Telehealth is Face-to-Face Service Delivery
The Commentary contests the increasingly outdated and narrow use of the terminology ‘face-to-face’ (often abbreviated as F2F) to connote clinical interactions in which both the client and the practitioner are physically present in the same room or space. An expanded definition is necessary because when delivered synchronously via videoconferencing, telehealth also provides face-to-face services (i.e., the practitioner and the client view each other’s faces). Terminology that uses face-to-face to connote only in-person care is limiting and perpetuates language that is out of line with progressive US regulatory language and broad interpretation within existing regulatory language. It is this author’s hope that this commentary will raise awareness of the important policy implications associated with this seemingly minor distinction in terminology and impact the lingering misapplication of the term, face-to-face.
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