Online Therapy FAQ
What are the requirements?
Clients who are interested in teletherapy should:
- Have access to hi-speed internet
- Have access to a tablet, laptop or desktop computer with the ability to transmit video and sound.
- Have access to a private location free from distractions where others will not overhear or interrupt therapy sessions.
How do I know if my internet is fast enough?
If you can easily stream video (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, etc.), your internet speed is probably fast enough. However, if you usually get lag (i.e., the little spinning wheel on your screen) when you do this, you might want to consider a faster connection at an appropriate location (i.e., local libraries often have space you can reserve).
What happens if I’m disconnected from my therapist?
In your first session, your therapist will go over with you a plan for what you will do if this happens. Usually it involves trying to reconnect via Zoom and then by phone if you are unable to connect by Zoom.
Is this safe/secure?
By using the Zoom platform, we have engaged with a HIPPA-compliant encrypted service to ensure the security of your information. We know that there is never a 100% guarantee that there will not be a complication in this, but you can rest assured that by using our platform, we are adhering to the American Telemedicine Association’s standards for care and are remaining HIPPA compliant.
Will it work?
While we cannot guarantee the outcome of any counseling relationship, teletherapy has been shown to be as effective as traditional face-to-face counseling in studies performed by the Department of Defense and the VA. We are confident that the services Georgia HOPE will provide via teletherapy will meet our standards of care and you will receive high-quality counseling during your time in this program.
I’m interested, but I don’t know how to set up my technology. Can I still do teletherapy?
We are committed to making your services at Georgia HOPE successful. If you already have a Client Support Specialist (CSS) assigned, this worker can assist you in setting up your technology prior to your first teletherapy session. If you do not have a CSS assigned, we will work with you to ensure that you have the support necessary to get this technology set up.
Will my insurance still pay for this?
Yes! Insurance recognizes teletherapy the same way they recognize traditional face-to-face counseling, so there’s no need to worry! As a reminder, as with any service at Georgia HOPE, it is essential that you maintain active insurance. If you have any changes with your insurance during the course of services, please make sure you notify us promptly to avoid any extended gap in services.
Who should not use teletherapy?
Like any other type of therapy, people who are an immediate threat to themselves or others should call a suicide hotline or seek psychiatric treatment before committing to therapy.
Community Partner FAQ
What happens after I make a referral to Georgia HOPE?
After a referral is submitted to Georgia HOPE, our administrative team checks with the individual’s insurance provider to confirm coverage. An email is then sent to the referral source (if an email has been provided to us) to inform the referral source of whether or not the person is eligible for services. If the person is eligible for services, an Assessor then contacts the client/caregiver to set up an assessment. After the assessment, the Assessor submits a request to the payer to ask permission to begin serving the client. Each insurance provider has different approval times, but permission to begin serving is typically granted or denied within two weeks. After insurance approval is given, a therapist and/or CSS is assigned to the client and services begin.
Why would someone get suspended from services?
A: There are a number of reasons this might happen:
1) Client’s diagnosis has not been received: Each client being served through Core services must have a mental health or substance abuse diagnosis. The client can either meet with one of our providers to receive a diagnostic evaluation, or we can request records of a recent diagnosis from the client’s doctor. If we do not have a diagnosis within the first 30 days of treatment, we must suspend services, per Medicaid and State requirements, until the diagnosis is received.
2) Client has inactive Medicaid: We must suspend services on any client whose Medicaid becomes inactive. Inactive Medicaid status often means that paperwork needs to be submitted by the client or client’s caregiver. It is the client/caregiver’s responsibility to contact Medicaid in order to resolve the issue that led to their inactive status in the Medicaid system. The person can often learn how to resolve the issue by speaking to someone at their county DFCS office.
3) Client is in need of a Reassessment: We must suspend services when a client has not attended a reassessment appointment with Georgia HOPE. Medicaid and the State require us to conduct a Reassessment with each client every six months in order to ensure that the client still needs and wants services. If the client does not attend this appointment by the due date, they are suspended until they are able to attend.
***Please note: suspending services is not the same as closing a case. We keep the case open for a period of time in order to assist the family in resolving the issue that led to the suspension. When/if the issue is resolved, services resume
Q: Who do I contact when I have questions about a case?
Who do I contact when I have questions about a case?
Your first point of contact should be the therapist or CSS who is assigned to the client. However, if you have not been able to connect with the worker, please contact your county’s Program Manager at the email or phone number listed on our Interactive Map.
Why does Georgia HOPE need a signed Release of Information (ROI) in order to share information?
Because Georgia HOPE is a behavioral health provider, we are under HIPAA guidelines. These guidelines state that an adult client holds the legal right to confidentiality and, if the client is a minor, the client’s legal guardian holds the right to confidentiality. It is a client or caregiver’s legal right to refuse to sign a Release of Information (ROI) for communication with the referral source or other community partners if they choose to do so. However, it is our agency practice to always ask the client/caregiver if they are willing to sign an ROI for the entity that made the referral.
When an ROI has been signed, what kind of documentation can Georgia HOPE release?
So long as it is properly notated on the ROI form, we can release medical records, drug screen results, and information about a client’s progress, when requested. The client should indicate what specific information (ie: drug screens, medical records, etc) they are granting permission to share. However, we cannot release therapy session notes, which are protected under HIPAA as the therapist’s personal records of session content.
Do you have any questions that aren’t answered in our FAQ section above? We’re happy to help! Feel free to fill out our contact form to get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org. For more ways to contact us, click here.