TeleMental Health Legal Considerations and Compliance

Telemental health is the use of electronic means or technology to provide mental health services by any mental health discipline. It is not a seperate medical or mental health services. It is simply a different means through which a practitioner can deliver services that have historically been delivered in person in the mental health field. Telemental health is discipline neutral, meaning that all mental health disciplines can use the technology modality to provide services.

The need for mental health has dramatically increased and, with advances in technology and current health concerns, the use of patient care at a distance has also increased. All age groups and all diagnoses have shown an increase in the need of treatment. With the increased use of telemental health there is an increased need for education concerning legal considerations and compliance during a telemental health appointment.

The research into telemental health has consistently shown it to be an effective delivery system for mental health services. Some studies have even found that telemental health services may actually be preferable to in-person care in certain populations and situations. Children and adolescents and veterans in particular, seem to especially benefit from the use of telemental health. Telemental health is NOT the be-all and end-all in the delivery of therapy. Nor is it for every patient or every practitioner. Clearly, there are limitations. The limitations may be driven by a particular practitioner’s level of skill or confidence in treating certain cases online. This course is to provide education concerning telemental health legal considerations and compliance.

This course brings attention to patient treatment during distancing. The course is designed to provide education on how to best treat a patient in a compliant manner for patient safety.


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Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply privacy law requirements related to telemental health.
  • Apply state and federal laws directing telemental health practice.
  • Apply HIPAA compliance.
  • Apply the Privacy Rule.
  • Apply the limits of malpractice.
  • Demonstrate appropriate response to security breaches.
  • Demonstrate appropriate response to data loss.
  • Apply setting specified security needs.
  • Conduct technology risk assessments.
  • Understand privacy law requirements related to telemental health.
  • The order of authority between state level and federal regulations.
  • HIPAA understanding and telemental health.
  • HITECH understanding and telemental health.
  • Covered entities under HIPAA.
  • Protected health information definitions.
  • Who can and cannot access protected health information.
  • The role of a privacy officer.
  • The Patient’s Bill of Rights.
  • Understanding business associate agreements.
  • Risks of security breaches.
  • What constitutes a breach.
  • Understanding of the HIPAA security rule.
  • The types of safeguards including technological, administrative, and physical safeguards for risks and threats.
  • The consequences of non-compliance.
  • The ethical responsibility regarding scope of practice.


Course Format:

TeleMental Health Legal Considerations and Compliance Part 1

  • Definition of HIPAA
  • Why is there a need for HIPAA?
  • HIPAA Rules
  • HIPAA Privacy Rule
  • HIPAA Privacy Rule Covered Entities
  • HIPAA Privacy Rule Breach Response
  • HIPAA Privacy Rule Laws Related to Telemental Health
  • HIPAA Privacy Rule and Security Rule Training
  • HIPAA Security Rule Officers
  • HIPAA Security Rule Role of Compliance Officer
  • HIPAA Security Rule Role of Security Officer
  • HIPAA Security Rule Role of Privacy Officer


TeleMental Health Legal Considerations and Compliance Part 2

  • HIPAA Security Rule
  • HIPAA Security Rule Administrative Safeguards
  • HIPAA Security Rule Physical Safeguards
  • HIPAA Security Rule Technical Safeguards
  • HIPAA Security Rule Technology Risk Assessment


TeleMental Health Legal Considerations and Compliance Part 3

  • HIPAA Security Rule for Settings
  • HIPAA Omnibus Rule
  • HIPAA Omnibus Rule Business Associate Agreements
  • HIPAA Omnibus Rule Response to Security Breach
  • HIPAA Omnibus Rule HITECH Act
  • HIPAA Breach Notification Rule
  • HIPAA Breach Filing
  • HIPAA Enforcement Rule


TeleMental Health Legal Considerations and Compliance Part 4

  • Order of Authority for Telemental Health
  • HIPAA Rules Consequences of Non-Compliance
  • State and Federal Laws in Telemental Health
  • Malpractice and Telemental Health
  • Patient’s Bill of Rights
  • Scope of Practice Ethical Responsibility


Learning Outcomes Conditions:
Complete self-paced certification in its entirety.
Pass all quizzes and final with 80% or better.

Education Hours:
You will receive a completion certificate with 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits from MedChi The Maryland State Medical Society for this course when all Learning Outcomes Conditions have been met.

Approximate Learning Time: 1.5 – 2.0 hours
This course is online and should take approximately 1.5 – 2.0 hours to complete.