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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

Resources

If you have questions or are looking for up-to-date information on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), use these links to learn more:



Teletherapy

NASW Indiana has received questions from social workers throughout the state on how best to meet with clients or continue seeing clients during the pandemic of COVID-19 and the increased practice of social distancing.

Telemental Health Informed Consent form from NASW

Regulatory provisions/licensing requirements: The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) the membership association for state social work licensing authorities has created a page where you can check on teletherapy in your state as well as license exemptions and temporary license requirements applicable during a declared state of emergency. 

 

Update 3/24/2020

IHCP Bulletin 202022: IHCP issues telemedicine billing guidance for providers during COVID-19 outbreak

On 3/24/20 Governor Holcomb signed a number of Executive Orders (click Executive Order number to view the full order), including:

  1. Executive Order 20-09 “Continuity of Government Operations.”
    “Section 3 The expiration of any state agency-issued license, certification or permit which has expired during, or is set to expire during, this public health emergency shall be extended automatically to Friday, May 22, 2020. This suspension and extension of expiration dates applies to, among other things, occupational, professional and firearms licenses held by Hoosiers. State-issued identification cards, driver’s licenses and vehicle registration renewals shall be extended by the process delineated in Executive Order 20-05. This extension does not suspend or change any other renewal requirement for any license, certification or permit.:”
    EO 20-09 means that the renewal deadline for all social work licenses LBSW, LSW, LCSW is extended to May 22, 2020.

  2. Executive Order 20-08 Stay at Home – from 11:59 p.m. March 24, 2020 through 11:59 p.m. April 6, 2020. There is a copy of the full executive order on our website (Add in link) and there is an FAQ page related to this order online at https://calendar.in.gov/site/gov/event/indiana-stay-at-home-order-faq/

View all of the Governor’s Executive orders online


Update 3/19/2020

Thanks to Governor Holcomb for Executive Order 20-05 which allows for teletherapy in Indiana. The sections related to Teletherapy are below. The order covers many areas, click here to see the full document.

  • Section 2 D - Family and Social Services Administration:
    D. FSSA shall suspend Telehealth restrictions and requirements for face-to-face encounters for healthcare services and prescribing which will permit the increased use of Telehealth for statewide services such as Medicaid-covered services, mental health services, and substance use disorder treatment and prescribing.
  • Section 10 Public Licensing Agency (PLA)
    A. Suspension of the requirement that a health care provider hold an Indiana license if he or she: (1) has an equivalent license from another State, and (2) is not suspended or barred from practice in that State or any State.
    B. Mental health professionals are permitted to practice via telemedicine.
  • 11.Insurance Coverage for Hoosiers and Department of Insurance (IDOI)
    D. Suspend the Indiana licensure requirement under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act to permit health care providers licensed by another state to provide care in Indiana and be eligible for coverage from the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund.

This means that licensed social workers in Indiana can practice through teletherapy within the state of Indiana. If you are doing teletherapy with clients that are outside of Indiana, you will need to check with that state’s licensing board to determine if you can legally provide teletherapy with the client. Please note that Ohio has a process to allow out-of-state therapists to legally work in Ohio (click here).


Below are a few resources and things to consider if you are looking for ways to continue to support your clients during this period.

On March 17, the Trump Administration announced expanded Medicare telehealth coverage that will enable beneficiaries to receive a wider range of healthcare services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. Beginning on March 6, 2020, Medicare — administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) — will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the entire country.

Additional telehealth guidance issued on March 17:

Things to consider:

  1. While you may have a license to practice in Indiana, what do you do if your client lives in a surrounding state? Are you licensed in that state? Most jurisdictions require you to be licensed in the state where the client is physically located at the time of service.To find out about exceptions or reciprocity with other states, please contact their licensing board.
    • The Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & Marriage and Family Therapist Board posted a statement on March 13, 2020. Click here to view it.
    • We will continue to monitor the surrounding states and share information as it becomes available.
  2. Does your liability/malpractice insurance cover teletherapy/telehealth? What are the requirements for coverage? Can you work from home or only from a designated office?
  3. Does your clients’ insurance plan cover teletherapy/telehealth? Make sure you check with your clients insurance company before starting teletherapy/telehealth.
  4. Do you have a HIPAA Compliant platform to use for providing teletherapy/telehealth?
  5. Does your informed consent cover teletherapy/telehealth?
  6. Make sure you are comfortable moving your practice online – do you know how to use the software? Is it easy for clients to access?
  7. Review the NASW’s Technology Standards and the NASW Code of Ethics for additional guidance and information.



NASW Indiana released the following announcement on Friday, March 13, 2020:

NASW Indiana Chapter is monitoring the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Indiana and across the globe. As of March 12, 2020, the Indiana State Department of Health is reporting 12 positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the state. You can find information and resources from ISDH online.

NASW Indiana cares about the health and well-being of our members, and the clients and communities you serve. We have all been asked to do our part to “flatten the curve” of the virus to reduce the strain on the health care system. This means lessening contact with others, avoiding large gatherings, working from home when possible, and taking the extra step to clean and disinfect when we interact with each other.

We are doing our part to “flatten the curve” by canceling all upcoming social work month celebrations in Regions 6/10, 7 and 2. We will work on rescheduling these events and will keep you posted.

Be mindful of caring for yourself and your family, while seeking ways to support more marginalized and vulnerable folks in your communities. Stay safe and wash your hands. Thank you for all you do!

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