Trust Risk Management Workshops:
Legal and Ethical Risks and Risk Management in Professional Practice

Live Workshops – The Trust

Attend a workshop, earn 6 CE credits, and take 15% off your Trust Sponsored Professional Liability Policy premium (for 2 consecutive renewals at your next policy renewal).

Experts agree that regardless of what happens with health care reform legislation at the state and national level, the industrialization of the health care system is going to continue. New practice models will require psychologists to confront an increasingly complex legal and liability environment in which the development of an effective risk management strategy will be essential for career and economic survival. 

These are but a few of the developments that have increased the liability and disciplinary exposure that psychologists now face. At the same time, many sources report an increase in the number of complaints to licensing boards and professional ethics committees, where even a minor disciplinary sanction can seriously damage or even destroy a career. It is not uncommon for managed care to reject practitioners who have been sanctioned by any disciplinary body or have lost or agreed to non-nuisance settlements in a malpractice case. 

Eric A. Harris, Ed.D., J.D., Joe Scroppo, Ph.D., J.D., and Daniel O. Taube, J.D., Ph.D. draw upon their extensive experience in law and clinical practice as well as consultations to psychologists in all aspects of professional practice to develop these nationally acclaimed risk management workshops, specifically designed for psychologists. In addition to reducing the risk that a successful malpractice action will be brought, the workshops help practitioners to cope with potential complaints to licensing boards and ethics committees, and to respond to the increasing accountability requirements mandated by third party reimbursement sources. 

The Trust currently provides risk management workshops in five sequences, each with core learning objectives as well as more specific issues and objectives related to the particular sequence. The workshops are most often produced in conjunction with state psychological associations, state licensing boards, hospitals, and other related organizations.

Trust Risk Management Workshops are designed to help you:

  • Recognize the major elements of disciplinary complaints and malpractice suits;
  • Identify situations that present the greatest risk to practitioners, both now and in the future;
  • Implement a system of specific procedural strategies that will reduce the risk of malpractice actions and disciplinary complaints;
  • Recognize essential information about laws governing therapeutic confidentiality and its exceptions;
  • Implement an effective system of providing "informed consent" to clients, including a sample psychologist/patient contract;
  • Determine how and when to consult with others to reduce the risk of malpractice.

Workshop Sequences and Learning Objectives:

Sequence VI

Ethics and Risk Management in the Age of The Affordable Care Act: Everything You Didn't Want to Know and Were Afraid to Ask, workshop objectives:

  • Summarize the basic principles of The Trust's Risk Management Strategy
  • Identify three major changes in the organization and delivery of healthcare services that will impact psychological practice
  • Develop a strategy for transitioning to and working with electronic health record systems
  • Develop documentation strategies for interacting with medical homes and other medical healthcare delivery systems
  • Describe three boundary implications of technology and steps to address them
  • Summarize the structure through which DHHS is increasing its HIPAA enforcement processes and their implications for practitioners

Sequence V

Hot Topics in Ethics and Risk Management in Psychological Practice. Participants will:

  • Learn the basic principles of a risk management strategy.
  • Learn an approach to identifying and resolving complex, high risk dilemmas that frequently arise in professional practice including:
    • the elements of risk managed self-care recommended to deal safely with a patient suicide;
    • addressing the role of the psychologist in child custody disputes;
    • role conflicts that occur when combining forensic and clinical practice; and
    • legal and risk managed responses to requests for records in various situations, including legal system requests, parent requests and client requests.
  • Learn how to deal with challenges presented by online reviews and other challenges presented by the "online world."
  • Learn how to manage difficult, high risk patients in a developing impasse.
  • Learn how to manage the uncooperative client.
  • Learn how to evaluate and manage multiple relationships:
    • in college counseling centers,
    • between therapeutic and forensic roles,
    • between parents and minor children, and
    • between institutional and ethical demands.

Sequence IV

Adventures on the Electronic Frontier: Ethics and Risk Management in the Digital Era. Participants will learn to:

  • Apply basic ethical principles to evaluate risks, benefits and appropriateness of using various electronic communication and social networking media in their professional practice in a variety of situations.
  • Identify ethical, legal and disciplinary trends concerning electronic communication that will allow them to anticipate, plan and adjust their practices accordingly.
  • Evaluate when and how to provide remote professional services, therapeutic and otherwise to clients in a way that minimizes disciplinary risk.
  • Understand, apply and integrate the laws and legal principles governing remote practice within and between states.
  • Identify various kinds of professional credentials that will enable them to increase their professional mobility.
  • Develop amendments to their informed consent and documentation and professional consultation policies to accommodate remote practice and electronic communication.
  • Identify important issues regarding privacy and confidentiality issues created by electronic communication mediums and technologies that present risks to clients so they can clearly discuss these risks with clients who wish to utilize these technologies.
  • Evaluate and improve their competency to utilize electronic technology and provide remote services to their clients.
  • Discuss and apply specific, positive, ethically based, strategies to manage the disciplinary risks presented by remote electronic communication and professional service delivery based on documentation, consultation, informed consent and demonstration of competency.

Sequence III

Ethical Decision Making and Risk Management in Clinical Practice (Interactive) will give the workshop participant:

  • Familiarity with the fundamentals of ethical philosophy that are the foundation of all healthcare ethics codes.
  • Understanding of how these fundamentals drive the development of ethics codes and professional standards.
  • Recognition of where these fundamentals are specifically expressed in the law and in the 2002 APA Ethics Code.
  • Knowledge of the primary provisions of the 2002 APA Ethics Code.
  • Awareness of how the law impacts ethics codes and the relationship of ethics to law.
  • Expertise in how to use the ethical fundamentals in decision-making.
  • Interaction with other colleagues on specific ethical dilemmas, arriving at ethically based decisions on how to deal with difficult cases.

Sequence II

Legal and Ethical Risks and Risk Management in Professional Psychological Practice: Risk Management Strategies in High Risk Areas. Participants will:

  • Learn basic strategies for identifying high risk situations and managing professional practice risks.
  • Learn how to manage interactions with lawyers and the legal system, including responding to subpoenas and other information requests, providing testimony at depositions and in court, and using strategies for interacting with attorneys.
  • Learn about managing potential conflicts in conjoint treatment with couples and families, with particular emphasis on the special risks associated with divorce.
  • Learn essential risk management strategies for identifying and managing outpatient suicide risk.
  • Learn ethical and legal standards governing these areas of practice.

Sequence I

Legal and Ethical Risks and Risk Management in Professional Psychological Practice: General Risk Management Strategies. Participants will:

  • Learn what is new in the world of ethics.
  • Learn an approach to identifying and resolving ethical dilemmas that arise in professional practice.
  • Learn to identify practice situations that present the greatest risk to clinical practitioners, both now and in the future.
  • Learn essential information about disciplinary complaints and malpractice actions.
  • Review important HIPAA Privacy Rule issues and be introduced to the HIPAA Security Rule.
  • Provide essential information about laws governing therapeutic confidentiality and exceptions.
  • Learn the distinction between privilege and confidentiality.
  • Learn how and when to consult with others to reduce the risk of disciplinary complaints and demonstrate compliance with the appropriate standards of care.
  • Learn what information should and should not be included in the patient's records.