Ethical and Legal Issues in Digital Age Private Practice: A Heart-Centered Approach

Presented and developed by Roy Huggins, LPC, NCC

Managing a practice in the modern era has significantly increased in complexity.  We get a lot of messages abut paperless offices, an increasing pressure to get our clients records on "the cloud," using websites to market ourselves, all in an array of advice and messages that leave us wondering what is ethical, legal and good for our clients....and ourselves.

In this training we will explore these questions and more:

  • Is it possible for me to go "paperless" while keeping client confidentiality intact?
  • Am I required to get an Electronic Health Record system for my practice?  What do I do with one if I am?
  • What are my technological needs if I wish to offer online therapy, often called "Skype Therapy?"
  • Can I safely use my website as a resource for clients? 
  • My clients want me to take credit cards.  Can I do that? Will I lose my shirt or violate HIPAA or ethics codes if I do?
  • How do I ethically deal with negative online reviews?  Can I ethically use reviews to promote my practice?
  • Can I email or text my clients with scheduling and billing concerns without violating HIPAA?

Important note:  This is an ethics training and meets the requirements for re-licensure and thus is not likely a useful resource for learning about marketing or growing a private practice.  While we will explore issues around practice promotion, they will be focused on how modern practice promotion raises ethical and legal concerns, what those concerns are and what people typically do to manage them.

This program will be taught in a seminar format and will focus on helping attendees to gain the knowledge and tools they currently need to proceed with what I call "conscientious courage"--an ability to proceed without fear due to having the knowledge and motivation necessary to proceed ethically and legally.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to maintain a website that meets ethical and legal requirements and reasonably adheres to professional guidelines
  • Take necessary legal (e.g. HIPAA and others) and ethical precautions to use modern payment systems, including credit cards and online payments, in private practice
  • Describe the confidentiality and law-related concerns around telehealth tools, and how to find tools that fit clinician and client needs
  • Communicate with clients using electronic tools in a manner that is compliant with legal and ethical standards, including HIPAA
  • Professionally and ethically navigate the handling of negative online reviews and the use of positive ones
  • Describe Meaningful Use and the role of mental health clinicians in the national adoption of Electronic Health Records.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

6 CEs

6 Law and Ethics CEs

Cascadia Training is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.  The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program.

Cascadia is also approved by the Washington State Office of Public Instruction as a "Washington State approved clock hour offering workshop."

Roy Huggins, LPC, NCC

Roy Huggins earned his BA from Grinnell College with a major in music.  In an interesting twist of fate, his studies in music lead straight in to professional Web development as co-owner and manager of TUG Internet Specialists, a Web development and consulting firm in Grinnell, IA.  After a couple years, the firm broke up and Roy moved in to a solo career, where he not only built websites and internet-based software systems, but consulted with clients on marketing concerns both practical and ethical, web-based business plans and web presence expansion.

In 2007, Mr. Huggins received his Masters of Science in Counseling.  He spent 3 years in Sapporo, Japan where he practiced on weekends, then returned to Portland, OR and set up a full-time practice in 2010.  That practice continues today.

Roy has since done consulting and training on digital ethics issues for hundreds of health care colleagues as well as teaching a class on building websites for mental health private practices.  Roy is now the Tech Committee Chair for the unified Oregon Counseling Association, a member of the Zur Institute Advisory Board, and an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University's Department of Counselor Education.

In addition to clinical practice, Roy's work is focused on helping colleagues clinicians to navigate the modern digital world both ethically and effectively, with "conscientious courage" so that we can meet the people we serve where they are in safe and useful ways.

To get more information about Roy:

Upcoming Dates and Registration

No dates have been scheduled for this course. Please check back soon.

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