Telehealth Services for Behavior Analysts
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The term “telehealth” means a health service delivered by a health professional to a client at a remote location through telecommunications or information technology.
Information technology includes computers, smart phones, and equipment, other than analog telephone, email or facsimile technology and equipment, used or capable of use for purposes of telecommunications.
Services You Can Provide
You can provide telehealth services that are within the scope of your Texas license. You must provide the same standard of care as you would for an in-person visit.
Additional regulations for providing services through telehealth may be found at:
- Texas Administrative Code, §121.10 -- Definitions
- Texas Administrative Code, §121.70 -- Administrative Practice Responsibilities of License Holders
- Texas Administrative Code, §121.71 -- Professional Services Practice Responsibilities of License Holders
You must provide the client (or authorized representative) with information about how to obtain follow-up care, if applicable.
To prevent fraud and abuse when providing a telehealth service, you must take reasonable steps to verify that the identity of the client matches the person who is scheduled to receive the telehealth service.
A behavior analyst licensed in another jurisdiction or certified by the BACB may provide temporary services in Texas if the activities and services conducted in this state:
- (1) are within the behavior analyst's customary area of practice;
- (2) are conducted not more than 20 days in a calendar year; and
- (3) are not otherwise in violation of Texas Occupations Code 506.
A behavior analyst providing temporary services to a client in Texas under Texas Occupations Code 506.057 shall inform the client, or the parent or guardian of the client if the recipient is under 18 years of age, that:
- (1) the behavior analyst is not licensed in this state; and
- (2) the activities and services provided by the behavior analyst are time-limited to no more than 20 days.
It is critical to check with your payor before initiating a new type of service or service delivery model, such as telehealth, as policies frequently change. Licensees who need additional information on billing policies relating to the provision of telehealth services should contact the entity they are billing to verify that telehealth services are reimbursable, and that proper coding is used.
When providing telehealth services, you must meet each of the following requirements:
- If informed consent would be required for an in-person service, it must also be obtained when the service is provided via telehealth
- You must allow the client (or authorized representative) to refuse delivery of telehealth services at any time
Client Privacy and Confidentiality
When providing telehealth services, you must take appropriate measures to ensure that client communications, recordings, and records are protected as required by federal and state privacy laws.
You must also ensure that appropriate protocols are in place to prevent unauthorized access to client communications and claim information.
While providing telehealth services, you will be responsible for ensuring all persons acting under your supervision, direction, or delegated authority observe federal and state privacy laws.
Before providing telehealth services, you should verify the applicability of other requirements and obligations, such as HIPAA and other medical and personal privacy requirements.
Record Keeping Requirements
Documentation for a telehealth service must be completed to the same extent as would be required for an in-person service.
Any additional telehealth-related documentation must be maintained in accordance with applicable laws and rules governing your practice.
Relevant Laws and Rules
For telehealth information specific to Behavior Analysts, please see Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 121 -- Behavior Analysts.
Telehealth Law for Texas Physicians, Dentists and Other Healthcare Professionals -- Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 111 -- Telemedicine, Teledentistry, and Telehealth.
Telehealth Law for TDLR Health Professions -- Texas Occupations Code 51.501 -- Telehealth
Telehealth Rules for TDLR Health Professions -- Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 100 -- General Provisions for Health-Related Programs in sections 100.61 - 100.65.