Therapists aren't going to stop putting patients on the couch due to the coronavirus outbreak -- they just have to find creative ways to do it ... billing included.
TMZ spoke with a number of therapists and patients across 3 states, and what we're hearing is that one-one-one sessions continue to be the norm during the outbreak. However, with the mandate for social distancing ... those appointments have moved to digital platforms.
As the "Peanuts" character, Lucy, would say, the doctor is still in -- but she's having phone convos or video chats with patients from home.
The biggest hurdle with the new format comes down to money. Shrinks are still charging top dollar even if all the communication is virtual -- but we're told some insurance companies won't cover telemedicine methods.
One option for patients appears to be going through a company called Doxy.Me, which lets doctors and patients hop into a private chat while honoring HIPPA.
That's one loophole, and a necessary one. Obviously, there's been plenty of upheaval in society that might prompt one to seek professional help -- as we did recently with Dr. Philon "TMZ Live."
Our sources tell us some therapists are simply playing a good samaritan and only charging patients their out of pocket co-payments, if their insurance won't cover video or phone sessions.
It's a nice gesture ... not everyone's doing it though.