How Virtual Visits work
Virtual visits are a way to see your provider from the comfort and safety of your own home. During the coronavirus outbreak, Western's services are solely virtual.
Western is utilizing Zoom for secure, HIPAA-compliant video and audio connection. Zoom works with a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
To attend a session
At the time of the appointment, find your clinician in our Staff Directory and click on the "Virtual Visit" button. Your clinician will admit you to the session when ready.
Privacy and Security
Western Psychological & Counseling Services takes privacy and security seriously. It is vitally important to us that your information is protected.
Our video conferencing is HIPAA-compliant, secure, and encrypted.
It is important to know about two settings in the system we use:
1- We have turned off any setting for recording a call. We do not record sessions. The video or audio content of the session is not stored anywhere.
2- We utilize the “waiting room” feature. Just like a lobby at our site, a client checks in and is admitted by the provider when ready. This puts the provider in control of who enters the virtual room. This helps prevent the “zoombombing” problems that people are experiencing. This “waiting room” feature serves the same purpose as a password.
We are continuously monitoring the industry related to privacy and security of video conferencing services. We will respond to any concern as it arises. We take this issue seriously.
If you are not comfortable with a video session, one option to consider is to use the phone only. Many plans are covering visits that only use audio at this time.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Will the visit be private/secure?
Yes. When you enter the digital “waiting room”, you are in an encrypted and private link. that does not store or forward the call to any other location. The "waiting room" allows a clinician to admit people into a session when ready.
I’m not very comfortable with virtual visits; how is it different from face-to-face therapy?
Many people feel hesitant to try a virtual visit, but they often find that after the call begins, it feels much the same as in-person sessions. We encourage you to discuss your feelings or any challenges with your provider.
Will my insurance pay for virtual visits?
Virtual visits are covered by most insurances at the same rates as in-office services. This is especially true during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have options for you to pay your co-pay over the phone at 503-233-5405 or through our online client portal.
What else do I need to know before I have a virtual visit?
Your provider will ensure they are in a private location and will ask that you do the same. They may also confirm your location and phone number at the beginning of the call in case of an emergency or if the call is disconnected. It is best to set aside time and space for the visit like you would in an office setting.