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APA Update: COVID-19 Mental Health Impacts

Friday, March 20, 2020  
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Resources for Psychiatrists, Patients & Families, and Health Care/Community Leaders

With COVID-19 evolving rapidly across the world, APA’s Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disasters and the APA’s Council on International Psychiatry compiled a comprehensive list of resources for psychiatrists. The resources cover not only the physical impact of the coronavirus, but on its potential mental health and psychosocial issues and responses. The page also has resources for patients, families, and healthcare and community leaders who are impacted by the virus and self-quarantine procedures.

You can access the full list of resources at APA’s Coronavirus Information Hub.

Telepsychiatry and COVID-19

On March 6, 2020, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act was signed into law. This statute gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to waive geographic and originating site Medicare telehealth reimbursement restrictions for mental health services overall, during certain emergency periods. 

CMS released guidance on March 17, 2020, that now allows patients to be seen via live videoconferencing in their homes, without having to travel to a qualifying “originating site” for Medicare telehealth encounters, regardless of geographic location.

You can find more information on using telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak, including a free webinar on Telepsychiatry in the Era of COVID-19, at APA’s Resources on Telepsychiatry and COVID-19 page