I offer the 40 course to become a Licensed LPC and LMFT supervisor in Texas four times each year. I also offer consultation to mental health professionals asking for help with tough issues. When we discuss the parts of a service agreement/consent to treat, we always get lot of questions (and a few surprised looks) regarding what MUST be included in the document. Here are a few things (from the Texas LPC Code):
681.41 (6) Supervision
Supervision of the licensee by another licensed health care professional including the name, address, contact information and qualifications of the supervisor.
There have been lots of changes over the past two years regarding LPC-Interns and their supervisors. If you are a LPC Supervisor, your address and contact information must be readily available for any clients who are being seen by your LPC-Intern.
681.41 (8) Records
The established plan for the custody and control of the client’s mental health records in the event of the licensee’s death or incapacity, or the termination of the licensee’s counseling practice.
This is not a new revision, but it did change locations. Make sure you have a written agreement on file with another licensed health care provider who can serve as an agent to manage your confidential files upon your death. Do you have electronic files that require an annual payment through a credit card number to maintain? You may want to include that information as well.
Do you ever change your client’s fee? Do you ever use technology when you are taking or filing notes? Have you started using another provider for web-cam sessions with your clients? This is not a new rule, but it is often overlooked or treated casually. Whenever you change one of the terms listed in your current service agreement/consent to treat you must give your client the change in writing BEFORE you initiate the change:
681.41 (f) A licensee shall inform the client in writing of any changes to the items in subsection (e) of this section prior to initiating the change.
Some things we include in our service agreement are:
- The URL for the encryption data for our electronic filing service
- Our policies regarding social media (we don’t ‘friend’ our clients)
- Late cancel and no-show policies and definitions
Remember, seeking good consultation is a great way to keep your practice ship-shape. Find more resources at www.katewalkertraining.com.