TN 14 (07-14)
DI 22510.012 Use of Video Teleconferencing Technology for Psychiatric and Psychological Consultative Examinations
20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1, §12.00D
A. Policy Overview
When evaluating mental disorders and additional evidence is needed to develop the claim, we may conduct video consultative examinations (VCEs) in rural areas, or other areas with consultative examination (CE) provider shortages.
If we schedule a VCE, the claimant has the right to request a face-to-face examination without penalty. Therefore, it’s important that the claimant is aware of the use of video conferencing prior to the appointment.
B. What types of VCEs can the Disability Determination Services (DDS) schedule?
DDSs may use VCE to conduct only:
NOTE: The mental status examination is performed in the course of a clinical interview and is often partly assessed while the history is being obtained. A comprehensive mental status examination generally includes a narrative description of appearance, behavior, and speech; thought process (e.g., loosening of associations); thought content (e.g., delusions); perceptual abnormalities (e.g., hallucinations); mood and affect (e.g., depression, mania); sensorium and cognition (e.g., orientation, recall, memory, concentration, fund of information, and intelligence); and judgment and insight. The individual case facts determine the specific areas of mental status that need to be emphasized during the examination.
See also, DI 22510.021 Consultative Examination (CE) Report Content Guidelines - Mental Disorders
C. VCE scheduling criteria
You may schedule a psychiatric or psychological VCE according to your DDS policy if they meet all three of the following conditions:
the available video conferencing technology permits the claimant to adequately see, hear, and understand the health provider in a mental status VCE;
the CE provider confirms the technology permits proper evaluation of claimants; and,
the DDS uses secure broadband connections to maintain claimant privacy.
NOTE: Follow our current CE rules to reschedule a VCE.
D. Licensure – Can DDSs schedule VCEs across state borders?
At this time, only providers who hold multiple state licenses may conduct CEs across state borders. State licensing regulations for most health care providers do not allow them to practice across state borders without appropriate licensing. State regulations generally require that a provider hold a license in the state where the patient is located. Confirm state licensing requirements prior to scheduling across state borders.
See also, DI 22510.010 Selecting a Qualified Medical Source to Perform a Consultative Examination (CE).