Obtaining informed consent
Once your patient has decided to use telehealth for an appointment, you may be required to get their official informed consent.
While specific informed consent laws vary by state, these common sense actions are always a good idea:
When you meet with a patient, explain what they can expect from the telehealth visit and what their rights are.
Check in with the patient about their responsibilities during online counseling or other telebehavioral health visits. This might mean specific steps like wearing headphones and finding a place to be alone during the visit to ensure privacy on their end.
If there’s anyone observing the visit, tell the patient and get their consent at the start.
Instruct patients to complete required forms ahead of time and bring them to their visit.
Ensure the informed consent and other compliance documentation has been received and/or is documented during check-in, including verbal consent.
Make sure to have your medical/intake forms reviewed by your legal team. Obtaining informed consent with your patient is typically done before the first appointment.
For more about informed consent, see:
- Informed Consent – from the National Policy Center - Center for Connected Health Policy
- Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies — from the National Policy Center - Center for Connected Health Policy
- How to obtain informed consent for telehealth — from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Easy-to-Understand Telehealth Consent Form — from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality