Telemedicine During COVID19 Pandemic

Hope you are all staying safe and healthy.

In compliance with San Diego County recommendations, medical practices are moving to telehealth services as much as possible for now.

While my hope is that the coronavirus situation is resolved sooner than later, until then my building is closed to foot traffic and I have shifted over to phone and videoconference care. I use this already quite a bit. I do many appointments this way and I teach in an online university and it actually works well.

I am providing information about the nature of telemedicine below for your information and we can talk about it more as needed.


If you haven't heard my March 6 podcast on COVID19, here is a link. It includes solid advice for handing anxiety and bias, although some of the information is evolving, such as the growing recognition that young people can become ill. I hope to have another one out soon.


Thanks so much,

Dr Feder


Telemedicine Information

“Telemedicine” means the practice of health care delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of medical data, and education, and that it is provided by a provider physically located elsewhere using interactive audio, video, or data communications. Telemedicine also involves the communication of my health information, both orally and visually, to the provider treating me via telemedicine and, as needed for purposes of my treatment. Patients in California have the following rights with respect to telemedicine:

(1) The right to withhold or withdraw consent at any time without affecting the right to future care or treatment or risking the loss or withdrawal of any program benefits to which a patient would otherwise be entitled.

(2) The laws that protect the confidentiality of medical information apply to telemedicine. As such, I the information that is disclosed during the course of therapy is generally confidential. However, there are both mandatory and permissive exceptions to confidentiality, including but not limited to reporting child and elder abuse, expressed threats of violence towards an ascertainable victim, and where a patient’s mental or emotional state an issue in a legal proceeding.

(3) The dissemination of any personally identifiable images or information from this telemedicine interaction to other entities, besides the health care provider treating via telemedicine or as otherwise permitted under applicable privacy laws shall not occur without written consent.

(4) There are potential risks and consequences related to the use of telemedicine, including, but not limited to, the possibility, despite reasonable efforts on the part of my provider, that the transmission of medical information could be disrupted or distorted by technological failures; the transmission of medical information could be interrupted by unauthorized persons; and/or the electronic storage of medical information could be accessed by unauthorized persons.

(5) Telemedicine services and care that do not involve face-to-face interaction may not be as complete as in-person or face-to-face services. If a provider believes that a patient be better served by another form of services (e.g., live, in-person services) the patient is referred to a provider who can provide such services. There are potential risks and benefits associated with telemedicine, just as there are with any form of medicine, and that despite the patient’s efforts and the efforts of the provider, the patient’s condition may not improve and, in some cases, may even worsen.

(6) Like traditional in-person medical services, patients may benefit from telemedicine, but that results cannot be guaranteed or assured.

(7) Patients have a right to access their medical information and copies of medical records in accordance with California law.

Please discuss with me any questions you might have.

Joshua Feder, M.D. Dr. Feder's Blog

You Might Also Enjoy...

Pharmacogenetics: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time?

There's so much marketing for genetic testing, but does it really help clinical care? Listen to our interview with Dr. Aaron Besterman about how genetic tests work, and what can be reliably taken away from them.

Duty to Warn: Antidepressants in Children and Adolescents

For 17 years, since the FDA black box warning about suicidality with antidepressants, our community has quoted data that downplays this concern. We were wrong. We were deceived. Antidepressants can be lifesaving, but there really is a duty to warn.

Affect Autism - Accept Reality?

Returning guest Dr. Joshua Feder and I discuss why it is so important to emphasize that accepting reality is a process that parents need to be supported in, and the ways in which we can do this.

Reimagining ADHD with Ned Hallowell

While medication is the mainstay of treating symptoms in ADHD, Edward Hallowell, MD, shares a positive, relationship-based approach to ADHD with practical strategies to help children and adolescents manage ADHD.

Air Quality and Mental Health

Air pollution, including particulate matter from forest fires, is a leading cause of health problems. It is also linked to psychiatric problems in children and adolescents. We take a closer look at the evidence and clinical implications in this episode.