News and Updates

Coronavirus: WAMFT 2020 Event Status

Rescheduled to be Held as Virtual Event:

We are proceeding as planned with the following events:

  • September 25-26: WAMFT Annual Conference - Crisis across the Lifespan: Systemic Assessment and Intervention in Marriage and Family Therapy

Updates from WAMFT:

April 25, 2020

  • Counseling in the Time of Corona: A WAMFT Webinar - Thank you to our presenters, Dr. Zain Shamoon and Anthony Pennant, LMFT, along with all of those who participated!
  • WAMFT is working on setting up online discussion groups to facilitate continued conversations from all of the great material contributed during the Q&A and small groups.
  • Training Resource List Complied at Webinar

April 7, 2020

In the past few weeks, a multitude of information about the COVID pandemic has come to us from every angle and direction, and we recognize that it can be hard to decipher what is real and what is “fake news”.

WAMFT would like to help simplify some of the information that is directly related to our profession as MFTs. This information has been compiled and verified by our legislative committee in an effort to help streamline practices that help us do our jobs, such as billing insurance, applicable law changes, extensions to any deadlines and training to assist in technology. We hope that this list of summaries and resources can be a benefit and support to you during these challenging and unprecedented times.

Onward,

Anthony Pennant

WAMFT Legislative Chair

 

Telehealth Payment Parity

As stated in our most recent eNews, on March 19, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5385, which requires mental health providers to be paid the same rate by state and commercial insurance companies for telehealth services that historically have been paid for in person sessions. WAMFT leadership reached out to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and ensured this bill does apply to our field as MFTs.

This will allow us to continue to provide services to our communities without sacrificing the rate of reimbursement, and it will also allow us to expand our therapeutic reach into rural areas. Our ability to provide beneficial services to individuals, couples and families will support them in continuing to comply with the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.

 

License Renewal Extension

The Secretary of Health under the Governors Proclamation 20-32 has extended all health professional licenses with expirations between April 1 and September 30, 2020. Please see the information listed in the link below:

https://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/LicenseExpirationExtensionFAQ

 

Research on Telehealth

With the recent developments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, telebehavioral Health is no longer a specialty but the main method in the delivery of services to our clients. Although many of us are just getting up to speed in this modality, did you know that there is already a wealth of research regarding Telehealth? Take a look at these articles that will assist in developing evidence and research informed practices and reflections in the utilization of Telebehavioral Health.

Berryhill, M. B., Culmer, N., Williams, N., Halli, A., Betancourt, A., Roberts, H., & King, M. (2019). Videoconferencing psychotherapy and depression: A systematic review. Telemedicine and eHealth, 25, 435-446. 

 

Berryhill, M. B., Halli, A., Culmer, N., Williams, N., Betancourt, A., Roberts, H., & King, M. (2018). Videoconferencing psychological therapy and anxiety: A systematic review. Family Practice, 36, 53-63. 

 

Farero, A. M., Springer, P., Hollist, C., & Bischoff, R. (2015). Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution: Using Technology to support couples through deployment. Contemporary Family Therapy, 37, 281-290. 

 

Hilty, D. M., Ferrer, D. C., Parish, M. B., Johnston, B., Callahan, E. J., & Yellowlees, P. M. (2013). The effectiveness of telemental health: A 2013 review.      Telemedicine Journal and E-Health, 19(6), 444–454. doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2013.0075.

 

King, V. L., Brooner, R. K., Peirce, J. M., Kolodner, K., & Kidorf, M. S. (2014). A randomized   trial of web-based videoconferencing for substance         

abuse counseling. Journal of  Substance Abuse Treatment, 46(1) 36-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.08.009.

 

Rees, C. S., & Maclaine, E. (2015). A systematic review of videoconference-delivered psychological treatment for anxiety disorders. Australian    Psychologist, 50(4), 259-264. doi:10.1111/ap.12122

 

Simpson, S. G., & Reid, C. L. (2014). Therapeutic alliance in videoconferencing psychotherapy:  A review. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 22(6), 280-299. doi: 10.1111/ajr.12149

 

Spence, S. H., Donovan, C. L., March, S., Gamble, A., Anderson, R. E., Prosser, S., et al. (2011). A randomized controlled trial of online versus clinic    based CBT for adolescent anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(5), 629-642. doi: 10.1037/a0024512

 

**Turvey, C. L., & Myers, K. (2013). Research in Telemental Health: Review and Synthesis. In K. Myers & C. L. Turvey (Eds.). Telemental Health: Clinical, Technical, and Administrative Foundations for Evidence-Based Practice, (pp. 397 - 419)London: Elsevier.

            *The Turvey and Myers chapter will cite numerous studies on the effectiveness of teletherapy. 

Telehealth Training Resources

SAMSHA

https://www.integration.samhsa.gov/operations-administration/telebehavioral-health

 

Official Washington State COVID-19 Resource Website:

https://coronavirus.wa.gov

 

Official U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Disaster Behavioral Health Resources  

https://www.samhsa.gov/dtac/disaster-behavioral-health-resources


Official Washington State Health Care Authority:

https://www.hca.wa.gov/information-about-novel-coronavirus-covid-19

 

Telehealth Billing Guidelines/FAQ

Telehealth Guidance for Behavioral Health Providers



Message(s) from AAMFT:

March 20, 2020

Many of us have seen the way we work drastically altered in just a number of days. Frantic adoption of telehealth to continue to meet the needs of our clients and the shifting of our classes and supervision to an online environment can leave us all feeling confused, disconnected, and out of our comfort zone. AAMFT is here for you to support the continuation of your work and help you maintain those vital connections with your peers.

 

 

AAMFT is committed to meeting our members needs during this challenging time. We continue to add resources daily to our Coronvirus web page and in the coming weeks we will look to offer you even more opportunities to connect with your peers. I’m confident that our profession will emerge stronger following these uncertain times. As always, if there is anything we can do to support you, please do not hesitate to reach out.

 

Best,

 

Tracy Todd

CEO, AAMFT