Please keep in mind when doing a session with a client to ask them if they are in a room alone or if they have anyone present with them and see if they can go to a seperate room for the session.
Software listed on the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Enforcement Announcement are listed below:
According to the notice some of these listed may provide HIPAA-compliant video communication products and they will enter into a HIPAA BAA:
- Zoom for Healthcare
- Skype for Business / Microsoft Teams
- Google G Suite Hangouts Meet
Information on Teletherapy Software shared by Program for Torture Victims (PTV) (click here for pdf version):
Cost: Free for solo and small practices, supported by bigger practices that pay for more features. Unlimited sessions and minutes but low quality video. $35/month for basic plan. Discounts for nonprofits available! No contracts, can cancel anytime
See detailed information about features by plan at https://doxy.me/pricing
Highly rated, 4 stars and up. Used by many clinics, many at universities since it was created at a research study at a university. Clients include University of San Diego, Georgia Department of Public Health, and University of Utah Health Care. 4.3 stars from over 100 reviews on Capterra
No software installation needed
- NOT all G-Suite features are HIPAA compliant and there must be a business associate agreement (BAA) in place first, Google Hangouts (used for chat and video calls) can only HIPAA compliant for chat features which isn’t effective for teletherapy needs
- From Google “Administrators must review and accept a BAA before using Google services with PHI. Google offers a BAA covering Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive (including Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms), Google Hangouts (chat messaging feature only), Hangouts chat, Hangouts Meet, Google Keep, Google Cloud Search, Google Sites, Google Groups, Google Tasks, Google Voice (managed users only), Jamboard, Google Vault services, and Google Cloud Identity Management.”
V-See Clinic https://vsee.com/
- Cost: Free (limited to 25 video calls per month), pricing as you scale up most basic individual plan at $49/month
- See detailed information by plan at https://vsee.com/pricing/
- Highly rated, 4 stars and up. Used by many praticioners such as The Geo Group, Walgreens, and Trinity Health. 4.7 stars from ~10 reviews on Capterra
Zoom Healthcare version https://zoom.us/healthcare
- Cost: $199.90/month, annual $166.58/month for 10 hosts unlimited calls
- Rated highly as a video conferencing platform. Used by organizations such as John Hopkins School of Medicine, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH), and Phoenix Children’s Hospital
- Seems to be more for telehealth and HIPAA compliant video conferencing than tailored for teletherapy
Simple Practice https://www.simplepractice.com/
- Cost: 30 day free trial, $39/month for basic plan and options to add in clinicians for additional $10/month. No contracts
- See detailed information about features by plan at https://www.simplepractice.com/pricing
- Rated highly by licensed professionals from reviews on the site and 4.6 stars overall from over 2,000 reviews on Capterra
- Not suited for teletherapy! Meant for medical records and billing
- Instructions on setting up and using a free account (shared with the Heal_Torture_Talk list serve by Program for Victims of Torture)
- Cost: Free (unlimited video calls), more features not included $99/month per user and the enterprise plan requires quote
- See detailed features by plan at https://www.wecounsel.com/pricing/
- Rated 4 stars and up on average out of ~30 reviews on Capterra
- Cost: Free 15 day trial, basic plan at $30/month for 1 provider
- See detailed information about features by plan at https://www.thera-link.com/pricing/
- Rated 4.8 stars overall from ~30 reviews on Capterra, pretty positive from usage
- Cost: free 30 day trial plan. Basic plan at $29/month only for single providers and Pro at $39/month and additional $29/month for each additional provider. Can contact to discuss pricing and no contract necessary
- See detailed information about features by plan at https://www.theraplatform.com/Pricing
- Rated highly at almost 5 stars but only 10 reviews on Capterra
- Cost: free 21 day trial plan. Basic plan at $38/month for up to 30 clients, costs more depending on the # of active clients. 2 months free if subscribe annually
- See detailed information about features by plan at https://theranest.com/pricing/
- Rated highly 4 stars and up on average (about 2,000 reviews) by professionals on Capterra but not for large practices and not as much customer support to deal with issues
Blink Session https://blinksession.com/
- Cost: Most basic plan at $38/month per staff user, no contracts pay by the month
- See detailed information about features by plan at https://blinksession.com/pricing
- Rated highly at 4 stars and up but not as many reviews (~20 reviews on Capterra)
- No software or plug-in installation needed
Microsoft Office 365 and Skype
- Microsoft Office 365 (suite of subscription products developed by Microsoft that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access) which is/can be HIPAA compliant if there is a BAA
- Micorsoft owns Skype but Skype is only HIPAA compliant if Enterprise E3 or E5 package is purchased and a BAA t is signed with Microsoft that covers the use of Skype for Business
- All employees who use Skype must be made aware of how the platform can be used and their responsibilities under HIPAA. The platform must be configured to maintain an audit trail, security settings must be appropriately configured, individual logins should be created for each user, and backups must be created and maintained
Below platforms mentioned by New England Survivors of Torture and Trauma, NESTT:
- Hushmail - This is a secure, HIPAA compliant email system
- Listrunner - Secure - HIPAA compliant platform for Waitlist
- WeCounsel - Can be used for group services.
Other software being used by SOT programs:
- Google Voice for phone calls
- Zoom is HIPAA compliant with signed business associate agreement. Zoom has a standard one but you can modify it to suite your organization, though that may take some time.
Eugene Augusterfer of HPRT has shared this Medscape article on the COVID 19 changes to telemedicine. (Free registration is required to view the article.) https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/927556
Below are some questions that have been asked by programs via our listserv.
If you have any answers for these questions or questions of your own please contact Ann Lundberg at at email@example.com.
- Some of our clients have been reluctant to have sessions with our providers because they are at home with other people who can listen in. Does any one have work-arounds or has anyone used the text function in Doxy? If so, does Doxy have access to PHI once it is shared? We found that Google does have access and can share the data which is why we chose not to use it for any written communication.
- We've had some issues with lower tech and literacy clients. I was thinking of having our case managers record a video to send to them before since we didnt get a chance to go over it in office before switching to remote services.
- What have folks done to figure out interpretation with the video services? There doesn't seem to be a way to directly call and add a participant on the call. Wondering if there is a creative solution I haven't yet or knows of a phone agency that will join via doxy.me link?
If you have any other software to suggest, answers for these questions, or questions of your own please use the comment section below or contact Ann Lundberg at at firstname.lastname@example.org.