Avoiding Liability Bulletin – July 2005

… Most states have passed laws that prohibit specified health care practitioners from paying or receiving any remuneration, whether in the form of money or otherwise, for the referral of professional clients. Ethical standards of professional associations contain similar provisions. Therapists and counselors should be aware of the applicable laws and standards in their respective states and should make sure that none of their financial dealings either directly or indirectly amount to offering or accepting payment of any consideration as compensation or inducement for referring patients.

Office rental or lease arrangements, where the amount to be paid is based upon a percentage of the gross revenues, may be problematic if the amount paid is not commensurate with the fair rental value of the premises leased and the landlord is referring clients to the lessee therapist.

Click here for “Referrals: Part 2.”

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Richard Leslie

Richard S. Leslie is an attorney and acknowledged expert on the interrelationship between law and the practice of marriage and family therapy and psychotherapy. Most recently, he was a consultant to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and has written articles regarding legal and ethical issues for their Family Therapy Magazine. Prior to his work with AAMFT, Richard was Legal Counsel to the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) for approximately twenty-two years. While there, he also served as their director of Government Relations and tirelessly advocated for due process and fairness for licensees and applicants.

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