LawSense Law for Mental Health Practitioners – Practice Management

Navigating Contractors, NDIS, Payroll Tax, New Employment Laws, Privacy, Data Management & AI

Date30 August 2024
Time10.00am-2.45pm AEST (Syd/Melb/Bris time)
VenueLive Online with recording (recording access expires 30 September 2024)
Price includes gst.
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10.00    LawSense Welcome

10.05    Chairperson’s Introduction

Heather Irvine-Rundle, Senior Clinical Psychologist & Director, READ Clinic Psychology Erina, NSW

10.10  Regulatory Update – NDIS, Payroll Tax, Medicare: Understanding Options and Obligations of Mental Health Practitioners and Examining Changes

NDIS – Changes and Enforcement

  • Outlining current key aspects of the NDIS law applicable to mental health practitioners
  • Examining how the NDIS Code of Conduct applies, including recent provisions about fair pricing/price differentiation
  • Examining ongoing reform and potential impacts on practitioners
  • NDIS enforcement:
    • exploring areas of focus by regulators, including a recent AHPRA panel decision on whether the Practitioner accessed NDIS funding based on legitimate diagnoses
    • considerations for practitioners in dealing with regulators

Medicare Compliance, Payroll Tax Update and Superannuation

  • Understanding tax and superannuation issues to consider, including with contractors and recent rulings on payroll tax
  • Implementing structures to avoid payroll tax liability
  • Navigating Medicare compliance pitfalls, including responsibility of contractors versus the practice
  • Key aspects to consider in dealing with Medicare audits

Jonathan Teh, Principal, Russell Kennedy Lawyers

11.10    Break

11.20  Effectively Managing Contractors: Navigating Recent Law Changes, Access to and “Ownership” of Files and Clients and Cyber Risks

Contractors & Law Changes

  • Outlining key aspects to consider and recent law changes relevant to professional contractors in mental health practice
  • Navigating pitfalls in different arrangements with contractors:
    • understanding how having professional staff or contractors affects your duty of care and professional obligations
    • exploring the degree of supervision required to address your legal obligations and liability
    • contractors having their own website, allowing the contractor to set fees
    • notifying clients that they are dealing with contractors
  • Dealing with notes, files and records of the independent contractor:
    • who ‘owns’ the files?
    • who can access the files and in what circumstances? Can a former contractor or employee access the files?
    • dealing with a subpoena for files in possession of a former contractor
  • Exploring approaches to mitigate legal exposure to privacy and confidentiality issues with contractors

Cyber Issues and Data Breaches

  • Implementing contracts and managing contractors to mitigate risk and liability for cyber or data security issues caused by the contractor

“Ownership” of Clients and Restraint of Trade

  • Understanding rights and obligations of contractors or other professional staff taking clients – can you prevent them leaving with clients? How should you optimise contracts to protect your position?

James Mattson, Partner, Bartier Perry Lawyers

Michael Cossetto, Partner, Bartier Perry Lawyers

12.20    Break

12.30   Examining Changes to Workplace Laws and AHPRA Guidelines and Implications for Mental Health Practitioners – Psychosocial Hazards, Right to Disconnect, Social Media Guidelines

New Psychosocial Hazards Laws

  • Outlining the recent changes to WHS/OHS legislation affecting workplaces including:
    • outlining the source of safety obligations including psychosocial hazards at work, identifying and managing the hazards
    • scenarios regarding psychosocial hazards and risks

New Right to Disconnect Laws

  • Examining the recent changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) including:
    • relevant changes to Modern Awards (from 26 August 2024)
    • when is a refusal to engage unreasonable?
    • scenarios regarding the new rules and right to disconnect
    • disputes concerning the right to disconnect in the Fair Work Commission

Libby Pallot, Principal, Russell Kennedy Lawyers

AHPRA New Social Media Guidelines

  • Examining the new AHPRA social media guidelines including when a practitioner can be said to be expressing their views:
    • in a way which presents a risk to public safety”; or
    • “provides false or misleading information or breaches privacy or confidentiality”
    • “risks the public’s confidence in their profession”; or
    • “requires action to maintain professional standards”

Anoushka Bondar, Notifications Operations Manager, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

1.30      Break

1.40      Navigating Privacy, Data Management and Evaluating AI Applications

Key Privacy and Confidentiality Laws and Potential Reforms

  • Outlining key laws applying to privacy, confidentiality and information sharing in mental health practice

Document Storage, Retention and Destruction Requirements

  • Outlining key laws applying to document retention and destruction in mental health practices
  • Understanding how long different types of records are required to be kept
  • Managing records in different formats – email, text, social media, paper
  • Understanding your obligations to destroy or de-identify particular data
  • Exploring optimum record storage options
  • Implementing best practice in arrangements with external technology and data management suppliers to ensure compliance by the practice and to optimise the practices legal position

Data Breaches

  • Outlining key laws applying to data breaches, including potential penalties and civil compensation action practices could be exposed to
  • Examining mandatory reporting of requirements for data breaches – when and how you must report and remediation
  • Learnings from recent incident case studies

Emerging Options – Using AI to Generate Session Notes, Treatment Plans & Other Applications

  • Understanding options to use AI for generating notes and treatment plans in mental health practice and how some clinicians are currently using the technology
  • Examining current legal and risk issues in using AI

Informed Consent

  • Outlining requirements for informed consent, including understanding consent from minors and “mature minors”
  • Ensuring the consent is “informed” – learnings from cases
  • Examining best practice in documenting consent

Matthew Pokarier, Principal, Meridian Lawyers

2.40      Closing Remarks

2.45      Close of Event

Presenters / panelists include:

Heather Irvine-Rundle is a Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years experience. She has worked in the UK in some of the most socio-economically deprived areas of Liverpool and London. She also led a service providing advice and consultation on mental health issues to all the schools in the South London area. Heather became a director of the the Read Clinic in 2005 where she has continued her work with families and adults, particularly mothers with postnatal depression and women with trauma histories. In 2019, Heather was appointed as Adjunct Professor of Practice in the School of Psychology at the University of Newcastle.
Jonathan Teh is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer who predominantly acts for health and large not-for-profit organisations. In particular, he assists Primary Health Networks to commission health services (eg headspace), community health services, public hospitals, medical colleges/societies and disability organisations with the NDIS rollout. Jonathan has degrees in Law and Engineering, and a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Corrina Dowling specialises in employment practices liability (EPL) claims. Corrina has both in-house and private practice experience as an employment law and workplace relations lawyer. She has assisted her clients on a wide range of employment issues. Corrina has appeared in the Federal Court, Fair Work Commission, the Industrial Relations Court (SA), Australian Human Rights Commission, as well as other Tribunals.
Libby Pallot has significant experience advising clients across the health, aged care and social and community sectors. She regularly presents on employment issues including dealing with ill and injured employees and has previously spent nine years as a Board member of Uniting AgeWell (Victoria and Tasmania).
Matthew Pokarier is a skilled litigator with more than 25 years’ experience across all areas of insurance law, with a particular focus on professional indemnity and directors and officers insurance. Matthew has an established practice in the evolving area of cyber law and IT liability and advises clients on cyber security, including advising on cyber incidents and in responses to cyber breaches, in litigation arising from cyber incidents, in the development of privacy and data management policies, and on cyber insurance cover.

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