General Info & Requirements

  • About

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) enacts sweeping changes in how the healthcare professions handle the administrative details of their practices, and contains a broad and stringent framework, for the privacy and confidentiality of personally identifiable health information. This Federal statute was enacted as Public Law 104-191. Further information regarding this act can be found at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website.

  • Issues Addressed

    The Administrative Simplification provisions of HIPAA (Title II of the Act) require HHS to establish national standards for electronic health care transactions, and national identifiers for providers, health plans, and employers. Covered entities must comply with the technical standards and data sets adopted by HHS. HIPAA also addresses the security and privacy of health data, and establishes stringent procedures, which covered persons and entities must follow, in obtaining and disclosing personally identifiable health information.

  • Additional Info

    Licensing boards do not administer the provisions of HIPAA. Therefore, the Board cannot licensees with guidance, regarding HIPAA compliance. Licensees with HIPAA questions should seek answers through the following resources:

  • About
    • Under law, “telehealth” is the mode of delivering health care via information and communication technologies, including, but not limited to, telephone and/or internet
    • Licensees may deliver health care, under their scope of practice, via telehealth, under certain conditions
    • Licensees are responsible for understanding all applicable laws, to deliver health care via telehealth
    • Failure to comply with any provisions regarding telehealth may be subject to disciplinary action by the Board
  • Comprehensive Requirements and Applicable Laws

    Detailed explanations regarding telehealth requirements, for licensees and registrants, are contained in the following statutes and regulations:

    • California Code of Regulation Title 16 §1815.5: Standards of Practice for Telehealth
    • Business and Professions Code §2290.5
  • Clients in California

    This section applies to clients who are physically located in California.

    • Individuals providing psychotherapy or counseling, either in person, via telephone, or via internet, must be licensed in California.
  • Clients Outside of California

    This section applies to clients who are physically located out-of-state.

    • California licensees or registrants who wish to engage in telehealth with a client located in another jurisdiction need to check with that jurisdiction to determine its laws related to telehealth, and if licensure in that jurisdiction is required.  Several states currently consider a client located in their state to be under their jurisdiction.  Therefore, a practitioner needs to comply with that jurisdiction’s laws in order to avoid any potential violations of those laws.
  • Inform and Consent

    Prior to the delivery of health care via telehealth, the provider initiating the use of telehealth shall:

    • Inform the patient about the use of telehealth; AND
    • Obtain, and document, verbal or written consent from the patient for this use
  • Confidentiality
    • All laws regarding the confidentiality of health care information and a patient's right to their medical information shall apply to telehealth interactions.
  • Additional Info

    Additional information regarding telehealth is contained in the following statutes and regulations:

    • California Code of Regulation Title 16 §1815.5: Standards of Practice for Telehealth
    • Business and Professions Code §2290.5
  • Consumer Tips

    California Consumers are advised to be cautious when seeking counseling or psychotherapy via telehealth, by understanding the following:

    • Always verify the license!
    • Individuals providing counseling or psychotherapy must be licensed in the State of California
    • Licensees must disclose to the consumer, their license type and number, prior to commencement of services
    • Fees being charged for services, as well as how and to whom the fee will be paid
    • Methods used by the licensee, to ensure confidential communication
    • Risks and benefits of counseling and psychotherapy via telehealth

Californians aged 65 and over are one of the fastest growing populations in the state. The World Health Organization reports that nearly one in four adults aged 60 and over lives with a mental health condition.

You and your loved ones deserve to live long, healthy, happy lives. Mental health conditions, including depression (the most common condition diagnosed in older adults), are not a normal part of growing older. Such conditions are often undiagnosed and untreated.

We all know that it's important to see a physician on a regular basis to maintain good health. However, many people are not aware of the overall health benefits of addressing mental health. Mental health and physical health do have an impact on each other, so addressing both is important.

Seeing a mental health professional, finding a support group and learning more about mental health conditions can help greatly.

Below is a list designed to help you learn about mental health issues and conditions, find resources in your area, and more.