Telehealth in Nevada for Addiction and Mental Health
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is a broad term that refers to the use of technology to deliver healthcare services and information remotely. That said, the exact definition of telehealth can vary between states and organizations, but it generally encompasses any healthcare service provided using electronic communication technologies such as video conferencing, messaging platforms, and remote monitoring devices.1
Note, however, that some organizations and individuals use the following terms interchangeably with “telehealth.”2
- Digital health.
- Direct-to-consumer telehealth platforms.
Telehealth can be used to provide a variety of healthcare services, including addiction treatment, mental health services, primary care, specialist consultations, and chronic disease management.1 It is often used when access to healthcare is limited, such as in rural areas and/or where there’s a shortage of healthcare professionals.3
Although telehealth services pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic, their prevalence has grown exponentially since 2020. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, between January and March 2020 alone, just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, tele-visits increased by 50% compared to the same period in 2019.2
Telehealth and Substance Use Disorders
Telehealth services are particularly beneficial for those struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD), as addiction is often associated with loneliness. For these individuals, receiving care in the comfort of their homes can help alleviate some of the isolation they may be feeling and provide the services they might otherwise have refused or been unable to access.2
Clearly, telehealth presents a critical opportunity to reach the millions of people with an SUD that have previously not received treatment. In 2021, 46 million people aged 12 and older had an SUD in the past year. However, according to data from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a mere 4.12 million people in that age group sought alcohol or drug use treatment.4
Nevada Telehealth Laws
The rules and regulations for providing telehealth services vary depending on the state, but some broad guidelines exist. In general, providers must ensure that the telehealth services they offer meet the same standards of care as in-person services. This includes assessing the appropriateness of telehealth services for the patient, maintaining patient confidentiality, and adhering to state and federal regulations. In addition, telehealth services must comply with the same legal and ethical standards that apply to in-person healthcare services.5
In Nevada, telehealth providers must be licensed by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners or other applicable regulatory bodies. Plus, they must follow the standards of care, practice within their area of expertise, and ensure that their telehealth services comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.5
Are Telehealth Services Private and Confidential?
Yes. The confidentiality laws regarding your healthcare information extend to telehealth services. That privacy is protected through all the modes of telehealth treatment, whether by phone, text, and/or video conferencing.6
Can People in Nevada Use Out-of-State Providers—and Vice Vera?
Out-of-state providers offering telehealth services in Nevada must adhere to the guidelines of the Nevada Medical Practice Act and may need to obtain a separate license to practice in Nevada. This means that providers located outside of Nevada can offer care to someone living in Nevada, but they may need to follow certain rules and regulations to do so.5
If the provider is licensed to practice in a state outside of Nevada, they may be able to provide telehealth services to Nevada residents through a process called reciprocity. Reciprocity allows healthcare providers licensed in one state to practice in another state, subject to certain conditions and limitations.5
In the reverse situation where someone living outside of Nevada seeks care from a provider in Nevada, the rules vary depending on the state where the patient is located. The provider in Nevada may need to obtain a license to practice in the patient’s state or comply with that state’s regulations for offering telehealth services.5
Does Insurance Cover Telehealth?
Most insurance plans—including private plans along with Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare (a health program for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families)–cover at least some portion of telehealth services. But regulations and plans vary considerably.
Thus, the easiest way to know for sure whether substance-use-related telehealth treatment is covered is to verify your insurance. You can do so via the orange button below.
What are the Online Prescribing Regulations in Nevada?
In Nevada, restrictions regarding the online prescribing of medications for the treatment of SUDs and mental health conditions are governed by various federal and state laws, regulations, and guidelines.
For example, the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 is a federal law that regulates the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances via the internet. The act requires that providers conduct at least 1 in-person medical evaluation before prescribing a controlled substance online. However, the act includes a telemedicine exception for providers who meet certain requirements, such as being registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and complying with state laws regarding telemedicine and prescribing.7
Additionally, there are slightly different regulations for the types of conditions and disorders being treated. For SUDs, the provider must follow specific guidelines outlined by the DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).8 For mental health conditions, providers may prescribe medications online, but they must follow Nevada state laws and regulations governing telemedicine and prescribing practices. Providers must have a valid license to practice medicine in Nevada and comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, including those related to controlled substances.9
Types of Nevada Telehealth Services
Myriad Nevada telehealth services are available, not the least of which are services related to addiction and mental health treatment. Examples of telehealth care include:1,10
- Addiction and recovery treatment.
- Mental health screening.
- One-on-one and group therapy.
- Text therapy.
- Medication prescribing.
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for SUDs.
- Medication monitoring.
- Anxiety and depression monitoring.
- Aftercare planning and case management.
- Treatment and follow-up appointments for attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
And of course, telehealth can provide physical healthcare services such as:1
- Lab test and X-ray results.
- Management of recurring conditions, such as migraines and urinary tract infections.
- Treatment for skin conditions.
- Prescription management services.
- Urgent care for issues such as colds and coughs.
- Post-surgical follow-up care.
- Physical and occupational therapy services.
- Remote monitoring services to track health goals and manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Nevada Telehealth Resources
Locating a telehealth provider in Nevada is fairly easy. Here are several options to assist you.
You can secure a referral or assess various directories via the following:
- Insurance providers. Many providers offer online directories of healthcare providers, including those who have telehealth services. You can also contact your insurance company directly to request a list of telehealth providers that offer SUD treatment.
- Healthcare providers. Your primary care provider or mental health provider may be able to provide a referral for telehealth SUD treatment providers.
- State agencies. Nevada’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Agency (SAPTA) offers a directory of treatment providers, including those who have telehealth services.
If you’d like to search for a provider yourself, the following SAMHSA sources can help:
- Virtual Recovery Resources.
- 1-800-662-HELP (4357) Helpline for Mental and/or Substance Abuse.
American Addiction Centers’ Telehealth in Nevada
If you live in Nevada, you’re already near a renowned addiction treatment facility that offers both in-person and telehealth addiction treatment. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a well-known, industry leader in addiction care and has treatment facilities across the country, including the Desert Hope Treatment Center in Las Vegas.
Accessing personalized assistance from the staff at Desert Hope is as simple as joining a virtual meeting via your computer or phone. Initially, we guide you through an electronic permission-giving process that’s user-friendly even for those not technically inclined.
Upon granting permission, you receive a unique access code that allows you to access your telehealth services from the comfort of your home. Telehealth options include:
- Assessments needed to start treatment.
- Individual therapy sessions.
- Therapy groups.
- Family sessions.
- Psychoeducational groups (with topics ranging from relapse prevention to working through social isolation).
- Weekly check-ins for partial hospitalization program (PHP) participants.
- Case management, including aftercare coordination and planning.
- Discussions about individual medical concerns.
- Medical follow-up appointments.
Telehealth coverage varies according to your state of residence, local regulations, insurance plans, and more. However, AAC’s admissions navigators can not only help you explore treatment options in Nevada and elsewhere but also verify your insurance and answer your questions.