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(p. 163) You Are Ethically Obligated to Take Insurance, Offer a Sliding Scale Fee, or See Some People Free of Charge 

(p. 163) You Are Ethically Obligated to Take Insurance, Offer a Sliding Scale Fee, or See Some People Free of Charge
Chapter:
(p. 163) You Are Ethically Obligated to Take Insurance, Offer a Sliding Scale Fee, or See Some People Free of Charge
Author(s):

Jeffrey E. Barnett

, and Jeffrey Zimmerman

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190900762.003.0029
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date: 21 May 2019

Mental health practitioners are obligated to follow their profession’s code of ethics and to operate based on its values in their professional roles. As this chapter explains, this includes both enforceable standards and aspirational values. This chapter explains how to be guided by these aspirational values while ensuring compliance with ethics requirements. Guidance is provided on how to separate minimal requirements for ethical practice from optional aspirations that are encouraged in living out the profession’s values. Specifically, how fees are set and collected, options for payment that take client financial hardship into consideration, and decisions about working with insurance are each addressed. Commonly occurring challenges are described and specific recommendations are provided for proactively addressing each of them to achieve the goal of having a financially successful private practice while ensuring that those in financial need may access needed mental health services.

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