Many AAMFT members may have heard about problems involving CareDash, a company that provides a public online portal to search for therapists and other healthcare providers. Many members are reporting that their professional profiles have been created on this website without their knowledge. It appears that CareDash has created profiles for LMFTs and other providers without their consent. The company claims that information for these profiles is generated from data that appears on public (government) websites.
When potential clients click on the profile of a therapist not registered with CareDash, the CareDash site informs them that the LMFT has not registered with CareDash, but that they can choose from other therapists, all of whom appear to be registered with BetterHelp, another site that allows potential clients to search for therapists. CareDash apparently has an affiliate relationship with BetterHelp.
If CareDash has created a profile of you without your knowledge or consent, you can file a complaint with the government entities that investigate these complaints. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the state attorneys general offices enforce consumer protection laws that protect the public from companies that are involved in promoting or selling deceptive or misleading products or services. To file a complaint with the FTC, please visit the FTC’s complaint portal. To file a complaint with your state’s attorney general, please this state attorneys general directory. After you file your complaint, you should receive a response from the FTC or state attorney general. If these offices believe that there is a violation of laws enforced by these offices, they can act. If one of your clients proactively mentions these problems, you can refer them to the FTC or your state attorney general’s office to file a complaint.
AAMFT opposes the actions taken by CareDash in posting providers’ information without their knowledge and encourages enforcement of any applicable violations. These deceptive business practices can potentially impede the development of healthy relationships with the mental health provider of the client’s choosing, and AAMFT is allied and in contact with mental health organizations to ensure that third parties are not profiting off a sensitive and private decision made by those seeking mental health services.