Access Crisis Intervention (ACI) serves adults and children experiencing a behavioral health crisis in Missouri 24/7 by: assessing and providing information; linking to services; resources and supports; and maintaining individuals in the least restrictive setting.
Information for the General Public
Missouri Coronavirus Information Hotline: 877-435-8411
The hotline will be operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
MO DHSS COVID-19 Community Testing: follow link for information
Community testing events serve the residents of the county where the event is being held. DHSS is partnering with local health departments and health care providers to offer these events, and different communities will be reached at different times.
Disaster Distress Helpline Phone: 800-985-5990 Text: "TalkWithUs" to 66746
The toll-free Disaster Distress Helpline can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic incident. This is a free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service. Callers and texters are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers.
myStrength: follow link to register
Amidst the stress of the current coronavirus crisis, the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare is offering the application myStrength. myStrength is a self-help resource that is available 24/7, is private and confidential, and provides information and inspiration on a multiple topics. myStrength offers content and resources on including coping skills during COVID-19, stress management, depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, chronic pain, sleep disturbance issues, and more.
Missourians in need can find essential services, such as nearly 240 food pantries, food banks, school meal programs for students, diaper banks, and more through the online Missouri Services Navigator system. There are currently over 2,000 services listed, with new services added daily. Searches can be keyword, location, and/or service. Every program and service contains a map of the location as well as contact information.
National Council on Aging - COVID-19 Resources for Older Adults and Care Givers.
- Do you need meals? Visit Meals on Wheels and Feeding America for options in your zip code.
- Do you need help paying your bills? On BenefitsCheckUp.org, you’ll find options in your state to help with utility bill payments, prescription drug costs, and more.
- Do you need help with Medicare? Get advice from the Senior Medicare Patrol, your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program or from Medicare.gov.
- Do you need transportation? Go to Eldercare Locator for local services.
- Do you need more information regarding the seasonal flu and older adults? People 65 years and older are at high risk of getting seriously ill from flu, due to the weakening of the immune system that happens with age. The CDC has multiple resources for both older adults and care providers.
- Online Recovery Support
Due to the need for social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 many people are unable to attend in-person support group meetings. For those in recovery continuing to stay connected to social support groups can be very important. Below are resources to connect to online support communities. Social distancing does not mean social isolation.
- 12 Steps.org: listing of online 12-step meetings on various platforms
- Al-Anon Electronic Meetings: this forum and recovery chat room for Narcotics Anonymous members features voice chat, Skype, and text chat meetings connecting people from around the world.
- Adult Children of Alcoholics: phone and online meetings.
- Alcoholics Anonymous: many AA meetings via telephone or online.
- Bridge Club Virtual Meetings: meetings that are specifically focused on women and LGBTQIA+ folks who are sober or interested in sobriety
- Center for Addiction: Online support community for parents and caregivers.
- Families Anonymous Virtual Meetings: online meetings for parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses, significant others, other family members and friends of those with a current, suspected or former drug problem.
- In the Rooms-Global Recovery Community: 130 weekly online meetings, 12 step, non 12-step, wellness, mental health
- Life Ring Recovery: listing of online meetings
- My Recovery: online 12-step meetings
- Narcotics Anonymous: many AA meetings via online
- NCADA: virtual community resources
- Refuge Recovery Online Meetings: listing of daily online meetings
- Recovery Dharma: daily video and phone meetings, meditation practice
- Smart Recovery: forums, tools, and discussion, many topics including Veteran specific
- SAMHSA Virtual Recovery Resources: resources that can be used to virtually support recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders, also provides resources to help local recovery programs create virtual meetings.
- Sober Grid: a free online social networking platform for people in recovery, available in mobile app stores
- The Temper: an online publication/site that explores life through the lens of sobriety, addiction, and recovery, includes links to resources
- Tips to Help Teens Cope During COVID-19
- WEconnect and Unity Recovery: four daily all-recovery meetings worldwide, open format and available to anyone in or seeking recovery, 8:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 8:00 PM CST daily
- Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Resources
Hotlines, domestic violence programs, and rape crisis centers continue to provide services. People affected by sexual and domestic violence still can get access to the support of an advocate through a hotline call, during a sexual assault forensic exam, to seek a court-issued Order of Protection, and for help getting other crucial resources. Systems are being put in place to be able to provide remote advocacy as much as possible, using phone, text, telehealth, video and other strategies to connect with and support people who need help.
For immediate help in Missouri, click here or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 or the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673.
- For the Deaf Crisis Line videophone call 321-800-3323 or text HAND to 839863
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY. If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
- National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health - Supporting Survivors’ Access to Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services During the COVID-19 Emergency
- Futures Without Violence, Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence - Updates and Information, COVID-19
- Futures Without Violence, Promising Futures Capacity Building Center – Calling All Family and Friends of Families Experiencing Violence at Home
- Futures Without Violence, Promising Futures Capacity Building Center (Spanish) - https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/wp-content/uploads/Calling-All-Family-and-Friends-Un-Llamado-a-Familias-y_SP.pdf
- National Domestic Violence Hotline - Staying Safe During COVID-19
- Futures Without Violence, Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence - Updates and Information, COVID-19
- National Network to End Domestic Violence, WomensLaw.org – Frequently Asked Questions Involving Courts and COVID-19
- Phone and Telehealth Resources
Straight Talk - Straight Talk is providing additional data benefits due to COVID-19 to all existing customers with paid active service. Text COVID to 611611 to learn more about additional benefits available.
Lifeline Support for Affordable Communications - To help keep Americans connected during the coronavirus pandemic, the FCC has temporarily waived Lifeline usage requirements and general de-enrollment procedures until May 29, 2020. An FCC order, released on March 30, will help ensure that no current Lifeline subscribers are involuntarily removed from the Lifeline program during this time of national crisis. The order also extended a recent waiver of the program's recertification and reverification requirements to May 29, 2020, and directed the Lifeline program administrator to pause any involuntary de-enrollment of existing subscribers until that date.
DHSS Broadband Resources - Broadband access is more important than ever as Missourians have been instructed to stay home from work and school as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accessibility is critical to meet our needs for education, telemedicine, telecommuting, and overall quality of life. In response to the quarantine, several broadband providers are temporarily offering free internet service, waiving disconnect and late fees, providing access to wi-fi hot spots and other measures to help people at home access the services they need.
SSM Virtual Health Visit - Consult an SSM Health provider online about most minor illnesses. $25 per visit, price subject to change.
Body U Initiative - This program offers screening for eating disorders, depression, and anxiety and then directs the individual to tailored online interventions aimed at promoting healthy behaviors and addressing these issues. Funded by the Missouri Eating Disorders Council and coordinated out of the Center for Healthy Weight and Wellness in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine, this program is being offered to all residents of Missouri at no cost. Participation can begin by taking a short survey here. Questions about this program? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Behavioral Health Training Resources
Mental Health First Aide
Mental Health First Aid (flyer separately uploaded) is now available in a variety of formats, including a fully virtual course. Register today to be the one to make a difference for your friends, family members, colleagues, students, or children. This training is designed for the general community. This course is valued at $170 per person, but is being offered for free through the Missouri Department of Mental Health. The attached flyer will be distributed around the 15th of each month with additional trainings. Check out http://mhfamissouri.org/events/ for more frequent updates.
Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. This training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. Youth MHFA is also available for adults working with youth (age 12-18).
Stress First Aid
The Department of Mental Health Office of Disaster Services is hosting two virtual trainings given by Dr. Patricia Watson on Stress First Aid. Below you will find the details on the two courses. If you are interested in attending, please email Shelby.Hood@dmh.mo.gov and let her know which one (or both) of the courses you will attend.
Stress First Aid for Self-Care and Coworker Support
Presented July 13th at 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm CST
This four (4) hour course delivered via webinar, includes a set of supportive actions designed to help those who work in high-stress jobs reduce the negative impacts of stress. SFA recognizes that critical incidents are not the only stressors that professionals face and is therefore based on the acknowledgement that stress reactions can be ongoing and cumulative, resulting from multiple sources. It is designed to be attentive to traumatic events but also on work and personal stress, as well as loss, and inner conflict or moral injury.
Stress First Aid for Use with Patients, Clients and Customers
Presented July 16th at 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm CST
This four (4) hour course delivered via webinar, includes a set of tools that helps workers support and reduce stress in those they serve in public. This version of SFA is similar to Psychological First Aid (PFA) in that it aims to reduce distress and help move people towards more effective coping. However, it has a broader focus then PFA, in that it is intended to be used with those who are significantly stressed for any reason, and at any point in their exposure to stress.
Missouri Suicide Prevention Conference
This virtual event is brought to you by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare and Community Counseling Center. Register online now >> CLICK HERE
- Dates: Kick-off July 30th with a full day of exciting and relevant Keynote Presentations. Next, we will be hosting one webinar every other Thursday starting August 6th through October 29th
- Cost: The virtual conference is free unless you would like continuing education. If so, the cost is $20 per person
- Equipment needed: You will need a laptop/computer with speakers and internet in order to participate in the webinars. Because of the size, there will not be an option to call in for these webinars.
- Continuing Education: The certificate will be sent at the end of the event on October 29th with the total number of hours you participated in throughout the event.
- Networking: We will have an app or link for the event to help with networking during the virtual events. We will send the information on how to access that two weeks before to the event.
We hope you will join us! If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
Train the Trainer for Psychological First Aide (PFA)
Psychological First Aid is an evidence-informed modular approach to help people of all ages in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism (and really traumatic events). Individuals affected by a disaster or traumatic incident, whether survivors, witnesses, or responders to such events, may struggle with or face new challenges following the event. PFA was developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD, with contributions from individuals involved in disaster research and response. You can read more about it here: https://www.nctsn.org/treatments-and-practices/psychological-first-aid-…. Dr. Patricia Watson will be doing this training virtually for us.
There will be two training sessions available. You only need to attend one of the two-day sessions to complete this course. The sessions will be virtual through WebEx.
The first two-day session is on June 22 & 23 (1pm to 5pm both days)
The second two-day session is on June 29 & 30. (1pm to 5pm both days)
- Seasonal Flu
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. There are two main types of influenza (flu) virus: Types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people (human influenza viruses) are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. Getting a flu vaccine every year is the best way to protect yourself and your family from flu and its potentially serious complications.
What is new this flu season?
- Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating flu viruses
- Any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccines are recommended
- The nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV) is again a vaccine option. Ask your health care provider about what vaccine is right for you
CDC recommends a three-step approach to fight flu:
- Get a flu vaccine. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting a flu vaccine every year provides the best protection against flu.
- Take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs. Try to avoid close contact with sick people, and if you become sick, limit your contact with others. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands often.
- Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. If you get sick with flu, prescription flu antiviral drugs can be used to treat flu illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.
Information for Providers
This section provides the most current DBH policy, information, and resources for our providers regarding COVID-19. This page will be continuously updated as federal and state guidance becomes available.
DBH COVID-19 Memos and Policy Guidance
- REVISED COVID-19 Memo #1 - Immediate Provider Guidance on Treatment and Recovery Support Services Impacted by COVID-19 Community Response
- REVISED COVID-19 Memo #2: Temporary Program Changes and Billing Guidance Related to COVID-19
- CPS Codes with CR Modifiers
- ADA Codes with CR Modifiers
- Memo for Office of Licensure and Certification Onsite Reviews: Suspending On-site Surveys for DMH OLC Due to COVID-19
- Adaptations in Monitoring Reviews - Virtual Reviews Memo
- Free or Reduced Cell Phone Access
- DBH COVID-19 Q&A
- DMH Management of COVID-19 Positive Patients - This is a policy that DMH has established for use in DBH and DD inpatient and residential facilities. The policy contains information for how DMH will manage COVID positive individuals within DMH facilities. This policy is being shared an FYI to community providers in case any of the information could be useful for reference. This is only for your information and as a potential resource. It is NOT policy that DMH expects providers to implement.
- Updated DMH Return to Work Criteria - This is the Department’s updated/revised guidelines regarding when facility-based employees who have been COVID-impacted may return to work. This is offered to you only as an FYI and potential resource. This is NOT DMH’s expectations for community-based providers.
- COVID-19 CMS Expands Telehealth Press Release Final
- The forms below were developed by DBH, an initiative led by our CMD Angeline Stanislaus, for use at our state operated facilities. Those of you who have congregate, residential, or comparable environments may find some of this information helpful – you may modify for other populations or outpatient settings. This is not a directive for use, just a potential resource.
Program Specific Guidance
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information
State of MO:
Governor Parson Announces Activation of First Tier of Phase 1B of Missouri’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan - Federal partners have informed the state that they plan to significantly increase vaccine supply next week and that individuals 65 and older and those with comorbidities should be prioritized. This news allows the state to begin the process of activating Phase 1B tiers.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:
COVID-19 Vaccine Policies and Guidance - We’re giving you the information you need to be ready for the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available. If we can prepare a wide pool of providers to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, then we can ensure the vaccine is covered and available free of charge for every American.
COVID-19 and Flu Public Education Campaign - The Campaign is focusing on a group called “the movable middle”. Americans who want to protect their health but are hesitant about getting vaccines. The Campaign is also conducting outreach to communities that are disproportionately affected by the pandemic by building partnerships with community leaders and organizations. In addition, the Campaign is planning to help connect the public with government information about COVID-19 and to deliver urgent information in response to emerging needs or outbreaks of disease. The CDC’s Vaccinate with Confidence Strategy provides an operational framework for the Campaign.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services:
- Federal and State Department Tools
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- Coronavirus Waivers and Flexibilities
- Additional Background: Sweeping Regulatory Changes to help U.S. Healthcare System Address COVID-19 Patient Surge
- COVID-19 PCR TESTING UPDATE FROM MISSOURI DHSS - DHSS notification to MO providers of changes in guidance due to expanded COVID-19 testing availability.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Expanding Access to PPE -In an effort to expand the PPE reserves and simplify the PPE process, MO has created a webpage dedicated to be a one-stop shop for all information related to PPE. The PPE webpage will provide Missouri’s latest information and resources in three categories including how to access PPE, guidance for use and optimization for maintaining your PPE supply for the duration of the COVID-19 epidemic.
- Information Regarding PPE for Professionals
- PPE Ordering Form
- MO Healthcare Coalition Region Map
- Waivers Related to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
- Governor grants approval at the request of the Missouri Departments of Health and Senior Services and Commerce and Insurance in response to the COVID-19 crisis. DHSS news release.
- DHSS guidance and resources for businesses regarding: health and safety; financial relief and assistance; closures and layoffs; and regulatory changes and extensions.
- MO HealthNet and Child Care Subsidy benefits extended: DSS Response to COVID-19
- MO HealthNet Provider Hot Tips
- The MO HealthNet Division (MHD) has set up an email address for provider questions related to billing for COVID-19 testing, treatment, services provided via telehealth, etc. MO HealthNet will respond to these questions and track the inquiries to compile FAQ’s. Email: MHD.COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
- Executive Order 20-04. Interpretation of EO 20-04 below.
- Executive Order 20-04 is in effect March 19, 2020 through May 15, 2020 unless extended.
- MO HealthNet coverage will be available to Missourians age 19-64 who test positive for COVID-19 and who report that they meet the income eligibility guidelines. To this end, the Family Support Division is:
- Suspending the need to evaluate income, resources, and assets for eligibility purposes.
- Suspending the need for MO HealthNet disability redeterminations.
- All MO HealthNet annual reviews are suspended through June 2020. No annual review forms will be sent out and there will not be an annual request for verification.
- Telehealth providers no longer need to be based in Missouri to be covered by MO HealthNet.
- The application fee, hardship waiver, or exemption reason is no longer needed for provider enrollment applications. Some screening requirements for providers during the enrollment process are waived, such as onsite visits.
U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Diversion Control Divisions: COVID-19 Information Page
- The mission of Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA), Diversion Control Division is to prevent, detect, and investigate the diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals and listed chemicals from legitimate sources while ensuring an adequate and uninterrupted supply for legitimate medical, commercial, and scientific needs. During this National Emergency the Diversion Control Division will continue to work with our Federal partners, DEA registrants, and their representative association to assure that there is an adequate supply of controlled substances in the United States. The DEA will also work to assure that patients will have access to controlled substances.
- National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Crisis Care – A Best Practice Toolkit Knowledge Informing Transformation
- Executive Summary - NASMHPD recommends focusing on the Executive Summary and using the longer paper when you want more detail.
- Provision of Methadone and Buprenorphine for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in the COVID-19 Emergency
- Considerations for the Care and Treatment of Mental and Substance Use Disorders in the COVID-19 Epidemic: March 20, 2020
- Considerations for Crisis Centers and Clinicians in Managing the Treatment of Alcohol or Benzodiazepine Withdrawal during the COVID-19 Epidemic: March 19, 2020
- Considerations for Outpatient Mental and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings
- Covid19: Interim Considerations for State Psychiatric Hospitals
- Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19
- DEA and SAMHSA Buprenorphine and Telemedicine COVID-19 Guidance
42 CFR Part 2
- SAMHSA COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance. Summary of relevant regulatory changes-March 20, 2020:
- DEA waives requirement for first in-person visit to prescribe controlled substances (including buprenorphine). Service providers can use telemedicine (including with a smartphone). Link: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/coronavirus.html
- Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs; methadone providers) granted permission to ALL STATES to give 28-day take home doses for stable clients, 14-day take home doses for newer or less stable clients. Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/otp-guidance-20200316.pdf
- HHS waives HIPAA concerns related to communication on day-to-day devices; service providers can use regular phones for service delivery. Link: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-pr…
- 42 CFR Part 2 regulations related to disclosing the identity of people receiving diagnoses or treatment for substance use disorders are suspended. Providers may share information about patients if it is in the interest of improving their care in the midst of this emergency without written patient consent. Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/covid-19-42-cfr-part-2-guida…
MO Dept. of Economic Development:
Businesses have been encouraged to seek relief now. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has a number of provisions to assist businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. The MO Dept. of Economic Development have provided links to the following resources:
- SBA Paycheck Protection Loans
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- Counseling and Training
- IRS Employee Retention Credit
US Department of Agriculture
The USDA has many resources available for the development/enhancement of telecommunications infrastructure. Telecommunications and access to broadband is an ongoing issue for many. Please see below some USDA programs that may be of interest.
- Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans and Loan Guarantees provides financing for the construction, maintenance, improvement and expansion of telephone service and broadband in rural areas.
- Rural Broadband Access Loan & Loan Guarantee furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide service at the broadband lending speed in eligible rural areas.
- Community Connect Grants program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service.
- The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density.
- The Reconnect Loan and Grant Program furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.
Health Resources and Services Administration
- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has a website for providers who administer COVID-19 testing and treatment of the uninsured. Providers who have conducted COVID-19 testing or provided treatment for uninsured individuals with COVID-19 on or after February 4, 2020, can begin the process to file claims for reimbursement for testing and treating the uninsured. Providers can access the portal here.
- Learn more about Telehealth from HHS: Get information to help you integrate telehealth, get up to speed on recent COVID-19 related policies, and learn what patients will need to use telehealth.
- Face Masks and Surgical Masks for COVID-19: Manufacturing, Purchasing, Importing, and Donating Masks During the Public Health Emergency Q&A
- Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) released a new Fact Sheet for Medicaid and CHIP Providers that is now available on the Provider Relief Fund website.
- Provider Training & Education Resources
Current provider training and education resources for the COVID-19 time frame.
National Council for Behavioral Health
- Read the new “Screening and Testing for COVID-19” guidelines developed by the National Council for Behavioral Health in partnership with the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers.
- COVID-19 Guidance for Behavioral Health Residential Facilities: Guidance for infection control and COVID-19 prevention can be hard to find. The National Council’s COVID-19 Guidance for Behavioral Health Residential Facilities offers general guidance for residential programs on how to respond if a client develops symptoms of COVID-19, handle clients returning from the hospital and prepare for the return of health care personnel to work. Our new report also offers insights into work practice and work restrictions, as well as crisis strategies to mitigate staffing shortages.
- You are not alone. There are 3,325 member organizations that, like you, are working to keep their doors open, their staff safe and their communities healthy. To help you navigate this rapidly evolving situation, we are building a coronavirus resource directory and sharing tools and information to inform you every step of the way. National Council for Behavioral Health
- Financial Relief for Behavioral Health Organizations Available In Response to the Pandemic- follow the links in the news article for more information regarding the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan or the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Financial Response Strategy for Behavioral Health Providers.
Health Affairs - The COVID-19 Pandemic: Practice and Policy Considerations for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder
- The COVID-19 crisis, paired with the unrelenting drug-related overdose epidemic, is likely to have profound impacts on people with opioid use disorder (OUD) and other drug use disorders.
SAMHSA/OCR Guidance for Telehealth SUD and MH Services Webinar
Clear and accurate information about confidentiality is important to ensure that patient privacy is protected. Individuals living with mental illness or substance use disorders may not seek care without guarantees of confidentiality and privacy protections. A recent survey completed by SAMHSA found that concerns about privacy and confidentiality among individuals with behavioral health needs is a primary reason for not receiving treatment. Clarifying privacy protections and promoting communication of patient records is critical for improving patients’ access to care and quality of treatment once in care.
- Describe how the privacy laws apply to telehealth
- Describe OCR and SAMHSA Guidance related to privacy issued in response to the need to rapidly expand telehealth services due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Facilitate provider sharing to explore practical ideas and innovative approaches to protect patient privacy while providing SUD/Mental Health telehealth services
- Tips for telehealth providers: providers of SUD and mental health services are working rapidly to make sure their patients have access to the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes working to recreate the treatment experience in a virtual setting through telehealth. As part of this rapid transition providers are concerned about maintaining patient privacy when sharing protected health information in accordance with federal health privacy laws. Telehealth and Privacy: Federal Guidance for SUD and Mental Health Treatment Providers