Social Work Answers the (VIDEO) Call: Tele-behavioral Health Use During COVID-19

Authors: Brianna Lombardi, PhD, MSW | Lisa de Saxe Zerden, PhD, MSW | Christopher Thyberg

Topics: Behavioral Health, COVID-19, Telehealth

Research Center: Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center

October 19, 2020

Through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act signed on March 4, 2020, and 1135 waiver authority, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expanded the ability for credentialed providers to utilize telehealth services, including tele-behavioral health. Many states enacted executive orders to mandate private health insurers to follow suit and reimburse for tele-visits during COVID-19. These changes, coupled with unprecedented social, behavioral, and physical health needs, made both social workers and clients dependent upon tele-behavioral health.

This brief measures the extent to which social workers were able to transition to tele-behavioral health during COVID-19 and the barriers they experienced during this change in health service delivery.

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