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Articles by Legal Department Staff

The Legal Department articles are not intended to serve as legal advice and are offered for educational purposes only. The information provided should not be used as a substitute for independent legal advice and it is not intended to address every situation that could potentially arise. Please be aware that laws, regulations and technical standards change over time. As a result, it is important to verify and update any reference or information that is provided in the article.


Complying with the Standards is two-fold: first, you must understand the minimum administrative, physical, and technical standards that HIPAA requires to be in place to help protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of protected health information, and second, assuming you are a covered entity, you must implement such Standards in your practice.

Understanding health care providers.

In May, 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) plans to release the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM) otherwise known as the DSM-5. This event is likely to have an impact on the lives of most clinicians. Learn about the possible changes and the current status.

The California Victim Compensation Program ("VCP") is a program that provides compensation to victims of violent crime who have been injured (physically and/or emotionally). This article describes the requirements and reimbursements of this program.

According to the Office of Civil Rights, which is the federal agency that investigates and enforces HIPAA violations, some covered entities (“CEs”) are getting themselves into difficulty under HIPAA by forgetting about HIPAA’s “minimum necessary” standard. Learn more about the minimum standard in this article.

This article is important for MFTs who are covered providers under HIPAA.  All MFTs, including trainees and interns, should have a working knowledge of it so that they will have a context for understanding changes likely to occur in the health care milieu in the coming years.

An informative FAQ about managed health care in California, with suggestions on how to address provider grievances with managed care plans or insurers.

On March 16, 2006, the Final Rule for enforcing violations of HIPAA went into effect. Learn how the Final Rule gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services, or his or her designee, the authority to investigate complaints of violations of HIPAA and to impose civil monetary penalties on covered entities that violate any of HIPAA’s provisions.