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To: Robert Reich (Econ Inequity), Alameda County Psychological Association (ACPA), Contra Costa Psychological Association, Governor Newsom, Congressman DeSaulnier, Senator Padilla, Senator Feinstein, President Biden, CPA (CA Psych Assoc)

Needed Telehealth for Psychotherapy

Only recently did I realize the magnitude of the pending loss of Telehealth services for psychotherapy.

Medicare is being extended, but hundreds of thousands of vulnerable others across the country are at risk for losing Telehealth.

Yes, thousands of vulnerable individuals are at risk to lose Telehealth for psychotherapy in California as of February 28, 2023, as noted in the detailed letter below. Indeed, the discontinuation of Telehealth for most of the country is planned for May 2023.

It should not be a choice between risking grave illness versus psychotherapy, whether patients or therapists.

It should not be a choice between being poor and having access to psychotherapy through Telehealth.

Below is a copy of an email to those cited above:
Dear ACPA Members,

I am writing to ask how many of you are concerned about the possible discontinuation of Telehealth for psychotherapy and other psychological services?

As the virus and its variants are surely wearing us all down, it is no surprise that many of you are relaxing your Covid 19 protocols and seeing patients in person.

However, this situation still leaves those that have autoimmune disorders, are over age 65, babies, income-limited for travel and time expense (sitters, time away from work), and rural others or those who live far to drive - all are threatened with being no longer able to access their therapist.

Moreover, some of us therapists are also in the category of exposure risk, so that healthy individuals, often asymptomatic themselves. may unconsciously expose more vulnerable others. Even a self-test in the morning is limited to 70% effectiveness. Masks, distance, air cleaners, ventilation, vaccines, booster, and more have all been known as partial protections in which break-through cases have appeared.

Then there is also the risk of long Covid which is at epidemic proportions, but underreported in the news. Referred to as the “pandemic after the pandemic," long Covid is estimated to effect roughly 30% of Americans for weeks, months or even years.

I wrote ACPA’s new leader and President, Leryn, and she kindly responded as follows:

"When the order ends on February 28, 2023, it does not signify the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, but just means that the government has decided that there is no longer an "emergency" and that these mandates no longer need to be held. This creates the opportunity for
"insurance companies and medi-care/medi-cal to go BACK to making their own decisions around what they do and do not cover or reimburse for. This will be decided per insurance company in their own networks and you would need to contact the ones that you are in-network with to determine what this might mean for your own practice. From my research and communication with CPA, this could vary from requiring occasional sessions to be held in person to insurance companies or medi-care/medi-cal
no longer allowing services to be held and paid for by them, in-network, via telehealth.

"My hope is that they continue to allow services to be held remotely as it helps bridge a health care disparity for those that are immunocompromised, those who do not have reliable transportation to appointments, and for those that cannot take time away from childcare
and work obligations to attend healthcare appointments. I was hoping my message would encourage the ACPA membership to begin to look into these things and advocate the needs they feel the mandates in the emergency order has helped in the populations they serve."

I don’t know what it means to provide psychotherapy if the therapist is not “in-network,” but leaving the Telehealth decision to the insurance company seems unwise. It suggests a conflict of interest for them. I saw Governor Newsom announce this theoretical end of Covid and Biden too (although he walked it back a bit). Thus, I have written the Governor, urging him to consider exceptions that could allow therapists and patients to continue psychotherapy with Telehealth. Writing our senators and representatives seems important, as well, in order to appeal to them regarding the very real need for continuing Telehealth.

Telehealth is needed for the sake of public health, providers and patients alike.

Covid 19 protocols will be discontinued if denial of the risk remains. Telehealth is needed in order for thousands of individuals to continue or seek psychotherapy in this time of great need.

Please let me know if you, too, are facing this dilemma, what ideas you may suggest, or actions we could take for the purpose of protecting public health, ourselves and our practices.


Why is this important?

Thousands of vulnerable individuals are at risk to lose Telehealth for psychotherapy as of February 28, 2023, as noted in detailed letter above.

It should not be a choice between risking grave illness versus psychotherapy, whether patients or therapists.
It should not be a choice between being poor and having access to psychotherapy through Telehealth.

How it will be delivered

email and flyer



2024-02-20 23:52:48 -0500

Thank you Senator Tina Smith, and bi-partisan colleagues, Bill Cassidy, John Thune, and Ben Cardin, as well, for supporting the Needed Telehealth for Psychotherapy Campaign by helping Medicare recipients receive psychotherapy via telehealth. Cheers for
Telemental Health Care Access Act!

2024-01-16 01:02:16 -0500

Thank you Senator Tom Carper of Delaware for joining Needed Telehealth supporters! Your help is greatly appreciated.

Telehealth continues to serve as a conduit for all who participate in therapeutic services remotely when otherwise they might not be able to do so - immune compromised, elderly, disabled, out of gas with no money, out of money with no baby sitter, too tired to move from long hours on the job, maybe two jobs, fear of stigma or labeling, no time for another commute, and many more reasons that Telehealth is an easier alternative, enabling getting therapeutic help without going out.

2023-10-25 00:01:04 -0400

Please note: Representative Hillary Scholten from Michigan recently signed our Petition -
"Needed Telehealth for Psychotherapy," another leader in service to the people. This time, Representative Scholten is supporting those that choose psychotherapy and need the help of Telehealth to make it happen, whether vulnerable to Covid, far from the therapist's office, disabled or without transportation, caring for kids or elders, all of which are among the many ways that Telehealth saves the day! ...that Telehealth serves the soul.

2023-10-24 23:37:09 -0400

10-24-23 Daily Beast article "HERE WE GO AGAIN

Read This: "COVID Is Ramping Up for a Year of Deadly Surges"


2023-09-11 18:11:06 -0400

Dear Telehealthers,

One source of great suffering is Covid, and in that light I provide a link below to an article on its current condition.

Covid’s back, you say? As disabled and vulnerable people know all too well, it never went away
Frances Ryan writes in the Guardian -

2023-09-11 18:04:27 -0400

Hello Needed-Telehealth Members,

I'm glad to say I am recovering and appreciate all your kind support. Thank you for your patience and thank you for supporting "Needed Telehealth in Psychotherapy," nearly 600 now.

Although I have been away due to hospitalization and illness, I'm delighted that another Representative has signed on - Rep. Mark Pocan from Wisconsin.

He states, “Telehealth is essential as it is one more option for therapists to use to help patients combat the scourge of mental illness!”

Thank you for joining us, Representative Pocan!


2023-06-05 17:08:14 -0400

Messages by Brian M., Kent S., Brie P., and Caitlyn D. are wonderful models for our feedback time!

These leaders show us how to put into words the ways that Telehealth makes a difference in our lives. Moreover, their messages underscore the multiple reasons that Telehealth is greatly needed - health concerns, time and energy overload, distance from help, travel expenses, stigma, unrelenting trauma and more.

Although I'm away, I will see what you have written and feature it here in the Updates as soon as I can. Good luck!


2023-06-05 16:42:33 -0400

Dear Telehealth Supporters, 6-5-23
First, thank you for signing and giving life to the “Needed-Telehealth-for-Psychotherapy” Petition!
With all the dire needs and petitions understandably activated now, our small, but meaningful, effort for Telehealth is nevertheless vital to everyone’s healing ... and to keep us all going!
This stage of the Petition seems now to be in a receptive place, a time for everyone to hear from each other about their Telehealth experience, a time for feedback.
In sum, have the insurance companies continued Telehealth coverage or not, and is the fee unchanged?
It turns out to be a good time to ask because I need to be gone for a few weeks to have prophylactic surgery. Then a bit more time for me to recuperate.
So, do continue to send new emails as you can while I’m away! That’s the best get-well message I can receive!
We’re all in this together and you are the ones to carry on in the future - to take care of yourselves and each other!

2023-05-09 23:33:57 -0400

As a May-day tribute to Rep. Josh Gottheimer, of New Jersey, and as a May 4th tribute to Rep. Mikie Sherrill, also of New Jersey, thank you both for signing the Needed Telehealth for Psychotherapy Petition, and for your service and dedication to equal access to rights for all including Telehealth for psychotherapy and healing.

Who do we know that might not have heard ????? !!!!

As previously written in my last email to you, recent messages from CMS is discouraging. They "did NOT adopt an earlier recommendation by the American Psychological Association to permanently continue reimbursing Telehealth services at the higher, non-facility rate," according to Pedulla.

Let us send one more email today in support of "Needed Telehealth for Psychotherapy!"

2023-04-28 14:32:08 -0400

Hooray! Rep Joe Neguse of Colorado has signed for Continuing Telehealth! Thank you Rep. Neguse for joining the Telehealth cause and for giving this Petition a shot in the arm ! !

Thank you, Rep. Neguse! Thank you everyone!

Send one more email today about "Needed Telehealth for Psychotherapy!" To doctors, lawyers, teachers, corporate executives, line workers, researchers, scientists, musicians, family, friends, counselors, therapists, ministers and priests, community service workers, yoga instructors, sports teams, journalists, and anyone who champions our efforts for Telehealth!

2023-03-30 15:16:51 -0400

Gov. candidate Brandon Presley also recently signed our Petition !
Another leader, confirming that our "speaking out" to support Telehealth, is the right thing to do ! Thank you, Brandon Presley !

2023-03-25 19:21:52 -0400

Way to go! Rep. Cathy McMorris R just signed the "Needed Telehealth for Psychotherapy" Petition today! YAY!
Another leader supports our cause! Her encouragement is like energy, helping us keep on keeping on, emailing to supportive others, reaching out and spreading the word !
Thank you, Rep. Cathy McMorris;)

2023-03-25 12:05:45 -0400

500 signatures reached

2023-03-24 13:26:38 -0400

The more I study this issue, the more I realize that...

Telehealth is needed everywhere, both for physical protection from Covid, as well as for those who seek psychotherapy out of an impoverished or otherwise vulnerable condition. Whether old and frail, young and avoidant, or just too exhausted to get in the car and go out again, those who seek psychotherapy can experience the support and help they need via Telehealth.

Indeed, telecommunications technology has enabled a way to help individuals participate in psychotherapy while easing its demands. Telehealth makes it possible for any and every individual who desires to be in psychotherapy to participate and heal for a life of greater self-knowledge and wholeness.
This may be the greatest gift we can give today. A way of being and becoming, a way of integrity, a way of healing and psychological balance so needed in today’s world.

2023-03-07 14:02:24 -0500

3-7-23 Cheers! Another leader, Rep. Judy Chu of southern California, joined our Telehealth campaign yesterday! Good fortune is upon us, the universe nodding to our cause!

Following in Dr. Chu's footsteps, a civil rights trailblazer of her own, we spread the Telehealth word to those all around...

... and email, email, email our Petition today!

Thank you, Rep. Chu and thank you EVERYONE for your energy, good-will and support;)