Welcome to M.A. Jean-Charles Psychotherapy and Consulting LLC Updates and Blogs
Effective noon on Tuesday March 24, 2020, Governor Baker has ordered that all non-essential businesses cease in-person operationsthrough April 7, 2020. A list of essential businesses can be found here. M.A. Jean-Charles Psychotherapy and Consulting LLC is providing psychotherapy clients to meet via HIPAA-secure videoconference, rather than via our usual in-person meetings as an option to all clients.
We understand that there are many unknowns about COVID-19 and
intend to be consistent with public health goals around reducing the spread of COVID-19 such that it does not overwhelm healthcare resources. Research on telehealth (psychotherapy via teleconference, also referred to as tele-psychology) has shown to be generally as effective as face-to-face meetings. We believe that the use of telepsychology at this time will be a way to protect individual and public health as well as support good treatment progress and outcomes. To participate in telepsychology, you will need the following resources:
- A room or space that is private and feels comfortable for you (and your family, as applicable) to participate in therapy
- One of the following items:
- Desktop computer with a webcam and speakers
- Laptop computer with built-in webcam and speakers
- Tablet device with built-in webcam and speakers
- Smartphone (Note: To use a smartphone, you must first download Telehealth by SimplePractice – available for iOS or Android in the app store)
- An internet connection
We acknowledge that some clients may not feel comfortable with telehealth as a treatment modality, or have the necessary equipment, internet access, or confidential space to participate in a telehealth session. We know this is not an ideal setting to cultivate a productive therapeutic relationship. We hope this is not too much of an imposition, but we believe this is the best decision for keeping clients as well as the community safe. In order to participate in telepsychology, you will need the following resources:
- Perform routine environmental cleaning: Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by visitors before each use.
- Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and clients
- Required telehealth for clients who feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until they recover.
For more information on COVID-19, please see the links below:
No Surprises Law
Effective January 1, 2022, the “No Suprise” Act became effective. Under the law, health care providers need t to be transparent in medical costs and protect clients from “surprise” medical bills caused by out-of-network care. The bill requires therapists to:
- Prohibiting balance billing or surprise billing (i.e., when a health care provider bills a patient for the difference between the amount the provider charges and the amount the insurance pays) for out-of-network providers in an in-network facility
- Requiring a good faith estimate (GFE) of expected costs before scheduled services for uninsured and self-pay clients
- Ensuring continuity of care and accuracy of provider directories
Good Faith Estimate Billing (GFE)
A therapist is required to a GFE for uninsured and self-pay clients before services are rendered. The GFE is just an estimate; it is not legally binding and may change. However, if the actual charge is more than $400 above the estimate, the client has the right to dispute the charge through the new patient-provider dispute resolution process.
Continuity of care and provider directories
If a counselor’s contractual relationship with a client’s insurance ends (i.e., they are no longer in-network with the insurer) per the law, they must continue to accept the in-network rate for 90 days after the health plan or issuer notifies the client of the change in network status. This law also stipulates that health care providers who have a contractual relationship with an insurer must submit up-to-date provider directory information to the insurer. And providers must reimburse insured clients who inadvertently relied on an incorrect provider directory and received out-of-network care or paid more than the in-network sharing amount.
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