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Music Therapy in Telehealth

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AMTA Telehealth/Therapy Statement

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) supports the use of telehealth/therapy as a means to provide music therapy interventions when beneficial to clients.

The U.S. Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as the "use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration" (HRSA, 2017).

Telehealth/therapy is subject to the same AMTA Standards of Clinical Practice established for face-to-face music therapy, including consent, assessment, and documentation. Discretion and critical decision making are necessary to discern whether telehealth/therapy services are appropriate for individual clients. Adherence to the AMTA Code of Ethics is expected as it outlines professional conduct principles for all music therapy interventions, whether provided face-to-face or through telehealth/therapy.

Considerations for telehealth music therapy services include:

  • Individual and sociocultural equity related to access to telehealth/therapy (See references in Appendix A for related discussions)
  • Consent for telehealth music therapy
  • Security (cyber) for the technology/platform selected
  • Confidentiality (awareness of threats to confidentiality at each remote site)
  • Facility policies or guidance on use of telehealth/therapy
  • Payer specific information regarding telehealth/therapy reimbursement
  • Current state laws (state recognition requirements), executive orders, and agency guidance surrounding telehealth/therapy service delivery
  • Consultation with an attorney or other advisor who is knowledgeable of the details of your practice as well as your specific state regulations

For special education settings, guidance from AMTA legal counsel indicates that if music therapy is listed as a related service on a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), access to virtual music therapy services should continue if the school district is offering virtual general education and special education services. 

 

Appendix A

References

Bommakanti, K. K., Smith, L. L., Liu, L., Do, D., Cuevas-Mota, J., Collins, K., … Garfein, R. S. (2020). Requiring smartphone ownership for mHealth interventions: Who could be left out? BMC Public Health, 20(1), 81. doi: 10.1186/s12889-019-7892-9

Khairat, S., Haithcoat, T., Liu, S., Zaman, T., Edson, B., Gianforcaro, R., & Shyu, C. R. (2019). Advancing health equity and access using telemedicine: A geospatial assessment. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 26(8-9), 796-805. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocz108

Torous, J., Jän Myrick, K., Rauseo-Ricupero, N., & Firth, J. (2020). Digital Mental Health and COVID-19: Using technology today to accelerate the curve on access and quality tomorrow. JMIR Mental Health, 7(3), e18848. doi: 10.2196/18848

Totten, A. M. et al. (2019, April). Telehealth for acute and chronic care consultations. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 216. (Prepared by Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2015-00009-I.) AHRQ Publication No. 19-EHC012-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. doi: https://doi.org/10.23970/AHRQEPCCER216

World Medical Association. (2009, October). WMA Statement on Guiding Principles for the Use of Telehealth for the Provision of Health Care. Retrieved from https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-statement-on-guiding-principles-for-the-use-of-telehealth-for-the-provision-of-health-care/

 

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