Employee vs independent contractor – why it matters

Some practice owners bring on new clinicians as independent contractors rather than as employees, which saves the practice owner money, time and paperwork. When clinicians working in the practice are designated as employees, the practice owner is responsible for paying half of their Social Security and Medicare taxes. The practice owner also needs to withhold […]

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  • Court ruling could affect psychologists

    A case decided in a Connecticut court in December has broad ramifications for psychologists, including limiting a practitioner’s reliance on informed consent to govern confidentiality standards. Byrne v Avery Center In 2004, Emily Byrne became pregnant with Andro Mendoza’s baby. Sensing trouble, she broke up with Mendoza and moved out of town; Mendoza then filed […]

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  • Letter: HIPAA preempts state laws

    HIPAA preempts any state law that restricts a patient’s access to their records. It requires that you release a copy of the patient’s records to him/her, and all states require disclosure of records to third parties on patient request. (Records after death Sept/Oct issue) When the patient dies, HIPAA requires that only their personal representative […]

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  • Ethics for psychologists: Supervising in the age of #MeToo, trigger warning and safe spaces

    The popular press in the United States has recently been replete with allegations of misconduct by people, primarily men, in positions of power. Those contending harassment, exploitation or sexual assault have called out giants in journalism, theater, cinema, music, sports and politics. The allegations have resulted in public scorn, resignations, firings and civil or criminal […]

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  • How to handle conflicts of ethics and the law

    One of the issues that has always felt gray to many psychologists is when the APA (2010) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (Ethics Code) conflicts with the law. Should a psychologist follow the legal code or the Ethics Code? The Ethics Code specifically states in section 1.02, “If psychologists’ ethical responsibilities conflict […]

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  • Ethics of Technology and Clinician Responsibility

    Rapid advances in technology are everywhere, including in the field of clinical assessment. These changes have prompted many clinicians to ask the question, “Will technology soon take the place of the clinician in assessment?” Although recent technological advances now improve adherence to standard administration procedures, accuracy in scoring and allow clinicians to conduct near-seamless digital […]

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  • Closing private psychologist practice not for faint of heart

    The closing of a private practice is a complex process inclusive of ethical, legal, financial and emotional issues. I found a handy-dandy checklist in the literature discussing the ethical, legal and financial obligations. However, the checklist failed to help me anticipate the intensity of my own resistance to termination. It is my intent now to […]

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  • Should psychologists abide by the Goldwater Rule?

    I started my work on this article with a Google search using “Donald Trump’s mental health.” There were about 8.8 million results, ranging from articles in academic journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine to magazine commentaries, including one in the Marie Clair UK edition. Everybody had an opinion about the president’s mental […]

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  • VA’s telehealth rule raises licensing concerns

    A sweeping move by the Veterans Administration to permit staff psychologists to conduct telemental health sessions with veterans across state lines is generating mixed reactions and perplexing questions. The VA finalized the rule effective June 11 to permit VA psychologists and other health professionals to use technology, such as video conferencing, to perform or facilitate […]

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  • Therapists Vulnerable to Sexual Misconduct Accusations

    Between October and November 2017, former film producer and entertainment biz executive, Harvey Weinstein achieved infamy as the poster child for sexual misconduct after more than 80 sexual misconduct allegations covering a 30-year period surfaced in a mere 30-odd days. In the immediate aftermath of the Weinstein allegations, there was some initial victim-blaming backlash toward […]

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