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Effective and Ethical Practice: Billing and Collecting for Your Mental Health Practice

CE Credit: 3

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Length: 3 hours

This video was webcast on October 12, 2012 and is now available as an On-Demand Recording.

While mental health professionals receive extensive training in the clinical aspects of their professional roles, they typically receive minimal, if any, education and training in the business aspects of practice. If all clients paid cash for the services provided at the end of each session little additional assistance would be needed. But, since many clinicians work with clients who utilize their health care insurance to provide reimbursement for services sought, professionals need to be well versed in billing and the collection of fees. Everyone intends to be ethical and remain within the bounds of the law. Not everyone does either through acts of omission or acts of commission. This presentation will focus on protecting clients’ rights, developing an informed consent process that relates to financial aspects of treatment, discuss how the APA Ethics Code relates to billing and collecting, issues of transference and countertransference that contribute to ethical transgressions, and case examples of ethical problems in billing and collecting will be presented. The role that managed care decisions play in billing and collecting, and ethical dilemmas posed by managed care for clinicians will also discussed.

Learning Objective 1
Identify important components of an adequate informed consent form to prevent the likelihood of an ethical breach with a client related to fees, billing and collecting.

Learning Objective 2
Identify one transference and one countertransference issue that often acts as a resistance to implementing a financial contract between clinician and client.

Learning Objective 3
Identify two common ethical problems faced by mental health professionals in establishing fees, raising of fees, and in the billing and collections process.

Presenter: Steven Walfish, PhD

Steven Walfish, Ph.D. is in private practice in Atlanta, a partner at The Practice Institute, and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine. He is the Editor of Earning a Living Outside of Managed Care: Fifty Ways to Expand Your Practice and co-author (with Jeff Barnett) of Financial Success in Mental Health Practice: Practical Strategies and Ethical Practice and Billing and Collecting for Your Mental Health Practice: Effective Strategies and Ethical Practice. He is Editor of APA Division 42’s Bulletin, The Independent Practitioner and is also President-elect of Division 42.


Supplementary Materials

  • Effective and Ethical Practice
  • Effective and Ethical Practice-Reference List