Updates on Telehealth Practice During COVID-19
Updated: Jun 18, 2021
As social work practitioners have begun to adjust to social work practice via telehealth platforms, a question we’ve been receiving from a lot of members asks what rules there are in relation to whether a practitioner can still see a client while being in different states or a different state from where they are licensed. Below are resources and information pertaining to both—all information is up-to-date at the time of publishing.
Please know that the NASW-Illinois Chapter will continue to monitor and advocate with officials and state leaders about issues pertaining to our membership. If you aren’t already a member, consider supporting our efforts by becoming a member today. Find out more about joining NASW here or click here to join.
Can I see clients who reside in different states?
We shared a helpful resource in mid-April 2020—a state-by-state guide to the rules and laws about telehealth services across state lines. This spreadsheet resource provided information on the status of rules/laws in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia for mental health practitioners including social workers. To access the guide, click here. This living document can help in clarifying whether a practitioner in one state is able to practice across state lines. NOTE: Information provided was not compiled by individuals with any special knowledge about the rules or laws of any state and it is only meant to be used as a starting place in your independent determination about whether to proceed working with an existing or future client/patient in another state.
The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) has also created a helpful COVID-19 resource page that provides a list of emergency provisions regarding social work licensure related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. While we cannot verify that all of the information on this page is correct, they do provide a helpful list of regulatory provisions by state. To access the page, click here: https://www.aswb.org/covid-19/. Please note: This page is updated regularly as they become aware of changes. If a state is not listed, it means there are no provisions specific to the public health emergency at this time.
If I am licensed in Illinois and my client resides in Illinois, could I continue to see my client via telehealth if I am (temporarily) in a different state than Illinois?
According to the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR), social workers who are licensed in Illinois may continue to see clients via telehealth from different states. For example, if you are licensed in Illinois and your client is in Illinois, you may go to a different state and continue to see your client via telehealth. For further questions on what is and isn’t allowed by IDFPR with regards to practice, contact IDFPR directly.
How much longer will Governor J. B. Pritzker’s Executive Order 2020-09 about the expansion of telehealth services be extended?
From conversations the chapter has had the governor’s office, the governor plans to renew the telehealth executive orders through October 17, 2020. As renewals can only happen month to month, we will continue to advocate for telehealth executive order renewal far beyond September. Check the status on the governor’s executive orders monthly to see which executive orders are renewed each month.
As referenced in our latest article on the 2021 Legislative Session, House Bill 3308 (HB3308) has passed both the Illinois House and Senate and is currently awaiting the governor’s signature. HB3308 ensures that many of the temporary telehealth allowances that took place during COVID-19 will be made permanent, ensuring that all Illinoisans will have continued access to innovative telehealth services. HB3308 was an initiative of the Coalition to Protect Telehealth of which the NASW-Illinois Chapter was a member.
In the meanwhile, the governor’s executive order continues to be renewed on a month-to-month basis. Please check the NASW-Illinois Chapter “News” page for the latest telehealth services extension date.
More about telehealth:
What about the licensing requirements for the 2021 licensure cycle? Do I still need to get in-person CEUs?
For the latest updates on requirements for the 2021 licensure renewal deadline, please read our recent article, “Updates on 2021 Licensure Renewal.” We will continue to update our members on the NASW Illinois board within the MyNASW Community and the chapter website as information is passed along to us.