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California Law and Professional Ethics

Author: Heidi Dalzell, PsyD., Claudia Dewane, LICSW, D.Ed. and Teresa Crowe, PhD, LICSW
(Click author's name for bio)

Course Created: 2021

Practice Level: Advanced

No book to buy Duration: 12 hours
4.6 out of 5.0, Based on: 196 reviews

Course Summary

This learning material meets the 12-hour California law and professional ethics pre-licensure requirement. Designed for mental health professionals this course explores the Statutes and Regulations Relating to the Practices of Clinical Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Educational Psychology, Clinical Social Work. Part I of this course, California Law and Ethics, provides a review of California-specific laws and professional ethics with expanded sections related to competency and burnout. Part II focuses on legal and ethical issues in treating victims of domestic violence. Part III provides a comprehensive look at the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a key topic for providers who take third-party reimbursement. As part of the overall discussion on competency, Part IV of this learning material discusses the provision of telehealth, which has seen unanticipated and exponential growth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020. Part V provides an alternative lens through which to look at ethical issues, using the framework of medical errors and root cause analysis.

Course Format

This course is based on a book and a post test. When you're ready, purchase the test by clicking the "Add To Cart" button. This will let you take the test and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss established ethical and legal requirements contained in the Statutes and Regulations Relating to The Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, Educational Psychology, and Clinical Social Work and specified in the ethical codes for the professions identified.
  • Recognize common ethical dilemmas.
  • Identify elements of licensing law and licensure processes for mental health professionals
  • Define confidentiality, limits of confidentiality, and informed consent.
  • Explain relevant California laws governing professional practice including laws regarding minors' consent and confidentiality, mandated reporting, Laura's Law, and laws governing subpoenas.
  • Discuss the Tarasoff and Ewing rulings related to the professional Duty to Warn.
  • Explain professional competence and the steps a provider should take to maintain competencies related to cross cultural practice, self-assessment related to burnout, and competence to provide telehealth.
  • Describe the dynamics of and ethical concerns related to dual relationships, including non-sexual and sexual relationships.
  • Distinguish between termination and patient abandonment.
  • Identify the scope of the problem, including intimate partner homicide, lethality assessment, and nonfatal injuries.
  • Explain reasons why victims often fail to report intimate partner violence.
  • Describe "mandatory arrest" and "dual arrest" policies and their implications.
  • Describe issues related to empowerment and advocacy, ethical and legal issues related to domestic violence, and safety planning.
  • Discuss ethical and legal issues related to domestic violence.
  • Discuss established ethical and legal requirements contained in HIPAA.
  • List the components of HIPAA.
  • Explain incidental uses of health information and reasonable safeguards.
  • Describe the informed consent procedure, including the Notice of Privacy Practices.
  • Describe patient access to information.
  • Distinguish between psychotherapy notes and the clinical record.
  • Describe research related to the role and effectiveness of telehealth.
  • Recognize the ethical principles related to the practice of telehealth (e.g., competence, confidentiality).

Course Syllabus

INTRODUCTION
PART I. CALIFORNIA LAW AND ETHICS 

SCOPE OF PRACTICE FOR THE PROFESSIONS
Content of Statutes and Regulations Relating to the Practices of Clinical Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Educational Psychology, Clinical Social Work
Ethics vs. Law
Licensure of Mental Health Professionals
Confidentiality
Confidentiality and Minors

MANDATED REPORTING
Defining Child Abuse
Dimensions of the Problem of Child and Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse 
Signs of Elder Abuse
Good Faith Reporting
Laura’s Law

ADVERTISING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

DUTY TO PROTECT (TARASOFF AND EWING)

ACHIEVING AND MAINTAINING COMPETENCE
Compassion Fatigue and Burnout
Properly Identifying Level of Competence to the Public
Seeking Consultation
Competence with Cultural/Linguistic Minorities and Non-Discrimination in Providing Services 

INFORMED CONSENT

MULTIPLE OR NONSEXUAL DUAL RELATIONSHIPS
Online Relationships
Consequences to the Therapist of Boundary Violations
Physical Contact with Clients

SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH CLIENTS
Warning Signs of Sexual Inappropriateness
Consequences of Sexual Boundary Violations

TREATMENT TERMINATION AND CLIENT ABANDONMENT
Mental Health Parity

PART II. ISSUES IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES


SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM
Intimate Partner Homicide
Assessing Safety
Other Losses

REPORTING INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
Mandatory and Dual Arrest Policies
Advocacy
Navigating the Systems
Ethical Considerations: Confidentiality

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SAFETY PLAN


PART III. THE HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT (HIPAA)
Learning Objectives

COMPONENTS OF HIPAA
Healthcare Portability
Protected Health Information
HIPAA Privacy Standards

WHO IS A “COVERED ENTITY”?

INCIDENTAL USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

PATIENT ACCESS TO RECORDS
Therapy Notes vs. the Clinical Record
Forensic Services

HIPAA SECURITY STANDARDS

PART IV. CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE PROVISION OF TELEHEALTH


COMPUTER BASICS
Computer Terminology Basics 
Computer Security

TELEHEALTH TECHNOLOGY BASICS
Types of Technology
Secured vs. Unsecured Technology
Platforms

COMMON TELEHEALTH ETHICAL ENCOUNTERS
Creating an Informed Consent Form for Telehealth

BEST PRACTICES IN TELEHEALTH
Offer Orientation to the Technology Before Beginning Treatment
Video Etiquette
Video Space
Video Presentation Skills
Risks of Teletherapy
Graduate Education and Telehealth
Multicultural Considerations

RISK MANAGEMENT IN DOCUMENTING ENCOUNTERS

ETHICAL ISSUES IN TELEHEALTH WITH CHILDREN, COUPLES, AND GROUPS
Working with Children Virtually
Working with Couples and Families
Working with Groups via Telehealth

SUPERVISION VIA VIDEOCONFERENCING

STANDARDS PERTINENT TO TELEHEALTH
Practicing Across State Lines
Telehealth Training


PART V. PREVENTING MEDICAL ERRORS: BEST PRACTICES FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS 

DEFINITION OF MEDICAL ERRORS

ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS

COMPETENCE
Cultural Competence
Informed Consent
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Confidentiality
Mandatory Abuse Reporting
Duty to Protect
Responding to Suicidal Risk
Failure to Detect Medical Conditions
Termination of Treatment/Financial Aspects

SUMMARY

REFERENCES

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Ce4Less.com, provider #1115, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Ce4Less.com maintains responsibility for this course. ASWB ACE Approval Period: 8/8/2018-8/8/2021.

We are committed to providing our learners with unbiased information. Ce4Less never accepts commercial support and our authors have no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to the material

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