For the Clinician
This page was created for you to provide your peers with ideas and suggestions that will help other Members in their work. The limit for a submission is 1200 words. To submit an article, email to DesertCAMFTWebChair@gmail.com
Starting January 1, 2020, the following laws are in effect that will affect MFTs throughout California:
AB 5—Independent Contractors: It is now the presumption is that all California workers are employees, and not independent contractors, unless specifically exempted. CAMFT will be releasing an article in early January as an overview of these changes, which have also been summarized by the California Department of Industrial Standards here.
AB 744—Telehealth Reimbursement: Any health plan or insurer contract issued, amended or renewed after January 1, 2020, requires reimbursement for the diagnosis, consultation, or treatment delivered through telehealth services be on the same basis and to the same extent as that of in-person diagnosis, consultation, or treatment.
AB 1651—LEP Supervision of Associates and Trainees: Licensed Educational Psychologists may now supervise Associates (AMFT, ACSW, APCC) up to 1,200 hours for educationally related mental health services within the school setting.
AB 577—Maternal Mental Health: Extension of the continuity of care for pregnant women to up to 12 months from the diagnosis or from the end of pregnancy, whichever occurs later, if the woman presents written documentation of being diagnosed with a maternal mental health condition from the individual's treating health care provider.
AB 630—Consumer Notification: Starting July 1, 2020, this BBS sponsored bill requires psychotherapy providers (associates and licensees) who provide services to give clients a notice written in at least 12-point type prior to initiating psychotherapy that reads as follows: “NOTICE TO CLIENTS: The Board of Behavioral Sciences receives and responds to complaints regarding services provided within the scope of practice of professional clinical counselors. You may contact the board online at www.bbs.ca.gov, or by calling (916) 574-7830.” This notice can be contained within Informed Consent documentation.
SB 1343 - Sexual Harassment Training:
This bill would instead require an employer who employs 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every 2 years thereafter, as specified. The bill would require the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to develop or obtain 1-hour and 2-hour online training courses on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace, as specified, and to post the courses on the department’s Internet Web site. The bill would also require the department to make existing informational posters and fact sheets, as well as the online training courses regarding sexual harassment prevention, available to employers and to members of the public in specified alternate languages on the department’s Internet Web site.
Handling of "No-Shows"
Tired of NO SHOWS and not getting paid for your time? Try this: Add a Cancellation Policy to your Informed Consent and Agreement form that states that you have a 24 or 48 (or your choice) hour cancellation policy. If a client cancels within 24 or 48 hours of their appointment, inform the client that you will charge them for the missed appointment because it was not cancelled per your policy. You maintain discretion for charging (I don't charge for getting sick or a car break-down or an emergency) but those are very rare. I do charge for late cancellations, at the full rate for the client.
Even if they have insurance, you need to inform them that you will charge for the missed session and that their insurance will not reimburse them for a missed session.
In your agreement, also allow space for the client to enter their 16 digit credit card number along with its expiration date and the full Name on the credit card. If the agreement was filled out before your first session, check that the credit card information is there. It is often forgotten! And, obtain the credit card information even if your client pays with check or cash. (By the way, it's smart to verify the credit card information provided by the client before you have to use it.)
Remember to verbally inform your new client about your cancellation policy and your fee in your first conversation on the phone and, again, in the first session, when you talk about your Informed Consent and Agreement form. Both on the phone and in the first session, remind the client that you will charge for missed appointments, and, if appropriate, that their insurance will not over the missed session. Make sure you document all of this in your notes. [Hope this helps]