How to Find a Telehealth or Tele-mental Health Provider

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Many of the same considerations for finding a provider for in-person health services apply to finding a telehealth or tele-mental health provider. You should look for a provider who is licensed, qualified, experienced, and compatible with your needs and preferences.

How can you find a telehealth or tele-mental health provider?

  • Ask your primary care provider for a referral or recommendation.
  • Contact your insurance company or visit their website to see what providers are in-network and what services are covered.
  • Search online directories or databases of telehealth or tele-mental health providers, such as those offered by professional associations or organizations.
  • Read online reviews or testimonials from other patients who have used telehealth or tele-mental health services.
  • Ask your friends, family, or peers for suggestions or feedback.

How do you prepare for a Telehealth or Tele-mental Health Visit?

Once you have found a provider and scheduled an appointment, you should prepare for your telehealth or tele-mental health visit by following these steps:

  • Test your device, connection, and platform before the session to make sure they work properly. If possible, use a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi for better stability.
  • Choose a quiet, private, and comfortable location where you will not be disturbed or distracted. Use headphones or earbuds if needed.
  • Have any materials or documents you may need during the session ready, such as your insurance card, medication list, notes, questions, etc.
  • Log in to the platform or app at least 10 minutes before the session starts. Follow the instructions provided by your provider or the platform to join the session.
  • Be respectful, honest, and engaged during the session. Treat it as you would an in-person visit. Ask for clarification or feedback if needed.
  • After the session, write down any important information or instructions from your provider. Follow up with any questions or concerns you may have.
  • If you do not have the ability to access telehealth services in your home see if your local healthcare providers, libraries, or other agencies may be able to provide a private space for you and others in the community to access telehealth services.

Telehealth and tele-mental health platforms are convenient and effective ways to receive health care services, especially for mental health conditions. They can offer many benefits, such as increased access, reduced barriers, and improved technology. However, they also have some drawbacks, such as potential issues with quality, cost, privacy, and insurance coverage.

You should weigh the pros and cons of using telehealth and tele-mental health and find a provider who meets your needs and preferences. You should also prepare for your virtual visit by testing your technology, choosing a suitable location, and being respectful and engaged.

Additional reading and information:

How do I schedule a telehealth appointment? |

How do I use telehealth for behavioral health care? |

What do I need to use telehealth? |

What should I know before my telehealth visit? |

What if I’m having trouble using telehealth? |

What happens after my telehealth visit? |

Benefits of Telehealth and Tele-Mental Health

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Telehealth is the use of telephones and\or videoconferencing technology to provide health care services, including mental health care. Tele-mental health is sometimes referred to as telepsychiatry or telepsychology. Research suggests that tele-mental health services can be effective for many people, including those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.

Telehealth and Tele-mental health can make a difference in the care and treatment of individuals that are unable to travel due to illness, who are unable to drive, or cannot afford to travel to see specialists or their primary care doctor. Having access to preventative healthcare as well as care during an illness can improve the health of individuals and allow them to stay in their homes instead of a long-term care facility.

Having the ability to access a reliable broadband provider is an essential component of accessing healthcare and mental health services virtually. Broadband connectivity should be affordable and reliable so all individuals can access services such as Telehealth and Tele-mental health.

Let’s explore some of the benefits and drawbacks of using telehealth and tele-mental health, as well as some tips on how to find a provider and prepare for a virtual visit.

Benefits of Telehealth and Tele-mental Health:

  • Convenience: You don’t have to travel to see your provider, which can save you time, money, and hassle. You can also schedule appointments with less notice and at more flexible hours.
  • Broader reach: You can access providers who may not be available in your area, especially if you live in a remote or rural location. You can also receive care in emergency situations or when you need immediate support.
  • Fewer barriers: You may feel more comfortable and less stigmatized seeking mental health care through a screen than in person. You may also find it easier to open up and share your feelings with a provider who is not physically present.
  • Advances in technology: As telehealth and tele-mental health services have increased, providers have become more familiar with the technology and platforms they use. Some providers have switched to entirely virtual practices, which can offer more consistency and continuity of care.

Disadvantages of Telehealth and Tele-mental Health:

  • Access to technology: You need a reliable internet connection and a device that can support audio and video. You may also need to download specific software or apps to use the service.
  • Quality issues: The quality of the audio and video may vary depending on your device, connection, and platform. Poor quality can affect how well you can communicate with your provider and how satisfied you are with the service.
  • Cost: You may need to invest in new or updated equipment, platforms, or networks to use telehealth and tele-mental health services. You may also have to pay out-of-pocket fees if your insurance does not cover the service or if you use an out-of-network provider.
  • Privacy: You need to ensure that your device, connection, and platform are secure and that no one else can access or overhear your sessions. You may also feel less comfortable sharing personal information with a provider who is not physically present.
  • Insurance coverage: The policies and regulations regarding telehealth and tele-mental health services vary from state to state and from insurer to insurer. You need to check with your provider and your insurance company before using the service to make sure it is covered and what the requirements are.

Telehealth and Tele-mental health service can provide a great advantage to you in your personal care and well-being. Being able to visit with your primary care provider, specialists, or mental health professional remotely can give you access that is more convenient for you, does not require travel to their office, and can give you a greater level of privacy by being able to receive services in your home. Using telehealth and tele-mental health does require broadband access to have full audio and video visits with your healthcare provider as well as a device capable of video conferencing. Cost and insurance coverage also need to be considered when deciding to use Telehealth and tele-mental health services.

Additional reading and information:

Why use telehealth? |

What are different types of telehealth? |

How do I pay for telehealth? |

What can be treated through telehealth? |

How do I protect my data and privacy? |

Understanding Drive-By and Pop-Up Computer Infections

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I’ve just spent some time scanning a computer in my house that had a pop-up virus trying to infect it. Drive-by and pop-up infections are quite common and can lead to your computer and data being compromised.

Drive-by downloads are a form of cyberattack where malware is unintentionally downloaded and installed on a user’s computer. This can occur when a user visits a compromised website or clicks on a deceptive link. The downloaded malware can then perform various malicious activities, such as hijacking the computer, spying on network activity, or destroying data.

Pop-up computer infections, on the other hand, often masquerade as legitimate warnings or advertisements. They can be very persistent, tricking users into clicking on them, which may lead to the installation of malware. These pop-ups can appear even when not browsing the internet, indicating the presence of adware or other malicious software on the system.

To protect against these threats, follow these recommendations:

Keep Your Software Updated – Regularly update your operating system, browser, and any installed software to patch security vulnerabilities.

Install an Ad-Blocker – Ad-blockers can prevent malicious ads from appearing and reduce the risk of accidental clicks that could lead to malware infections. PC Mag has their list of top 5 add blockers.

Use Antivirus Software – A reliable antivirus program can detect and remove malicious software before it harms your system. PC Mag and CNet have their reviews of Antivirus programs for the year.

Enable “Click-to-Play Plugins” in Your Browser – This prevents multimedia content from running automatically and can stop drive-by downloads from executing.

Download Software from Trusted Sources – Be cautious of downloading free software. Ensure you obtain it from legitimate sources and providers to avoid bundled malware.

Adjust Browser Security Settings – Maintain your browser’s default security settings or enhance them to block unauthorized downloads and pop-ups.

Be Wary of Social Engineering – Educate yourself on the tactics used by cybercriminals to lure users into downloading malware, such as phishing emails and fake websites.

Regular Backups – Keep regular backups of your important data. In case of an infection, you can restore your system without losing critical information.

For those who suspect their system may be infected, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the process:

Disconnect from the Internet – As soon as you suspect an infection, disconnect your computer from the internet. This prevents the malware from transmitting any sensitive data and stops it from downloading additional malicious components. For pop-up infections, you can power down your machine by holding the power button in for 10 seconds. Many of these pop-up infections run in the computer memory to start and by shutting down the computer without clicking on any recommended links or trying to close the applications on your computer can reduce the chance of further infection.

Enter Safe Mode (Windows MacOS) – Reboot your computer in Safe Mode. This will start your computer with only the essential programs running, which can help prevent the malware from loading.

Check Installed Programs – Review your installed programs and remove anything that looks suspicious or that you don’t remember installing.

Run Antivirus Scans – Use a reputable antivirus program to run a thorough scan of your system. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a widely recommended tool for removing malware and unwanted programs. Malwarebytes has both a free and subscription-based service.

Use Secondary Scanners – Sometimes, a second opinion is necessary. Tools like HitmanPro can provide a secondary scan that might catch malware that slipped past your primary antivirus software. Hitman Pro.Alert is their fee-based version.

Reset Your Browsers – Malware often makes changes to your browser settings. Resetting your browsers to their default settings can undo these changes. Once at the default setting, you can change back to any customizations you made to enhance security above the default settings.

Update Your Software – Ensure that your operating system, browsers, and all plugins are up to date with the latest security patches. Outdated software can be vulnerable to exploitation by malware.

Change Passwords – After cleaning your system, change your passwords. This is a crucial step, as malware can capture keystrokes and compromise your accounts.

Backup Your Data – Regularly back up your data to an external drive or cloud storage. If you have a backup from before the infection, you may be able to restore your files if they’ve been damaged or encrypted by malware.

Stay Informed – Educate yourself on the latest threats and how to avoid them. Drive-by downloads can exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software, so keeping informed can help you stay one step ahead of potential infections.

Consult Local Computer Repair Professionals – If you’re not confident in your ability to clean your system or if the infection persists, seek the help of your local computer professional. It’s better to get expert assistance than to risk further damage to your system.

While drive-by and pop-up computer infections pose a significant risk, awareness and proactive measures can greatly reduce the chances of falling victim to these cyber threats. It’s a continuous battle against cybercriminals, but with the right tools and practices, you can safeguard your information and continue to enjoy the benefits of your digital life.

You can find additional information and resources at the following sites:

Malware Protection for Home 2023 | Malwarebytes

Download HitmanPro: Scan and Remove Malware

Best Antivirus Software for 2024 – CNET

The Best Ad Blockers for 2024 | PCMag

What are drive-by downloads + drive-by attack prevention tips | Norton

How to remove a fake virus alert – Norton

How to Enable Click-to-Play Plugins in Every Web Browser (

Start your PC in safe mode in Windows – Microsoft Support

Start up your Mac in safe mode – Apple Support