Sparkler light trail that spells out "2020"

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

2020 is upon us!

I, for one, am extremely proud of myself. On January 2nd, I wrote my first progress note of the new year and I didn’t write “2019” anywhere in it! It was truly an auspicious start to this trip around the Sun.

And now I bring you another auspicious thing. It’s time for PCT’s State of Therapy Tech, 2020 edition. This year we’re talking (again) about that great bugaboo of telehealth, cross-state practice. We’re also talking about developments in privacy laws that can impact our practices. Enjoy!

The State of Therapy Tech in 5 Points

1) Temporary Cross-State Practice: The PCT team continues to discover more mental health licensing boards who permit  temporary practice for outside-licensed clinicians. The next time your client travels out of state, don’t hesitate to do your research and see if their new state will allow you some temporary practice time.

We wrote about how to research temporary practice here. We also discuss it in detail in our CE course on cross-border practice.

2) Upcoming HIPAA Changes: The OCR (the HIPAA People) are still mulling their proposed changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule. It was about a year ago that we wrote about their proposed changes to HIPAA. Watch this space for more. You can be sure I’ll write about it when they make their next move.

3) Wrangling HIPAA and FERPA: The Feds released updated guidance on how to reconcile HIPAA and FERPA (if you don’t know what FERPA is, just count yourself lucky and move on to item 4.) If you’re a mental health pro who works in or interfaces with schools, it’s worth taking a look. It’s also a good read for privacy nerds, like me. Find it here.

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4) Robust Cross-State Practice for Some Psychologists: PSYPACT made significant progress towards becoming a real thing in 2019. I am somewhat confident that PSYPACT psychologists will start being able to leverage it in 2020. For those don’t know yet, the PSYPACT is a multi-state compact that would allow psychologists who carry certain specific credentials (issued by ASPPB) to practice across state borders to all the states in the PSYPACT. We wrote more about PSYPACT here.

5) The Future of Privacy Law Has Landed in California: Just like Julia Child brought us French cooking, the California legislature is bringing us Euro-style privacy laws. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA to its friends) is in effect. You can already see new privacy notices popping up on your favorite websites.

CCPA is very similar to the General Data Privacy Rule (GDPR.) GDPR is the EU’s big privacy law that brought about all those “this website uses cookies” banners that you’ve been ignoring for the last couple years. While CCPA very likely doesn’t apply to anyone reading this article (even those in California), it’s still worth paying attention to.

LIke GDPR, CCPA is a big departure from the usual consumer privacy approaches that have greatly benefited companies like Facebook — at a huge cost to everyone else.

I think CCPA is our first step into a completely different paradigm for thinking about individual privacy. That paradigm is one with a lot more transparency than we currently practice. And I do think it has the potential to impact how we manage our practices in pretty radical ways. I recommend keeping your ears out for news about CCPA and its diaspora. And you know we will keep you informed on it, too.

Happy 2020!

Learn more about cross-border practice, client privacy, and telemental health in general:

1.5 CE Credit Hours

Legal-Ethical

1 CE Credit Hours

Legal-Ethical

17 CE Credit Hours

11 Legal-Ethical


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