Age Verification and What it Means for Access to Care

At Cerebral, we work hard to implement one of the best age and identity-verification processes in the telehealth industry, one that meets or surpasses legal requirements while helping patients access mental health care within days. Our process is an improvement over your typical brick and mortar facility, where ID checks are done manually by front-office staff.

The verification process is not without friction, however, so it is our goal to create a seamless process that doesn’t restrict access for the patients who need it most. Improving the verification system is not a simple undertaking but we are working closely with providers and using the latest technology in-house to ensure we treat only those who are eligible for care.

Our process begins with a manual ID review for new patients by clinicians, who also verify identifiers such as birthdate and address, and then compare photos to prospective patients by video. If a health care provider can’t definitively confirm the data, we direct providers to let prospective patients know we cannot serve them, and promptly cancel their account and make refunds. As an additional level of security, we ask individuals to upload images from a government-issued identification document (such as a passport or driver’s license), which we then compare to live photos of their face using Persona, a sophisticated software program that is a further safeguard in recognizing accounts of those who are under 18.

This system is an important part of any new patient experience at Cerebral, but it is especially critical to ensure that we do not provide services to patients under the age of 18.  Psychiatric and behavioral issues affect people of all ages, not just adults, and access to mental health care for those under the age of 18 is especially complicated. In many states, children are prohibited from receiving care without the consent of their parents or legal guardian. At Cerebral, we do not work with patients under the age of 18.

The advent of telehealth has brought new possibilities to our field, but also new challenges, such as age verification. We are dedicated to improving access to mental health care services wherever we can, while going above and beyond to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. We are constantly refining and improving our safety and quality measures to ensure we deliver best-in-class care so that our patients can feel better, sooner, and so that we can help our patients achieve positive clinical outcomes.

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