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Telehealth, Emailing, and Texting: Legal, Ethical, and Practical Considerations

Presented By Michael Griffin, JD, LCSW; David Jensen, JD; Ann Tran-Lien, JD - 6 CE Hours

Workshop Description:

Although telehealth can be beneficial for consumers and providers, it is an activity that has many legal, ethical, and practical dimensions to consider before commencing. In this six-hour course, CAMFT attorneys, Michael Griffin, David Jensen, and Ann Tran-Lien will explore various legal, ethical, and practical issues that are fundamental to practicing telehealth. For instance, Michael Griffin will review the BBS’s regulations and CAMFT’s ethical standards regarding telehealth, and he will offer practical advice for complying with such laws and standards. David Jensen will address the thorny issue of practicing telehealth across state lines. Ann Tran-Lien will address how HIPAA’s security requirements affect the practice of telehealth. And, Michael Griffin and Ann Tran-Lien will discuss the technological edge to the telehealth problem, including emailing and texting patients. In addition to outlining the legal and ethical requirements of telehealth, this seminar will also devote some time to problem-solving some of the legal and ethical issues that recur within the telehealth milieu. Whether you are merely considering adopting telehealth as part of your practice, or have already done so, this seminar will give you the footing to ensure that you are practicing legally and ethically.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the steps a BBS-regulated psychotherapist must take at the initiation of telehealth services and for each telehealth session as required by the California Code of Regulations.
2. Identify relevant sections of the CAMFT Code of Ethics which concern telehealth.
3. Explain how the concept of “follow-up care,” as set forth in the case of Prince v. Urban (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 1056, may be different from the concept of practicing within a jurisdiction.
4. Describe the legal concept of “jurisdiction” and how it applies in civil and criminal cases involving psychotherapists.
5. Assess the risks involved when a psychotherapy practice utilizes videoconference, emails, and texts when delivering psychotherapy or communicating confidential information with patients.
6. Identify the administrative, physical and technical safeguards to protect patient’s confidential information transmitted or stored via videoconferencing, emailing, and texting as required by HIPAA.