Question: As a counselor, what am I required by Washington State law to disclose to clients? What needs to be included? What happens if I don't disclose this information?
Note to the reader: References below to the RCW refer to the Revised Code of Washington, the law as passed by the Washington State Legislature. References to the WAC refer to the Washington Administrative Code, the official administrative interpretation of the law by the agencies responsible for enforcing the RCWs.
Licensees must provide disclosure information to each client in accordance with chapter 18.225 RCW prior to implementation of a treatment plan. The disclosure information must be specific to the type of treatment service offered; in a language that can be easily understood by the client; and contain sufficient detail to enable the client to make an informed decision whether or not to accept treatment from the disclosing licensee.
Firms, agencies, or businesses having more than one licensee involved in a client's treatment, may provide disclosure information general to that agency. In these cases, the licensee would not be required to duplicate the information disclosed by the agency.
The disclosure information may be printed in a format of the licensee's choosing, but must include all required disclosure information per WAC 246-809-710.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.225.040. 04-06-011, § 246-809-700, filed 2/20/04, effective 3/22/04.]
(1) The following information shall be provided to each client at the commencement of any program of treatment:
(a) Name of firm, agency, business, or licensee's practice;
(b) Licensee's business address and telephone number;
(c) Washington state license number;
(d) The licensee's name;
(e) The methods or treatment modality and therapeutic orientation the licensee uses;
(f) The licensee's education, and training;
(g) The course of treatment, when known;
(h) Billing information, including:
(i) Client's cost per each treatment session; and
(j) Billing practices, including any advance payments and refunds;
(k) Clients are to be informed that they as individuals have the right to refuse treatment and the right to choose a practitioner and treatment modality which best suits their needs;
(l) This subsection does not grant (clients) new rights and is not intended to supersede state or federal laws and regulations, or professional standards;
(m) The licensee must provide department of health contact information to the client so the client may obtain a list of or copy of the acts of unprofessional conduct listed under RCW 18.130.180. Department of health contact information must include the name, address, and telephone number for the health professions complaint process.
(2) Signatures are required of both the licensee providing the disclosure information and the client following a statement that the client had been provided a copy of the required disclosure information and the client has read and understands the information provided. The date of signature by each party is to be included at the time of signing.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.225.040. 04-06-011, § 246-809-710, filed 2/20/04, effective 3/22/04.]
WAC 246-809-720 Failure to provide client disclosure information.
Failure to provide the client disclosure information required under WAC 246-809-700 and 246-809-710, and required under RCW 18.225.100, constitutes an act of unprofessional conduct as defined in RCW 18.130.180(7).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.225.040. 04-06-011, § 246-809-720, filed 2/20/04, effective 3/22/04.]