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Telehealth FAQs

Telehealth FAQs

Tip: If you need help troubleshooting Telehealth, see this guide for detailed steps to follow: Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues.

Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about Telehealth by SimplePractice, by category:

Adding Telehealth to my subscription

Telehealth security and compliance

Preparing for Telehealth appointments

Telehealth features

Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues

Billing and legal policies for Telehealth

Note: To prepare for offering Telehealth services in your practice, see Getting started with Telehealth. For a resource to send to clients about Telehealth, see our client-facing Telehealth guide. You can also download this PDF to have a resource on-hand before your first appointment: Telehealth Checklist


Adding Telehealth to my subscription


How much does Telehealth cost?

Telehealth is available as an add-on feature on the Starter plan for an additional $15/month, and is included on the Essential and Plus plans at no additional cost.

Note: To learn more about the features included on each plan, see Which subscription plan is right for me?


What are the benefits of using Telehealth by SimplePractice instead of another video call platform?

Unlike a stand-alone provider for video appointments, SimplePractice offers a fully integrated suite of practice management tools. Having your video appointments, calendar, client details, and more all in one platform can save your practice time and make these features more accessible.

You’ll also have access to related features like: 


How do I turn Telehealth on or off?

Note: Telehealth is included at no additional cost on the Essential and Plus plans. If you’d like to enable Telehealth as an add-on feature on the Starter plan, first go to Settings > Practice > Plan info to toggle it on.

To turn Telehealth on:

turnontelehealth.simplepractice.locations.png

Turning Telehealth on will add a Video Office location. You can customize this location to fit your practice needs by clicking Edit

Note: Only one Telehealth location can be saved at a time, and only this location will generate Telehealth links. If you use more than one place of service code for insurance , see What if I’ll be alternating between Insurance Place of Service codes 02 and 10?

Once enabled, you can create new availability for your Telehealth location if you'd like clients to be able to request Telehealth appointments online. To learn more about setting up your availability, see Managing your Availability.

To turn Telehealth off:

  • Navigate to Settings > Practice > Practice details
  • Under Telehealth, click Turn off

turnofftelehealth.simplepractice.locations.png


Is there a limit on using Telehealth features?

There's no time limit or maximum number of appointments when using Telehealth.


Telehealth security and compliance


Is SimplePractice HIPAA compliant?

Yes, we meet or exceed all the requirements of HIPAA as a business associate, including the Business Associate Agreement (BAA) in which SimplePractice agrees to be responsible for keeping all client information private. For more information, see Being HIPAA compliant with SimplePractice.

Additionally, SimplePractice has a partnership with the Telebehavioral Health Institute. The Telebehavioral Health Institute holds a high criteria with whom they partner, and we’re proud of our relationship with them.


Do I need a BAA with SimplePractice to begin using Telehealth?

When you sign up for your trial with SimplePractice, you also agree to our Terms of Service and Business Associate Agreement (BAA). Signing up for your trial constitutes a legally binding agreement, as stated when you select the checkbox and click Start my free trial.

Termsofservice_SimplePractice_BAA.png

All features in our platform are covered in this agreement, including Telehealth.

There’s no need for you to agree to or "sign" the BAA again once you switch to a paid subscription. To access a copy of the agreement, see SimplePractice BAA.


Are video sessions recorded and/or stored?

We do not record or store any video sessions. 


How does informed consent work for Telehealth?

Informed consent requirements vary by state, with some not requiring consent, others requiring verbal consent, and some requiring written consent that must be stored in the client’s record.

To find out your state’s requirements:

  • Navigate to The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
  • Use the dropdown menu at the top of the page to select Consent Requirements
  • Select your state on the map 
  • Click Read More to see whether state law requires you to get client consent

Tip: We offer a Consent for Telehealth Consultation consent form which you can customize and share with clients through the Client Portal.


Do you have examples of informed consent documents?

Your account includes a default consent form for Telehealth. Please be sure to review it very closely and customize it as needed. To learn more, see Creating a custom Consent for Telehealth Consultation form.

For sample consent forms collected from various online sources, see: 

Note: The sample consent forms linked above are for informational purposes only. It’s your practice’s responsibility to update the content to meet your specific state's requirements.


Preparing for Telehealth appointments


What browser versions are supported?

Telehealth by SimplePractice works on the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge on computers.

For older browser versions, a dismissible warning banner is shown that requests users to update.

Important: We recommend using the most up-to-date browser version for the best Telehealth experience, as using older versions can cause unpredictable behavior. See Updating your browser version to learn how to update your browser.


Will my clients have to install or download anything in order to join the session?

Your clients will be able to join the session on their computer’s browser by clicking a link you provide.

They won’t have to:

  • Download or install software or extensions
  • Enter a password or ID to access the session
  • Create an account or log into an account

You can provide Telehealth links to clients by sharing them manually from the appointment on the calendar, or through email and text Telehealth reminders

If your clients prefer to use a mobile device for their sessions, they can download the Telehealth by SimplePractice from the iOS and Android app stores.


If my client prefers to use a mobile device, is there an app they can get?

To use a mobile device, your client must first download the Telehealth by SimplePractice app, available for iOS or Android in the app store.


Telehealth features


Can I do group sessions?

Up to two clients can join the same Telehealth video call, which allows for a Telehealth session of up to three people (one clinician and two clients). Each client can join the video call through the link provided in their email or text appointment reminder.

See Using Telehealth for multiple clients at the same time for more information on holding group Telehealth sessions.


What if I need to offer a session to a client sooner than a reminder email/text can go out to them?

Note: To send reminders with Telehealth links to clients, first check that they have reminders enabled in their profile.

If you need to offer a session sooner than a reminder can be sent out, you can manually send the Telehealth appointment link from the appointment on the calendar. To do this:

  • Schedule the appointment
  • Select Video Office as the location
    • Or select the custom name you may have given your Telehealth location
  • Click Done
  • Select the appointment to open the appointment fly-out
  • Click Share Link > Send reminder to immediately send a reminder containing the Telehealth appointment link to the client

sharetelehealthlink.simplepractice.appointmentflyout.png

    • You can also select Copy link and manually send it to your client by pasting it in a separate email or Secure Message

Note: Reminders for Telehealth appointments containing Telehealth links are sent automatically based on the settings you have enabled for each client. These reminders are sent 24, 48, or 72 hours before the scheduled appointment. The client will also get a text reminder and/or an email reminder about 10 minutes prior to their appointment time, as long as the appointment is scheduled before the text/email reminder window. For more information, see Setting up appointment and time of scheduling reminders


Is there a whiteboard option?

Our Telehealth platform includes an interactive whiteboard feature, which you can use to make your Telehealth sessions more engaging and collaborative. To use this feature:

  • Join the video call from a web browser 
  • Click Share 
  • Select Whiteboard

Currently, the whiteboard feature is only available when accessing Telehealth from a web browser. If a participant joins a video call from their mobile device, they’ll be able to view a shared board, but not interact with it. For more information, see Whiteboard.

You can also join us for a Q&A session and ask a live support specialist your questions about getting started with Telehealth and our built-in features, including whiteboard and screen sharing. You can register for a Q&A session on our On-demand Classes and Q&As page.

Note: For additional details about using whiteboard and screen sharing, see: Using Telehealth features


Does the screen sharing feature include mouse control?

Our Telehealth platform doesn’t include a remote control feature at this time. While you and your clients can interact real-time on a shared whiteboard during Telehealth sessions, there’s no way to control someone else’s mouse or keyboard. 

We love feedback and ideas for ways to advance the platform, and we’d love to hear from you. You can vote and share your feedback about this feature here: Ideas and Suggestions board.


Can I turn off the sound notification when an attendee joins or leaves the Telehealth appointment?

There isn’t an option to disable sound notifications for Telehealth. The sound notification that indicates when an attendee joins or leaves a Telehealth appointment is designed to give transparency to all attendees, so there aren't any surprises when someone joins, or if someone gets disconnected.


Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues

Note: For additional details, see: Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues.


Why did I see emojis during a Telehealth appointment?

Apple released a new feature called Reactions. Reactions are currently enabled by default on iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma. When Reactions are enabled, emojis can appear during a video call based on a perceived gesture by the video participant with iOS 17 or macOS Sonoma installed. 

Important: This isn’t a feature integrated into our Telehealth platform and we don’t have control over these settings for iOS.

To disable this feature on iOS17:

  • Create a test video call
  • Swipe down from the upper right corner of your iPhone or iPad to activate the Control Center
  • Tap Video Effects
  • Tap Reactions to disable the feature

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To disable this feature on macOS Sonoma:

  • Create a test video call
  • Click the green video camera icon at the top of your Mac’s menu bar
  • Select Reactions to disable the feature

reactions.simplepractice.sonoma.png

For more information, see Use Reactions, Presenter Overlay, and other effects when videoconferencing on Mac.


Can I enable a waiting room for Telehealth appointments?

Yes, you can enable or disable a waiting room for your Telehealth appointments. Only clinicians are able to admit clients from the waiting room into a Telehealth appointment. 

To enable the waiting room for your Telehealth appointments:

  • Before you start your next Telehealth appointment, click Telehealth setting

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  • Next to Use waiting room, click the toggle to On

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To learn more, see Waiting room.


Why am I hearing an echo?

If you hear your own audio back as an echo, the issue is on your client’s side. If the situation is reversed, then the issue is coming from your side. If the echo is coming from your side, try the following steps to resolve the issue. If the echo is coming from your client's side, they can follow the steps below. 

To eliminate an echo: 

  • If you're using external speakers, place the speakers as far away as possible from the laptop mic, and lower the volume to a comfortable level.
  • If you're using an external microphone, move the microphone about a foot away from the speakers. 
    • You can also reduce the microphone level to 50 percent or less, and reduce or turn off the microphone boost option.
  • Some computers have an echo canceling feature, but it could require a high CPU load. Closing other programs on your computer can help enable that feature.
  • Using a headset or headphones instead of speakers can stop the echo issue.

What about if I'm having connectivity problems?

Connectivity is important for high-quality video and audio sessions. To make sure that you have a sufficiently fast, robust connection:

  • Confirm that you're connected to the fastest connection available
    • It’s easy to connect to a less performant network accidentally (for example, if you move around the house/office)
  • Disable and then enable network connection
  • If necessary, reboot to restore connection

What should I do if my client is appearing with a crossed-out speaker icon over their image in Telehealth?

If your client is appearing with a crossed-out speaker icon over their image in Telehealth and you're experiencing audio problems, this is most likely due to using Safari 11+. Click the view of yourself in the bottom right portion of the screen to dismiss the icon and fix the sound.


Why can't my client access their Telehealth appointment using the same link from past appointments?

All Telehealth appointment links expire at the end of each session. Clients won’t be able to bookmark the link to their appointments. In order for them to access the appropriate link for an upcoming Telehealth appointment, they'll need to either click Join Video Call from their Telehealth appointment email reminder, or click Join Video in the Upcoming appointments section in their Client Portal.

Clinicians also have the option to copy the unique Telehealth link from the appointment listed on their calendar to share with their client via Secure Message, or another secure communication method.


What if troubleshooting doesn't work?

If you have tried troubleshooting on your own and still have issues with your Telehealth sessions, submit a help request so we can take a further look.


Billing and legal policies for Telehealth


Where can I get information on my state's Telehealth policies?

The following organizations provide resources to help you learn more about your state’s specific policies and regulations:


Does insurance reimburse Telehealth appointments? If so, is there anything special I need to do? Is the amount less than an in-person session reimbursement?

To find out more your state’s specific Telehealth reimbursement guidelines, see:


How does billing work?

When billing insurance, always check with the individual insurance payer to determine whether Telehealth services are covered and which codes or modifiers should be used for different types of services.

It’s important to check directly with the insurance payer because coverage for Telehealth changes frequently. Download our Telehealth Resources Directory to find links to legal, educational, and insurance resources for Telehealth.


Which Insurance Place of Service code should I use for Telehealth appointments?

The Insurance Place of Service (POS) codes for Telehealth are:

  • 02 - Telehealth Provided Other than in Patient's Home
  • 10 - Telehealth Provided in Patient's Home

If you’re billing insurance or providing clients with superbills, we recommend contacting the payer directly for clarification on which code you should use, as payers may have  different requirements. 

Once you determine which Place of Service code you’re going to use, you can make the adjustments to your Telehealth Video Office location. For more guidance, see Editing the Insurance Place of Service.


How do I change my Telehealth location Insurance Place of Service code from 02 to 10?

To bill insurance using the Insurance Place of Service Code 10 - Telehealth Provided in Patient's Home, you can change the Place of Service code for your Video Office location. To do this: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Practice > Practice details
  • Scroll down to the Telehealth section
  • Click Edit next to Video Office

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  • From the drop down under Insurance Place of Service, choose 10 - Telehealth Provided in Patient's Home

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  • Click Save

What if I’ll be alternating between Insurance Place of Service codes 02 and 10?

If you’ll be alternating Telehealth Place of Service codes for claim filing, we recommend creating a second office location for the Place of Service code you use less often. After a Telehealth appointment has occurred, you can update its Location on the calendar to the second office location. This will allow the appointment to be billed with the alternate place of service code, while keeping its Telehealth functionality.

Important: Only the location listed under Telehealth on your Practice details page will generate Telehealth links. To make sure your clients receive links to their Telehealth appointments, we recommend scheduling your Telehealth appointments at this location, then updating the Location to bill a different place of service.

To create the additional location:

  • Navigate to Settings > Practice > Practice details
  • Under Office location, click Add a location

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  • Enter an Office Name

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  • Enter an address for the location, or enter dashes into the address fields and your state from the dropdown if you prefer not to list a specific address

Note: A scrub error may occur if you use dashes for an office location and include Service Facility Location (Box 32) on claim forms. To prevent this, you can either uncheck the box to include box 32 on claim forms in Settings > Client billing and insurance > Insurance documents, or enter an address for this office location. Many payers don’t require box 32 to be filled out on claims, so we recommend contacting the payer for further details. 

    • Choose Hide Address under Public View
  • Choose the alternate place of service code you wish to use
    • This will be either 10 - Telehealth Provided in Patient’s Home or 02 - Telehealth Provided Other than in Patient’s Home

editpos.simplepractice.locations.png

  • Click Save

Since only the Telehealth location will generate a Telehealth link, you’ll want to select that location when scheduling the appointment. Then, after the appointment has taken place, you can update the Location of the appointment to the other office location to bill with the alternate place of service code.

To change the location after the appointment has occurred:

  • Navigate to your calendar and click the appointment
  • From the calendar fly-out, select your alternate location

locationselection.simplepractice.appointmentflyout.png

  • Click Done

How does state licensure work?

Clinicians must be licensed in each state in which they want to provide Telehealth appointments.


What are the requirements/restrictions regarding providing Telehealth services to minors?

The age at which a person may lawfully consent to care varies with the health condition at issue, the person’s state of residence, or the state where the patient is at the time of the Telehealth visit. Therefore, clinicians should be aware of the rules for the state in which the client is physically located for that visit.


What other resources are available for Telehealth?

Still have questions?

Get more help