Obtaining informed consent for telebehavioral health
Once your patient makes a telebehavioral health appointment, you may be required to get their informed consent. Depending on state laws, patients can give informed consent through signed paperwork, completed before the appointment and/or through verbal consent, taken at the beginning of each session.
Informed consent laws — and the minimum age for consent — vary by state, but these basic steps are always a good idea:
- Explain what the patient can expect from the telehealth visit — including potential risks — and what their rights are.
- Explain to minors what information may be shared with parents or guardians.
- Check in with the patient about their responsibilities during a telebehavioral health visit. This might mean specific steps like wearing headphones and finding a place to be alone during the visit to ensure privacy on their end.
Tip: Make sure to have your medical and intake forms reviewed by your legal team.
More about informed consent:
- Informed Consent – from the National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
- Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies — from the National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
- 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