Legal & Ethical Issues in Behavioral Health in South Carolina – R. Alan Powell

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Legal & Ethical Issues in Behavioral Health in South Carolina by R. Alan Powell,
Salepage link: At HERE. Archive:

R. Alan Powell
6 Hours 16 Minutes
Audio and Video
Aug 18, 2017


  • 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 watch only one seminar this year, make it this one. Join attorney R. Alan Powell for an entertaining and enlightening recording 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

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
  • Abuse, neglect or exploitation reporting and other mandatory disclosures

Responding to Subpoenas, Court Orders & Law Enforcement

  • Types of subpoenas; Duty to Respond
  • Types of court orders; Duty to Respond
  • Testimony in Court and Depositions
  • Law enforcement investigation and prosecution

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 records; allegations of abuse and neglect
  • Role of the Provider: Who is the Client? What Duty do you Owe?

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

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

  • Consent, Capacity, Adult Health Care Consent Act, Substitute Decision Maker, POA and Guardianship
  • Emergency admission and civil commitment laws and procedures

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


R. Alan Powell, J.D. Related seminars and products: 1

Attorney at Law

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. 

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