Telehealth and the Digital Age: Ethical, Legal, and Practice Considerations (6 CEU credit)

  • Price: $ 59


Telehealth and the Digital Age:

Ethical, Legal, and Practice Considerations

6 Continuing Education Credits/Hours- Online Course
Developed by Rachel Negar Partiali, Ph.D.
This course fulfills law and ethics requirement for CA Marriage and Family Therapists and Social Workers
CE Credits (CEUs) approved by CAMFT


Telehealth, Telemedicine, E-Health, Telemental Health, Telepsychology, E-Counseling, and other similar names are used interchangeably to describe electronic information and telecommunications used to deliver health care services. With the widespread of technology, many providers are utilizing digital communications to conduct therapeutic services. The interplay between technology and psychotherapy allows for greater accessibility to mental healthcare, especially by individuals in rural populations and those who have barriers to accessing face-to-face therapy. With these rapid changes comes the challenge of maintaining the ethical standards and legal requirements when practicing telehealth. This introductory course includes three parts of up-to-date information on telehealth, along with relevant case scenarios, and summary key points that will help providers maintain HIPAA compliant practices. Part I of the document consists of three sections, including an introduction of California Marriage and Family Therapists and Social Workers, an overview of technological advances, and the definition of telehealth. Part II consists of two sections that discuss the confidentiality and privacy laws pertaining to telehealth, and ways in which HIPAA applies to digital data. A detailed description of HIPAA laws is presented, along with ways in which HIPAA regulations impact covered entities, business associates, and breach notifications. Part III consists of six sections. Topics such as securing computers and mobile devices, email encryption, videoconferencing, practicing across state lines, record keeping, and payment issues are discussed. The course concludes with a Resource section, which lists various online resources for providers. Additionally, a HIPAA Compliance Checklist is provided as a quick reference guide.

Educational Objectives:

  • This course will teach participants to
  • Identify the three waves of technological advancement and the trends in the use of technology.
  • Define telehealth and indicate its efficacy.
  • Identify the difference between synchronous and asynchronous interaction.
  • Indicate advancements in telehealth laws.
  • Identify the psychological features of cyberspace.
  • Assess the appropriateness of telehealth for patients.
  • Identify the components of HIPAA.
  • Apply the recent HIPAA updates.
  • Conduct a HIPAA compliant practice.
  • Apply security measures to digital devices.
  • Demonstrate steps to take if a mobile device is lost or stolen.
  • Identify secure email use.
  • Demonstrate the use of videoconferencing that meets HIPAA standards.
  • Explain the Skype-HIPAA controversy.
  • Apply record keeping practices that meet HIPAA standards.
  • Evaluate the implications of practicing across state lines.
  • Apply security measures when receiving payment.
  • Recognize the ambiguous areas in the field of telehealth and the need to stay abreast of the changes ahead.

Course Syllabus:

Part I

  • Introduction
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS)
  • California Marriage and Family Therapists and Social Workers
  • Technological Advances
  • Use of technology
  • Definition of Telehealth
  • Efficacy of telehealth
  • Telehealth Advancement Act of 2011 (AB 415)
  • Synchronous and asynchronous interaction
  • Psychological Features of cyberspace
  • Assessing appropriateness of telehealth
  • Telehealth for rural populations

Part II

  • Challenges Facing Telehealth: Confidentiality and Privacy
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Non-direct interaction with insurance companies. Do I have to comply with HIPAA?
  • Business Associate
  • Components of HIPAA
  • HIPAA’s Privacy Rule
  • HIPAA’s Security Rule
  • HIPAA’s Transaction Rule
  • The HITECH Act
  • HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule
  • Changes for covered entities
  • Changes for business associates
  • Changes to breach notifications
  • Enforcement of the Omnibus Rule
  • Safe Harbor
  • How HIPAA Applies to Digital Data
  • Administrative safeguards
  • Technical safeguards
  • Physical safeguards

Part III

  • Securely Communicating With Patients
  • How do I maintain security for my computer?
  • How do I encrypt my emails?
  • Is there anything else I should know about emails?
  • Patients have the right to receive unencrypted emails
  • Will I be HIPAA compliant if I use Gmail?
  • Will I be HIPAA compliant if I use the paid version of Gmail, Drive, and Calendar?
  • How do I maintain security for my mobile devices?
  • Videoconferencing
  • Videoconferencing software needs to meet ethical and legal standards
  • What features do I need in videoconferencing software?
  • Recommendations for employment of a videoconferencing session
  • Verifying patients when using videoconferencing
  • Informed consent
  • Can I use Skype and remain HIPAA compliant?
  • Telehealth Across State Lines
  • Penalties for the unlawful practice of telehealth
  • Record Keeping
  • Record keeping of texts, emails, and phone messages
  • Using Electronic Health Record (EHR)
  • EHR and privacy, confidentiality, and security
  • Paperless office
  • Reimbursement for telehealth services
  • Receiving payment
  • Maintaining competence and scope of practice
  • Summary
  • References
  • Resources
  • HIPAA resources
  • Technology resources
  • Professional association code of ethics
  • HIPAA Compliance Checklist


Plan Name Price
Telehealth and the Digital Age: Ethical, Legal, and Practice Considerations (6 Unit): $ 59


Rachel Negar Partiali, Ph.D.

Dr. Rachel Negar Partiali is a Clinical Psychologist (PSY25775) in private practice in Santa Monica. She received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from UCLA, where she majored in Psychology. She later earned a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.) from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP). Post-doctorate, Dr. Partiali obtained advanced clinical training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Wright Institute Los Angeles (WILA), earning a certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. During her two-year training at WILA, she worked at the Susan B. Krevoy Eating Disorder Program, serving adult patients in the intensive outpatient program. Dr. Partiali has also worked at UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), providing psychotherapy to the UCLA student population. In addition to providing therapy, Dr. Partiali was a Teaching Assistant in a Professional Roles graduate course. She has published the following articles: “Substance use and abuse, social class and counseling”, “The racial and ethnic identity formation process of second-generation South Asian Americans---A phenomenological study,” and “Structural correlates of apathy in Alzheimer’s Disease.”

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The goal of Dynamic Biobehavioral Science - DBBScience - is to provide high quality original CEU courses designed to be practical, relevant, and accessible. DBBScience has a particular focus on mental health professionals practicing in California.


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