2019 Therapists’ Security and Privacy Update for Mental Health Practice

1 CE Credit Hour. Continuing Education Session Replay.

Developed by: Roy Huggins, LPC NCC
Presented By: Roy Huggins, LPC NCC; Liath Dalton

Course Description

the numbers 2019 written out in sparklers

2019 is gearing up to be a big year for changes in the security and privacy landscape for United States mental health professionals.

The OCR is asking for feedback on their desired changes to HIPAA’s Privacy Rule! The FCC has also made changes to privacy rules for text messaging and net neutrality that will impact client privacy and may impact our ability to deliver telemental health services. Finally, Person Centered Tech has observed some trends in the ways that companies market their services to mental health professionals that may confuse the issue of what is safe and healthy for client privacy (and the professional’s HIPAA compliance.)

This introductory-level course for counselors, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and clinical and counseling psychologists will help learners prepare to make changes in their practices in order to maintain client privacy and security needs as the legal and technological environment shifts throughout the year.

Educational Objectives

  • Determine if the learners processes for record-keeping and release of records should be updated to be compatible with the OCR’s intended changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
  • Determine if changes are needed in the learner’s communications technology to protect client privacy and the integrity of clinician-client communication.
  • Choose online services that support the learner’s HIPAA compliance and recognize services that do not.


  1. Is HIPAA going to be changed this year?
    • The OCR’s Request for Input to inform their new rulemaking
    • How OCR’s goals will likely impact mental health professionals’ legal-ethical duties
  2. How does the FCC’s 2018 decision on text messaging impact mental health professionals’ legal-ethical duties?
    • How the change impacts SMS texting’s privacy and reliability
    • How to reduce the impact on client privacy and communication reliability
  3. How will the FCC’s 2018 decision on net neutrality impact the provision of telemental health?
    • Net neutrality and access to care
  4. How are some makers of online services confusing mental health professionals regarding their products’ appropriateness for use by HIPAA covered entities?
    • What to look for when choosing products and services in order to remain HIPAA-compliant
    • Patterns in vendor marketing that confuse HIPAA-compliant decision-making


1 CE Credit Hour.

Presented/Developed By

Roy Huggins, LPC NCCRoy Huggins, LPC NCC, is a counselor in private practice who also directs Person-Centered Tech. Roy worked as a professional Web developer for 7 years before changing paths, and makes it his mission to grow clinicians’ understanding of the Internet and other electronic communications mediums for the future of our practices and our professions.

Roy is an adjunct instructor at the Portland State University Counseling program where he teaches Ethics, and is a member of the Zur Institute advisory board. He has acted as a subject matter expert on HIPAA, security and clinical use of technology for Counseling licensure boards and both state and national mental health professional organizations. He has co-authored or authored 2 book chapters, and he routinely consults with mental health colleagues on ethical and practical issues surrounding tech in clinical practice. He served for 5 years on the board of the Oregon Mental Health Counselors Association and then the Oregon Counseling Association as the Technology Committee Chair.

He really likes this stuff.

Course Co-Presenters

Liath Dalton is a Ph.D candidate in Religious Studies. She began her academic career at Reed College and continued her graduate work at the University of Cape Town.

Liath is the Deputy Director for Person Centered Tech and runs our HIPAApropriateness review program. Through her combination of experience evaluating products for their utility and security in regards to how they can meet risk management needs and providing guidance to members around what product options will best meet their specific practice needs, Liath has an intimate knowledge of both what the practice tech needs are for mental health professionals and what it takes for a product to meet those needs.

Program Notices

Accuracy, Utility, and Risks Statement: This presentation includes interpretation of events by the presenters, and not all information reflects unanimous agreement from experts on these topics.

Conflicts of Interest: None.

Commercial Support: None.

This course is subject to our cancellation/refund policy and complaint policy.

1 CE Credit Hour.
the numbers 2019 written out in sparklers

1 CE Credit Hour. Continuing Education Session Replay.


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