WSR 03-19-134

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


[ Filed September 17, 2003, 11:24 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-04-043.

Title of Rule: WAC 246-809-700 Client disclosure information, 246-809-710 Required disclosure information, and 246-809-720 Failure to provide client disclosure information.

Purpose: The rules assure that clients will have adequate information to decide whether or not to enter into counseling with the licensed counselor.

Other Identifying Information: The 2001 legislature repealed certification and replaced it with licensure. These rules are not substantially different than for certified counselors.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.225.040.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.225.100.

Summary: Rules require licensed counselors to provide specific information to each client so the client may make an informed decision to accept treatment from the counselor. Failure to provide information is a violation of the Uniform Disciplinary Act, RCW 18.130.180.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Without these rules there could be persons who make a choice of counselor without adequate knowledge about the counselor's business, counseling methods, education, training, billing and knowing they have a right to refuse treatment and a right to choose a counselor.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Traci Black, Department of Health, P.O. Box 47869, Olympia, 98504-7869, (360) 236-4917.

Name of Proponent: Department of Health, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The rules are not substantially different than previously adopted rules on disclosure information for certified counselors. In 2001, legislation changed the profession from certification to licensure and these rules were in effect for certification.

The purpose of the rule is to assure counseling clients know pertinent information about the counselors' practice before entering into counseling.

The department anticipates these rules will improve the client's ability to make an informed choice when entering into a counselor/client relationship.

Proposal does not change existing rules.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rules fall under RCW 19.85.020 (1)(a).

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b) exempts rules that adopt without material change rules of Washington state agencies. For this reason the requirements of RCW 34.05.328 do not apply.

Hearing Location: Department of Health, 310 Israel Road S.E., Room 152 and 153, Tumwater, WA 98504-7869, on October 31, 2003, at 9:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Traci Black at (360) 236-4917 by October 15, 2003, TDD (800) 833-6388.

Submit Written Comments to: Traci Black, Department of Health, P.O. Box 47869, Tumwater, WA 98504-7869, fax (360) 236-4918, by October 23, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: October 31, 2003.

September 16, 2003

Mary C. Selecky

Secretary

OTS-5961.2


NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-700   Client disclosure information.   Licensees must provide disclosure information to each client in accordance with chapter 18.225 RCW prior to implementation of a treatment plan. The disclosure information must be specific to the type of treatment service offered; in a language that can be easily understood by the client; and contain sufficient detail to enable the client to make an informed decision whether or not to accept treatment from the disclosing licensee.

Firms, agencies, or businesses having more than one licensee involved in a client's treatment, may provide disclosure information general to that agency. In these cases, the licensee would not be required to duplicate the information disclosed by the agency.

The disclosure information may be printed in a format of the licensee's choosing, but must include all required disclosure information per WAC 246-809-710.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-710   Required disclosure information.   (1) The following information shall be provided to each client at the commencement of any program of treatment:

(a) Name of firm, agency, business, or licensee's practice;

(b) Licensee's business address and telephone number;

(c) Washington state license number;

(d) The licensee's name;

(e) The methods or treatment modality and therapeutic orientation the licensee uses;

(f) The licensee's education, and training;

(g) The course of treatment, when known;

(h) Billing information, including:

(i) Client's cost per each treatment session; and

(ii) Billing practices, including any advance payments and refunds;

(i) Clients are to be informed that they as individuals have the right to refuse treatment and the right to choose a practitioner and treatment modality which best suits their needs;

(j) This subsection does not grant (clients) new rights and is not intended to supersede state or federal laws and regulations, or professional standards;

(k) The licensee must provide department of health contact information to the client so the client may obtain a list of or copy of the acts of unprofessional conduct listed under RCW 18.130.180. Department of health contact information must include the name, address, and telephone number for the health professions complaint process.

(2) Signatures are required of both the licensee providing the disclosure information and the client following a statement that the client had been provided a copy of the required disclosure information and the client has read and understands the information provided. The date of signature by each party is to be included at the time of signing.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-720   Failure to provide client disclosure information.   Failure to provide the client disclosure information required under WAC 246-809-700 and 246-809-710, and required under RCW 18.225.100, constitutes an act of unprofessional conduct as defined in RCW 18.130.180(7).

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