Membership in AAMFT allows you access to various member benefits, including consultations with AAMFT’s legal and ethics staff. More information, including information about eligibility for consultations and important limitations to the consultation service, can be found here.
Between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015, AAMFT’s legal and ethics consultation service received approximately 531 inquiries. During that period, the top five most frequently asked about topic categories were:
- Duty to Report
- Multiple Relationships/Conflicts of Interest and Billing and Insurance issues
Some of the questions asked included:
Records- record retention issues, client requests to access records, and release of records to third parties.
Duty to report- mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect, dependent adult abuse and neglect, and domestic violence, as well as reporting of suspected unethical conduct of colleagues and other licensees.
Confidentiality- managing confidentiality when there are multiple individuals in a client unit, requests for information from third parties, and client disclosures of past crimes or communicable diseases.
Multiple relationships and conflicts of interest- Questions include various scenarios that might involve an increased risk of harm or exploitation of clients or an increased risk of impaired professional judgment. Examples of such scenarios include connecting with clients via social media, entering into a social friendship with clients, hiring clients or former clients, and engaging in business transactions with clients.
Billing and insurance issues- requests for information from insurers, demands for repayment from insurers, appropriate billing and coding practices, and claim denials from insurers.
Subpoenas- issues related to confidentiality and privilege, questions about how to proceed when there are multiple individuals in the client unit, and general questions about what to expect in depositions and hearings.
Stay tuned to the AAMFT blog for our Legal and Ethics FAQ Blog Series, which will provide general information on these most frequently asked about topics and questions.