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Webinar

April 27

Borderline Personality Organization & Transference-Focused Psychotherapy

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Hampton Inn, Colchester

Event Details

April 27

Borderline Personality Organization & Transference-Focused Psychotherapy

Available to live stream as well as attend in person

Dr. Louise Diguer

6 CE Credits

Learn more here.  (This course is on a Monday)

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Hampton Inn, Colchester

April 29

Perspectives on Connection, Compassion, & Belonging

8:30 am - 4:00 pm

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Burlington

Event Details

April 29

Perspectives on Connection, Compassion, & Belonging

Presented by Howard Center

National & International Speakers, Catherine Simonson, Event Host

Learn more HERE.

8:30 am - 4:00 pm

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Burlington

June 26

The Digital World & Social Media: Understanding & Working with Families & Adults

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Hampton Inn, Colchester

Event Details

June 26

The Digital World & Social Media: Understanding & Working with Families & Adults

Dr. Michael Osit

6 CE Credits

Learn more HERE.

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Hampton Inn, Colchester

August 14

Acceptance & Committment Therapy: An Experiential Introduction

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Capitol Plaza, Montpelier

Event Details

August 14

Acceptance & Committment Therapy: An Experiential Introduction

Martin Seehuus, Ph.D., Middlebury College

Learn more HERE.

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Capitol Plaza, Montpelier

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Vermont Psychological Association

PO Box 1017, Montpelier, VT 05601

(802) 229-5447 vpaed@vermontpsych.org