Telemental Health for Children and Adolescents: An Overview of Legal, Regulatory, and Risk Management Issues

J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2016 Apr;26(3):198-203. doi: 10.1089/cap.2015.0018. Epub 2015 Aug 10.

Abstract

Objective: The use of technology to provide telemental healthcare continues to increase; however, little has been written about the legal and regulatory issues involved in providing this form of care to children and adolescents.

Methods: This article reviews existing laws and regulations to summarize the risk management issues relevant to providing telemental healthcare to children and adolescents.

Results: There are several legal and regulatory areas in which telemental health clinicians need to have awareness. These areas include: 1) Licensure, 2) malpractice liability, 3) credentialing and privileging, 4) informed consent, 5) security and privacy, and 6) emergency management.

Conclusions: Although legal and regulatory challenges remain in providing telemental healthcare to children and adolescents, it is possible to overcome these challenges with knowledge of the issues and appropriate risk management strategies. We provide general knowledge of these key legal and regulatory issues, along with some risk management recommendations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Adolescent Health Services / standards
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child Health Services / standards
  • Credentialing / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Credentialing / standards
  • Emergency Medical Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Informed Consent / standards
  • Licensure / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Licensure / standards
  • Malpractice / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Mental Health Services / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Mental Health Services / standards*
  • Privacy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Risk Management*
  • Telemedicine / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Telemedicine / standards*