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Legal & Ethical Issues in Behavioral Health in South Carolina, 8/18/2017 12:00:00 AM CDT, Digital Seminar More info »
Legal & Ethical Issues in Behavioral Health in South Carolina, 8/18/2017 12:00:00 AM CDT, DVD More info »
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Digital Seminar

Legal & Ethical Issues in Behavioral Health in South Carolina

R Alan Powell, JD
6 Hours 16 Minutes
Audio and Video
Jan 30, 2015
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar - Also available: Digital Seminar | DVD


  • Recognize and Avoid Legal, Ethical, Licensing and Liability Risks
  • Privacy Laws, Disclosure, Mandatory Reporting and Duty to Warn
  • Balancing the Rights of Minors and Parents
  • Subpoenas, Testimony and Judicial Process
  • Consent, Substitute Consent and Involuntary Treatment

Without the proper legal awareness needed to stay in compliance, you may face grave legal, financial and professional consequences. This seminar will show you how to continue to help the people you’ve been trained to help while still protecting yourself from many legal pitfalls.

If you attend only one seminar this year, make it this one. Join attorney R. Alan Powell for an entertaining and enlightening day and leave with a greater understanding of the latest South Carolina law as it relates to behavioral health. You will take home practical guidelines and strategies to minimize and manage legal and ethical risks and you will learn how to immediately implement these risk reducing strategies into your practice.


HIPAA Privacy & Security

  • Overview of HIPAA Privacy Rules
  • HITECH Security Breach notification requirements and other changes in auditing and enforcement of HIPAA

Confidentiality of Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug Program Records

  • When other federal and state privacy laws are more restrictive than HIPAA
  • Disclosures which require patient consent and those which do not
  • Required documentation to authorize and record permitted disclosures
  • Mandatory disclosures required by law
  • Abuse, neglect or exploitation reporting and investigations

Responding to Subpoenas, Court Orders & Law Enforcement

  • Types of subpoenas; Duty to Respond; Time limits; court orders
  • Types of court orders; Duty to Respond In the court room
  • Testimony and responding to questions
  • Law enforcement, investigations and warrants

Balancing the Rights of Minors, Parents and the Provider

  • Minors
    • Age of majority; access to records; consent to treatment; alcohol and drug treatment
  • Parents/Guardians
    • Custody and divorce; access to child’s medical records; allegations of abuse and neglect
  • Role of the Provider
    • Access to information issues: What must be disclosed
    • What is discretionary; residential treatment issues: Visitation, telephone calls, passes

Behavioral Health Professionals in the Legal System

  • Clients with legal problems; avoid the client’s problem from becoming your problem
  • Responding to legal proceedings in a professional manner

Decision Making in Behavioral Health; Emergency Admission, Civil Commitment and Involuntary Treatment

  • Consent, capacity, Adult Health Care Consent Act and Guardianship
  • Emergency admission and civil commitment laws and procedures
  • Involuntary treatment: Refusal of medication; seclusion and restraint

Professional Ethics and Boundary Issues

  • Professional obligations and standards
  • Labor, Licensing & Regulation (professional licensing boards) reporting and enforcement

Legal Liabilities of the Professional

  • Malpractice issues
  • Duty to Warn and Duty to Protect
  • Billing issues: Fraud & abuse


  • Discuss confidentiality related to HIPAA, behavioral health (including alcohol and drug), electronic medical records and privacy and security requirements.
  • Describe the process for subpoenas and court orders for behavioral health records and how to respond, including court testimony.
  • Identify the rights of minors in treatment, consent and legal determinations.
  • Describe the role of the behavioral health professional in the emergency admission or civil commitment process.
  • Develop policies consistent with legal, ethical and licensing requirements.
  • Discuss a behavioral health professional’s Duty to Report, Protect and/or Warn.

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* Credit Note - **

NOTE: Tuition includes one free CE Certificate (participant will be able to print the certificate of completion after completing the on-line post-test (80% passing score) and completing the evaluation). 

Continuing Education Information:  Listed below are the continuing education credit(s) currently available for this non-interactive self-study package. Please note, your state licensing board dictates whether self-study is an acceptable form of continuing education. Please refer to your state rules and regulations. If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession.  As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your profession's standards.  

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This self-study activity includes 6.25 hours of State Specific ethics instruction. Not all boards allow ethics credit for self-study products. If ethics is not specified within your licensing board’s approval statement below, please contact your board to determine the applicability and amount of ethics allowed.

Addiction Counselors - NAADAC


This self-study course has been approved by PESI, Inc., as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 6.0 CE in the Legal, Ethical and Professional Development skill group. NAADAC Provider #77553. PESI, Inc. is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.


This self-study activity consists of 6.25 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

South Carolina Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists and Psycho-Educational Specialists

This program has been approved for 6.0 continuing education hours by the South Carolina Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-Educational Specialists. Approval #4540.

Marriage & Family Therapists

This self-study activity consists of 6.25 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save this course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from this self-study activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements. 

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists

This intermediate activity is approved for 6.25 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please contact your licensing board to determine if they accept programs or providers approved by other national or state licensing boards. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to participants who are in full attendance and who complete the program evaluation.

Social Workers

PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2020 - January 27, 2023. Social Workers completing this course receive 6.25 ethics continuing education credits.


Course Level: Intermediate. Format: Asynchronous distance learning. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. 

Other Professions

This self-study activity qualifies for 6.25 continuing education clock hours as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your activity advertisement and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.



R Alan Powell, JD Related seminars and products

SCDMH Assistant General Counsel

R. Alan Powell, JD received his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and his undergraduate degree also from the University of South Carolina.  Mr. Powell is General Counsel for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH).  Mr. Powell supervises the Office of General Counsel, including its several attorneys, law clerks, SCDMH Risk Manager, and related administrative personnel.  Mr. Powell otherwise advises and represents SCDMH, its officials and employees, facilities, and programs statewide.

Mr. Powell has presented numerous seminars for SCDMH staff and other public agencies, as well as the S.C. Association of Counties, S.C. Hospital Association, S.C. Bar Association, S.C. Probate Judges Association, S.C. Criminal Justice Academy, S.C. Sheriffs Association, and local hospitals.  Mr. Powell has provided training through SCETV broadcasts and the SCDMH/USC “Emergency Department Crisis Stabilization Training” DVD Series. 

Mr. Powell also serves as Assistant Professor, Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine.  In this capacity, Mr. Powell provides instruction to residents, students and fellows on medical-legal topics in forensic, emergency, child and adolescent, and general psychiatry and behavioral health. 

Alternate Options

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.

Target Audience

Social Workers, Counselors, Psychologists, Marriage & Family Therapists, AODA Professionals, Health Information Managers, Medical Records Professionals, Nurses


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.

ADA Needs
We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.

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