Health Psych Maine, LLC
Where Mind & Body Meet: Specializing in Health Psychology & Anxiety
2 Big Sky Lane, Waterville, ME 04901 | Phone: (207) 872-5800 | Fax: (207) 872-5888 | www.hpmaine.com
Health Psych Maine (HPM) Electronic Communication Policy
The purpose of this policy is to clarify the use, limitations, and risks of electronic communication with Health Psych Maine, its staff, and its clinicians. Various forms of electronic communication are common in our society and often may be useful or preferable, even in professional relationships. Many of these modes of communication can put your privacy at risk. This policy has been prepared to assure the security and confidentiality of your treatment and its consistency with ethics and the law.
Email & Text Communications
We offer helpful administrative information like appointment reminders by email and text message. There is some level of risk that information in a regular email or regular text message could be read by someone besides you. We will ask whether you would like us to communicate by email and text message during your intake phone call.
You and your provider can discuss and mutually decide whether to use email or texting regarding other non-clinical information.
Other than the above, please do not email or text your provider about clinical matters because email is not a secure way to contact your therapist and may not be checked regularly. If you need to discuss a clinical matter, please wait so it can be discussed during your next therapy session, or contact the office to inquire about an earlier appointment.
HPM providers do not communicate with, or contact, any of their clients through social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. If your provider discovers that they have accidentally established an online relationship with you, they will cancel that relationship. These types of casual social contacts can create significant security risks for you.
Website and Facebook Page
Health Psych Maine (HPM) has a website and Facebook page that you are free to access. They are used for professional reasons to provide information to others about our practice. If you have questions about information we share on the internet, we can discuss these during your appointment.
In this digital age, you might choose to gather information about your provider through a web search. There is an incredible amount of information available about individuals on the internet, much of which may be known to that person and some of which may be inaccurate or unknown. If you encounter any information about your provider through web searches, or in any other fashion for that matter, please discuss this with your therapist during your time together so that you both can deal with it and its potential impact on your treatment.
Use of VSee, doxy.me, or TherapyPortal.com for Telemedicine
Another form of communication is the use of various platforms for telemedicine (Vsee, Doxy.me, and TherapyPortal.com). The same laws that protect the privacy and confidentiality of medical information in our sessions also apply to telemedicine. These platforms allow two parties to place a call without the information passing through a third party, meaning the information is more secure. The platforms use encryption that meets the U.S. Government’s standards in terms of privacy; i.e., adheres to HIPAA (see https://vsee.com/hipaa, https://help.doxy.me/en/articles/95911-is-doxy-me-secure, and https://support.therapynotes.com/article/138-system-security-and-user-responsibilities) and meets the encryption standard called FIPS 140-2, which increases privacy for consumers.
One potential HIPAA-related weakness with telemedicine platforms is that HIPAA requires software to keep logs of protected health information that can be accessed if it is suspected that someone may have misused the information. Because these platforms do not manage this data on their servers (aside from basic user identifiers), VSee, doxy.me, and TherapyPortal.com are limited in their ability to provide this. An additional concern is that, although the audiovisual calls do not pass through the VSee, doxy.me, or TherapyPortal.com computers themselves, they do coordinate the calls so that they would know which accounts connected for a call and at what time.
During a telemedicine session, the client’s location is considered the place of service, and therefore the client must by physically located in the state of Maine.
I understand that the rules and regulations which apply to the practice of Psychology in the state of Maine also apply to telemedicine, including information in the HIPPA-Outpatient Therapy Agreement I signed during my initial evaluation. I understand that I must be in the state of Maine during my telemedicine sessions. I have the right to withhold or withdraw my consent to the use of telemedicine during the course of my care at any time. I understand that, in this event, my clinician will work with me to find an alternative form of care.
I have read and understand the information provided and am aware of aforementioned risks. I hereby give my informed consent for the use of telemedicine in my care.
I understand that there is some level of risk that information in a regular email or regular text message could be read by someone besides me. I hereby give my informed consent for Health Psych Maine to communicate with me about administrative matters by email and text message.