1 CE Hour. Continuing Education for Office Hours (CE for OH) Session.

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

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As access to insurance increases, the hope is that access to therapy will also increase. However, therapists receive little to no training in how this impacts their care for clients, mainly regarding documentation and approval of services. Insurance values the concept of medical necessity and it is crucial for professionals to understand this concept.

This introductory-level course for counselors, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and clinical and counseling psychologists will include a presentation of various definitions of medical necessity with clinical examples for reference. Applications to both mental health and small businesses (private practice) will be reviewed. A review of sample case notes and suggested content will follow, as well as a formula for how to review one’s notes independently to ensure a positive review by insurance.

1 CE Hour. Continuing Education for Office Hours (CE for OH) Session.

Educational Objectives

  • Define medical necessity and apply the concept to a specific client population.
  • Identify how documentation can assist or deter clients from receiving mental health services reimbursed by insurance.
  • Describe the process for reviewing a progress note based on insurance standards.


  1. The Concept of Medical Necessity
    • Definitions and uses by insurance
    • The importance of good clinical assessment
    • Documentation via the “Clinical Loop”
  2. Insurance and Client Access
    • What “informed consent” really means
    • Common myths and mistakes
    • The progress dilemma
  3. How to self-audit client files
    • Red flags for audits
    • Important criteria to include
    • Exercise: Review a note using a sample audit form


  • Criteria for the Evaluation of Quality Improvement Programs and the Use of Quality Improvement Data, American Psychological Association, American Psychologist. 2009. September Vol 64 Number 6, Pages 551-557.
  • Navigating the Insurance Maze: The Therapist’s Complete Guide to Working with Insurance- And Whether You Should, 7th Ed. (2018). Barbara Griswold.
  • Luepker, E.T. (2012) Record Keeping in Psychotherapy and Counseling. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Schwitzer, A.M. & Rubin, L.C. (2015) Diagnosis & Treatment Planning Skills. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publishing.
  • Wiger, D.E. (2012) The Psychotherapy Documentation Primer, 3rd Edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Mitchel, R. (2007). Documentation in Counseling Records, an Overview of Ethical, Legal and Clinical Issues, American Counseling Association. Alexandria VA.
  • Reamer, F. (2010). Documentation in Mental Health Practice: Ethical and Risk-Management Challenges
  • Reamer, F. (2001). The Social Work Ethics Audit: A Risk-management Tool. (Washington, DC: NASW Press).

Course Developer/Primary Presenter

Maelisa Hall, PsyD, Dr. Maelisa Hall is a licensed psychologist, wife, nail design enthusiast and co-host of the My Biz Bestie podcast. Through her online continuing education business, QA Prep, she specializes in teaching therapists how to connect with their paperwork so it’s more simple and more meaningful. She enjoys creating trainings that are interactive and engaging so that clinicians leave with strategies they can use immediately.

Program Notices

Accuracy, Utility, and Risks Statement: Some interpretation and analysis presented is made by the presenter based on professional work experience and research of literature. The presenter may not know how to apply all principles discussed to every insurer or practice context. This program discusses strategies for creating documentation that satisfies insurance company requirements as well as related legal-ethical issues. It may not include information on all applicable state or federal laws. Misapplication of the materials, or errors in the materials, could result in delays or other issues related to insurance payments or contracts.

Conflicts of Interest: None.

Commercial Support: This program has no commercial support.

All events for this program will be subject to our cancellation/refund policy and complaint policy.

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

ACEP LogoPerson Centered Tech Incorporated is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Person Centered Tech Incorporated maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

ACEP LogoPerson Centered Tech Incorporated has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6582. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Person Centered Tech Incorporated is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

State Approvals

Person Centered Tech is an approved provider continuing education provider with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. CE Broker Provider #50-23706.

Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board accepts continuing education credits from providers approved by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health.

Person Centered Tech Incorporated is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0540.


Scheduled Maintenance

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