The Portable Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals: An A-Z Guide to Protecting Your Clients, Your Practice, and Yourself / Edition 2

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Overview

Safeguard your mental health practice with up-to-date information and savvy advice on practicing in today's legal environment

Today's mental health professional must approach the legal aspects of practice with both sensitivity and foreknowledge. The array of legal guidelines and ethical standards to comprehend is increasing in scope and complexity. Licensing issues, ethics questions, and malpractice suits all present pitfalls that, if ignored or misapprehended, can interrupt or even end a career.

Written by two attorneys specializing in the legal aspects of mental health care, The Portable Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals, Second Edition is an indispensable survival guide for all clinicians. The authors explain how to handle allegations of malpractice, cope with threats of violence, preserve client confidentiality, and more. Each chapter features step-by-step guidance, helpful case studies, "legal light bulbs" highlighting important concepts, answers to frequently asked questions, dos and don'ts, and sample forms and contracts to help you safeguard your practice. Completely revised and updated, the Second Edition also includes new information on:
* HIPAA
* Treating older adults
* Using "exotic" therapy techniques
* Ethical and legal aspects of office leases
* And more

The Portable Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals, Second Edition offers the latest information for practicing in today's legal environment. Mental health caregivers, graduate students, attorneys, and clients alike will find this guide to be an invaluable resource.

The book contains no figures.

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Editorial Reviews

Aimee St. Pierre
This reference on legal aspects of clinical practice for mental health professionals includes sample forms and letters for use with clients. It is intended to provide easily accessible legal information for mental health professionals. This is a worthy goal, and this book should be useful for busy clinicians who may refer to it regarding a variety of issues that regularly arise in mental health practices. The authors have targeted all mental health professionals. However, psychiatrists will find this book somewhat lacking since it does not address issues related to medical diagnosis and treatment. The credibility of the authors is high; both are attorneys, and one is also a clinical social worker. This book addresses the fundamentals of clinical practice (e.g., confidentiality, fee arrangements, termination of treatment) and also includes legal aspects of business practice such as incorporation and managed care. Brief clinical vignettes are used to introduce important legal issues, and significant points are bulleted for quick reference. Sample forms are a particularly useful feature. The failure to include the aspects of practice unique to psychiatrists, especially related to somatic treatments, is a particular shortcoming of this book. Also, the lengthy sample incorporation documents are of little utility to the reader. This book is a unique and valuable addition to the paucity of literature addressing the legal aspects of conducting a mental health practice. The quality of the legal information is excellent without being overly detailed or obscure. While the book has obvious usefulness for students and beginning practitioners, its format and organization make it a resourcealso for busy clinicians who have specific questions or are in need of an update on legal aspects of practice management.
From The Critics
Reviewer: Aimee St. Pierre, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This reference on legal aspects of clinical practice for mental health professionals includes sample forms and letters for use with clients.
Purpose: It is intended to provide easily accessible legal information for mental health professionals. This is a worthy goal, and this book should be useful for busy clinicians who may refer to it regarding a variety of issues that regularly arise in mental health practices.
Audience: The authors have targeted all mental health professionals. However, psychiatrists will find this book somewhat lacking since it does not address issues related to medical diagnosis and treatment. The credibility of the authors is high; both are attorneys, and one is also a clinical social worker.
Features: This book addresses the fundamentals of clinical practice (e.g., confidentiality, fee arrangements, termination of treatment) and also includes legal aspects of business practice such as incorporation and managed care. Brief clinical vignettes are used to introduce important legal issues, and significant points are bulleted for quick reference. Sample forms are a particularly useful feature. The failure to include the aspects of practice unique to psychiatrists, especially related to somatic treatments, is a particular shortcoming of this book. Also, the lengthy sample incorporation documents are of little utility to the reader.
Assessment: This book is a unique and valuable addition to the paucity of literature addressing the legal aspects of conducting a mental health practice. The quality of the legal information is excellent without being overly detailed or obscure. While the book has obvious usefulness for students and beginning practitioners, its format and organization make it a resource also for busy clinicians who have specific questions or are in need of an update on legal aspects of practice management.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471465515
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/2/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Barton E. Bernstein, JD, LMSW, is an attorney in private practice. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Texas, Arlington, and a licensed master social worker.

Thomas L. Hartsell Jr., JD, is an attorney and mediator in private practice and an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University and Northlake College. Together the authors have coauthored The Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals (Wiley) and conduct workshops and seminars across the United States.

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Table of Contents

SECTION ONE: CLINICAL RECORDS: PROTECTED OR NOT.

1. Clinical Notes.

2. Consent Forms.

3. Correcting Errors.

4. Discharge or Termination.

5. Electronic Records.

6. Intake and Consent Forms.

7. Maintaining Records.

8. Treatment Plans.

SECTION TWO: CONFIDENTIALITY.

9. Couples, Family, and Group Therapy.

10. Insider Information.

11. Third-Party Payers.

SECTION THREE: CONTRACTS.

12. Capitation Agreements.

13. “Gag Rules”.

14. Office Leases.

SECTION FOUR: FEES.

15. Sliding Fee Scales.

16. Recovering Unpaid Fees.

SECTION FIVE: FORENSIC ISSUES.

17. Abuse Allegations.

18. Child Custody and Consent-to-Treat Issues.

19. Children as Witnesses.

20. Expert Witness.

21. Forensic Evaluation.

22. Involuntary Commitment.

23. Threats of Violence.

SECTION SIX: PRACTICE MODELS.

24. Groups.

25. Partnerships.

26. Solo Practitioner: Incorporate or Not?

SECTION SEVEN: HOW TO AVOID MALPRACTICE CHARGES.

27. Acts of Commission.

28. Acts of Omission.

29. What to Do If You Are Sued.

SECTION EIGHT: MANAGED CARE.

30. Confidentiality Issues.

31. Duty to Appeal.

SECTION NINE: TEAMWORK.

32. Legal Aspects of Delegating.

33. Supervisor/Supervisee Responsibilities.

SECTION TEN: UNUSUAL PRACTICES.

34. Geriatric Clients.

35. Nontraditional and Exotic Therapies.

36. Internet Therapy.

SECTION ELEVEN: THE HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT (HIPPA).

37. HIPAA Overview.

38. HIPAA Privacy Rule.

39. Personal Representatives (45 CFR 164.502(g)).

40. Business Associates (45 CFR 164.502(e), 164.504(e), 164.532(d) and (e)).

41. Uses and Disclosures for Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations (45 CFR 164.506).

42. Disclosures for Public Health Activities and Workers’ Compensation.

43. Marketing and Research (Accounting for Disclosures).

44. Notice of Privacy Practices for Protected Health Information (45 CFR 164.520).

45. Restrictions on Government Access to Health Information (45 CFR Part 160, Subpart C; 164.512(f )).

46. HIPAA Security Rule.

APPENDIX A: Bylaws for an IPA.

APPENDIX B: Partnership Agreement.

APPENDIX C: Articles of Incorporation: Professional Corporation.

APPENDIX D: Articles of Incorporation: General Corporation.

APPENDIX E: Sample Business Associate Contract.

APPENDIX F: Business Associate Contract (Attorney Services).

APPENDIX G: Authorization for the Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information.

APPENDIX H: Client Information Amendment Form.

APPENDIX I: Notice of Privacy Practices of Susan A. Jones, LPC.

APPENDIX J: Accounting of Disclosures of Protected Health Information.

APPENDIX K: Request for Accounting of Protected Health Information Disclosures.

APPENDIX L: Authorization Revocation Form.

REFERENCES AND READING MATERIALS.

INDEX.

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