Determining appropriateness for telehealth

Appropriateness for telehealth is a subjective decision that varies among providers and requires an assessment before making a decision. However, you can decide at the end of the first session to rematch by submitting a Care Coordination request form

Rula will match the client with a new clinician to provide a second opinion. If two clinicians do not believe the person is appropriate for telehealth, at that point, our Care Coordination team will coordinate a referral for in-person services. 


If you are unsure whether a client will be appropriate for telehealth, consider an agreement to conduct a certain number of sessions before committing to ongoing telehealth care. In addition, telehealth clients need to be able to set up the videoconferencing system, maintain the appropriate WiFi or telephone connection, establish a private space (unless they choose not to do so), and participate in necessary steps for effective safety management. To assess a client’s ability to complete these steps and whether telehealth services are appropriate for them, consider the client’s cognitive capacity, technical capability, history of cooperativeness with treatment professionals, ability to refrain from substance use during a session, and any other criteria you believe are essential. And no video sessions while driving! Generally speaking, here are a few reasons why a person may not be a good fit for telehealth: 

  • The client needs more extensive psychosocial support, wrap-around services, or case management that is beyond the scope of an individual private practitioner.
  • The client is experiencing domestic/intimate partner violence and cannot establish a safe, private space for therapy.
  • The client cannot participate in the session due to symptoms such as paranoia, delusional thinking, hypervigilance, or obsessive thought patterns that are directly related to the telehealth experience or is too distracted. 
  • The client is unable to navigate the technology required to engage via telehealth

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