Updated 3/23/20: Licensure Related Matters and COVID-19
As a result of the crisis, several governors have relaxed or suspended regulations concerning interjurisdictional telepsych practice. However, some states' emergency orders allow for interjurisdictional telepsych practice without notifying the state while others require you to notify the state and fill out forms before you can see patients. Some orders allow you to only see existing patients while others are more expansive.
The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) is updating their website twice a day as emergency orders are added or modified to meet the crisis. Learn more about how states are dealing with supervision for interns and post docs as sites are closing or their state issues a "stay-at-home" order. Some states are also exploring how telepsych supervision can be used to satisfy licensure requirements. Please direct any questions to Alex Siegel, ASPPB Director of Professional Affairs.
Everyone in the sport community is feeling the impact of COVID-19. AASP wants you to remember we are all in this together. Visit our blog to read AASP's latest guide on COVID-19 Pandemic: Tips for Athletes, Coaches, Parents, and the Sport Community.
While the use of secure telecommunication methods remains well-advised and appropriate, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that HIPAA requirements for security will not be enforced against regulated professionals during the COVID-19 response.
As the AASP Executive Board continues to monitor and navigate the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation, we wanted to acknowledge the uncertainty and anxiety that many of you are likely experiencing, and trying to help others navigate, and also share some additional information that may be helpful to you. In addition to following all of the WHO and CDC recommendations around decreasing virus transmission such as hand washing, social distancing, and seeking immediate medical attention if you’re experiencing symptoms, we encourage you all to take care of yourselves and to be positive leaders as we work together to find solutions to this crisis.
We stand in solidarity with all communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, particularly those within our international community who have, thus far, been impacted the hardest by this pandemic. We also recognize the susceptibility that other vulnerable groups are facing (e.g., those with compromised immune systems, older individuals, food insecure), not only as a result of the viral threat but also due to the secondary effects of the pandemic (e.g., time away from work, schools closing) and implore us all to extend compassion and assistance to our fellow neighbors in the ways that we can.
Many of you may be in the process of expanding your services to include teleconsulting as an alternative to providing in-person services during this time. It is important to provide safe and ethical mental performance, mental health and mentoring services so we encourage you to be mindful of the relevant laws, ethical standards and guidelines around telehealth practice for your jurisdiction and discipline. It’s also important to be aware of the security of any electronic platforms being used to provide services. Below are a few links that provide some information about teleconsulting/telehealth basics:
For those who were currently completing practicum or internship placements, we recognize that you may be experiencing heightened anxiety not only around being able to complete your requirements but being able to do so in a timely manner. While we cannot control whether or not sites temporarily close or shift to a virtual format, we must continue to engage in competent and ethical practice. Therefore, we encourage you to remain in regular communication with your supervisors/mentors and training facilities in order to determine the best way to proceed forward as the situation changes daily.
Due to an abundance of concern and the need to prioritize the public’s health and safety, many of the AASP Regional Conferences have been cancelled for this year. We understand the disappointment that this caused for the planning committees as well as those of you who were planning to attend; however, we look forward to connecting with you through these events once the current crisis has been contained.
At the present time, we are proceeding with planning for the Annual Conference to be held in Orlando in October as scheduled. With that, we are reviewing submissions and proceeding according to our original timeline. However, we are closely monitoring the situation and recommendations from health leaders and professionals and in the event that anything changes, we will inform the membership immediately.