Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 135-7-.01 - Responsibility to Clients

(1) A licensee's primary professional responsibility is to the client. The licensee shall make every reasonable effort to promote the welfare, autonomy and best interests of families and individuals, including respecting the rights of those persons seeking assistance, obtaining informed consent, and making reasonable efforts to ensure that the licensee's services are used appropriately.
(2) Unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) exploiting relationships with clients for personal or financial advantages;
(b) using any confidence of a client to the client's disadvantage;
(c) participating in dual relationships with clients that create a conflict of interest which could impair the licensee's professional judgment, harm the client, or compromise the therapy;
(d) undertaking a course of treatment when the client, or the client's representative, does not understand and agree with the treatment goals;
(e) knowingly withholding information about accepted and prevailing treatment alternatives that differ from those provided by the licensee;
(f) failing to inform the client of any contractual obligations, limitations, or requirements resulting from an agreement between the licensee and a third party payer which could influence the course of the client's treatment;
(g) when there are clear and established risks to the client, failing to provide the client with a description of any foreseeable negative consequences of the proposed treatment;
(h) charging a fee for anything without having informed the client in advance of the fee;
(i) taking any action for nonpayment of fees without first advising the client of the intended action and providing the client with an opportunity to settle the debt;
(j) when termination or interruption of service to the client is anticipated, failing to notify the client promptly and failing to assist the client in seeking alternative services consistent with the client's needs and preferences;
(k) failing to terminate a client relationship when it is reasonably clear that the treatment no longer serves the client's needs or interest;
(l) delegating professional responsibilities to another person when the licensee delegating the responsibilities knows or has reason to know that such person is not qualified by training, by experience, or by licensure to perform them; and
(m) failing to provide information regarding a client's evaluation or treatment, in a timely fashion and to the extent deemed prudent and clinically appropriate by the licensee, when that information has been requested and released by the client.


Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 135-7-.01
O.C.G.A. Secs. 43-7A-5(d).
Original Rule entitled "Responsibility to Clients" was F.Oct. 19, 1987 eff. Nov. 8, 1987. Repealed: New Rule, same title, adopted. F. Feb. 28, 2000; eff. Mar. 19, 2000.

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