Skip to main content
Membership & Dues
Facts for Families
Resources for Clinicians
ADHD Resource Center
Anxiety Resource Center
Autism Resource Center
Bipolar Disorder Resource Center
Bullying Resource Center
Trauma and Child Abuse Resource Center
Conduct Disorder Resource Center
Depression Resource Center
Disaster and Trauma Resource Center
Military Families Resource Center
Moving Into Adulthood Resource Center
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Resource Center
Oppositional Defiant Disorder Resource Center
Schools Resource Center
Substance Use Resource Center
Suicide Resource Center
Anti-Racism Resource Library
Asian American and Pacific Islander Resource Library
Coronavirus Resource Library
Disaster Liaison Network Resource Library
Guns and Violence Resource Library
Youth at the Border Resource Library
Parent's Medication Guides
Residents & Fellows
Early Career Psychiatrists
AACAP Mentorship Network
AACAP Psychodynamic Faculty Initiative
Catchers in the Rye Awards
Distinguished Member Awards
Academic Paper Awards
Resident and Early Career Psychiatrists Awards
International Scholar Awards
Online CME Opportunities
Live CME Opportunities
How You Earn CME Credits
2022 Annual Meeting
2022 Online Hansen Annual Update Course
2021 Annual Meeting
Exhibit and Sponsorship Opportunities
Past Meeting Resources and Publications
Clinical Practice Center
Business of Practice
Clinical Care and Quality Improvement
Systems of Care and Collaborative Models
Systems & Models
Be An Advocate
State Workforce Maps
Advocacy and Collaboration Grants
Major Action Lists
AACAP & Presidential Statements
Coding for Telemedicine Services
Telepsychiatry Clinical Update
Telepsychiatry Guidelines and Policies
Useful Telepsychiatry Websites
AACAP Committee on Telepsychiatry
Clinical Practice Center
Legal and Reimbursement Issues
Shabana Khan, MD
Telepsychiatrists should consult federal and state laws, as well as the laws, regulations, and policies of their medical licensing board and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) prior to initiating telepsychiatry services with youth.
Many states require guardian consent, written and/or verbal, for telepsychiatry services in addition to the usual consent for care.
Telepsychiatrists must consider that reporting requirements may vary by jurisdiction and ensure that relevant personnel at the distant (provider location) and originating (patient location) sites are informed of reporting requirements for youth.
The Ryan Haight Online Consumer Pharmacy Protection Act of 2008 impacts the legitimate practice of child and adolescent telepsychiatry. The requirement for the initial in-person evaluation is a major barrier for telepsychiatry with youth and the exceptions to this requirement are narrow and do not apply to many telepsychiatry applications.
The Ryan Haight Act is also relevant to the increasing trend towards direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry as the home setting is not an approved site of service for prescribing controlled substances.
Teletelepsychiatrists should comply with the AACAP Code of Ethics.
In the absence of a comprehensive policy for delivering telemedicine services, individual states have proposed legislation to expand services in several ways, such reimbursing for school-based telepsychiatry services or repealing laws that mandate minimum distance requirements between distant and originating sites in order to receive reimbursement.
The majority of states have telehealth commercial insurance coverage laws that require private insurers to cover telemedicine services similar to in-person care, however only a subset of these states have payment parity laws which require insurers to pay telemedicine providers the same amount as they would if that same service were provided in-person.
Some states require coverage for telepsychiatry services for specific circumstances or disorders, such as the delivery of autism interventions.
Clinical update: Telepsychiatry with children and adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.2017;56(10):875-893.
Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act. In: L P, ed. No110, HR 6353; 2008.
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Code of ethics.
Published September 2014. Accessed May 3, 2018.
Center for Connected Health Policy. Telehealth policy. Laws and reimbursement policies: Advanced search. Published 2018. http://www.cchpca.org/laws/list?field_area_of_law_tid=99&field_status_tid=127&items_per_page=10&page=1. Accessed 2 May, 2018.