Tele-behavioral Health Works

by Tom Watkins: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Don’t toss what Covid proved worked, and worked well. 

It was once thought unacceptable to provided such a personal service as “talk therapy” over the phone or internet. How could the warmth, empathy, compassion of a therapist be transmitted over electronic waves? Then along came Covid- 19. Covid has thrust tele-behavioral Healthfrom fringe to mainstream.

It is amazing how a global pandemic can change perceptions, practices and the world. The Covid global pandemic has fast forwarded change and innovation.

Temporary emergency changes were put into place to allow Tele-behavioral Health and other health services to uses remote care in the wake of Covid. Many policies facilitating this transition are scheduled to expire with the public health emergency declarations. 

Therapist are now caught in two worlds: one has allowed Tele-behavioral health to be utilized during the pandemic and the old rules which prohibited it feared to be reinstated. Indecisions by policymakers and funders regarding the future of Tele-behavioral Health are placing therapist in a state of anxiety and flux. 

Determination of the post-pandemic role of telehealth will be critical, challenging and consequential. Changes should be driven by what works, not profits for insurance companies and slow, creaky government bureaucracies. 

Today, policymakers should be using the changes that washed over us by COVID-19 to help create a better health care system in its aftermath. 

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