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Providing telehealth across state lines
Providing telehealth across state lines

Learn how temporary and permanent moves affect you and your practice.

Updated over a week ago

Surging demand for mental healthcare and a rise in relocations has created an increasingly common scenario where you and your clients may wonder if your virtual sessions can or should continue. This article aims to address some of those concerns.

🚨 Attention: Providers should comply with all relevant laws and regulations in their and their client's location(s). This article shouldn’t be taken as legal advice or as a substitute for consulting with your state board or a qualified attorney.

Client movements

My client's move is permanent

If your client has moved to a new state permanently, it is generally expected that you will need to stop seeing them unless you hold multiple licenses.

Providers are typically required to obtain a license in each state where they provide care; however, local regulations may vary. To simplify this process, Grow Therapy requires you to be licensed and credentialed within the locations where you offer care.

To assist your client with this transition:

  • Information on referring your client to another provider is available here.

  • Additionally, you should recommend that the client update their insurance, billing, and patient information as soon as possible.

My client's move is temporary

If a client is temporarily in another state, including for a vacation or business trip, avoiding interactions that appear to be assessing, diagnosing, or treating mental illness is safest. This is because you should be licensed or legally permitted to practice where you and your client are physically located when services are provided.

That said, you can maintain contact with them for monitoring while their treatment is paused. For example, you could ask your client to contact (e.g., call, email, or message) you regularly to ensure that any symptoms are under control and that any crisis can be promptly addressed. If a client appears to develop an urgent need for care, these check-ins will allow you to connect them with a local provider in their current location.

Information on contacting clients is available here.

My client is away, and it's an emergency

If a client contacts you with a clinical emergency, your professional and ethical duty to protect the patient from harm is paramount. Prompt action to address the emergency comes first. Reasonable steps to comply with jurisdictional rules should then be taken as appropriate.

Provider movements

I will be moving permanently

If you are permanently living in a new state, it is worthwhile to get licensed in that state. Licensure in your new state gives you clear authority to practice there. It also allows you to treat patients who live in your new state.

I will be temporarily out of state

You should be licensed or legally permitted to practice both where you and where your patient are physically located when services are provided because you are arguably practicing psychology in both of those places. Most states clearly consider you to be practicing psychology where the patient is located. Some states also consider you to be practicing psychology where you are located. Please check with the relevant state’s board of psychology to find out its rules in this situation.

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