delivering

Internal Talkspace memo illustrates challenge of delivering virtual mental health services in 50 states

  • Online therapy provider Talkspace sent a memo to therapists asking if they wanted to join a group to work in many states, and offered to provide indemnification for denied insurance claims and “fund any legal appearances before state regulatory boards.” 
  • The company is facing record demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • But legal experts warn that therapists who take Talkspace’s offer could end up in trouble.



Roni Frank standing in front of a building: Talkspace co-founders Roni and Oren Frank


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Talkspace co-founders Roni and Oren Frank

Talkspace, an online therapy provider, is seeing unprecedented demand for its service as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, affecting the mental health of millions of Americans. But it faces a big challenge ahead: Hiring enough therapists licensed in all 50 states to treat growing pool of patients.

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Its solution? To ask its providers to continue seeing patients out-of-state — even after emergency measures expire — and offer to pay certain legal fees if

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Talkspace memo shows challenge of delivering telehealth in 50 states

Talkspace co-founders Roni and Oren Frank

Talkspace

Talkspace, an online therapy provider, is seeing unprecedented demand for its service as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, affecting the mental health of millions of Americans. But it faces a big challenge ahead: Hiring enough therapists licensed in all 50 states to treat growing pool of patients.

Its solution? To ask its providers to continue seeing patients out-of-state — even after emergency measures expire — and offer to pay certain legal fees if they get in trouble for doing so. But working across state lines without certification may put providers in a risky spot, legal experts say. 

Earlier this year, the government passed emergency waivers that lifted restrictions on mental health professionals, allowing them to to treat patients online and in states where they’re not licensed. These measures, however, are designed to expire at some unknown date — the precise expiration date will

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