This course addresses salient ethical and legal issues facing rehabilitation professionals in practice. The course begins with an overview of the four foundational biomedical ethical principles, core values, and codes of ethics. State practice acts and certification standards, and the “modern blending of law and health professional ethics are also covered. Focus topics follow and include, among others: confidential communications, privacy, and exceptions (including the Tarasoff rule); delegation and supervision of subordinates; ethical decision-making models; gift-giving and receipt; informed consent; HIPAA/HITECH standards and expectations; over- and under-utilization of services; patient and professional autonomy; professional advertising; reimbursement fraud, waste and abuse; and sexual harassment and misconduct (including patient-initiated sexual behaviors). The course concludes with a panel discussion of 14 case exemplars. Pre- and post-learning assessments are also included.
PLEASE NOTE: This course does NOT cover jurisprudence for any state, only topics related to ethics.
Dr. Scott is a health law attorney-mediator and educator. He is a faculty member in seven academic programs, teaching PTs, OTs, DNPs, O&P professionals and others. Dr. Scott’s principal teaching interests include health care ethics, law, management and policy. He developed two widely-utilized health professional practice tools - the systems approach to ethical decision making and the 4-quadrant legal-ethical issues practice grid. Dr. Scott is the author of thirteen textbooks, most recently Legal Aspects of Documenting Patient Care, 4th ed. (Jones & Bartlett, 2013).
Assess knowledge of health professional ethics via a pre-assessment and explore classical ethical theories, including deontology, teleology, utilitarianism and virtue ethics, as well as situational ethics. Evaluate similarities and differences among business, organizational and professional ethics in diverse rehabilitation practice settings. Define and distinguish morals, ethics and legal obligations as they impact rehabilitation professionals, compare and contrast professional association ethical standards and state licensing board legal and ethical standards. Examine and apply the four foundational biomedical ethical principles of beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy and justice, and apply them to practice.
Evaluate relevant special topics related to autonomy, nonmaleficence, and justice. Apply systematic ethical decision-making models to real and hypothetical cases involving current practice issues. Analyze and internalize core values applicable to rehabilitation professional disciplines. As well as, compare and contrast rehabilitation professional and attorney pro bono expectations.
Understand and comply with HIPAA Privacy Rule mandates in clinical practice. Review existing or develop and utilize an easy-to-administer clinical patient informed consent protocol. Take appropriate measures to prevent or minimize allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct (including patient-initiated sexual behaviors) in clinical rehabilitation practice settings.
Evaluate the concurrent and sometimes conflicting standards for delegation and supervision of patient care in rehabilitation practice settings. Comply with ethical and legal standards for delegating patient care to extenders in clinical practice and actively advocate for changes to suboptimal or ineffective standards for delegation and supervision of care, as appropriate.
Evaluate and resolve rehabilitation practice-related case problems, including, among others, gifts receipt, independent professional judgment, over- and underutilization of services, pro bono service delivery, professional advertising, professional relations, reimbursement fraud, sexual harassment and misconduct, and supervision & delegation. Synthesize concepts learned into everyday professional rehabilitation practice.
Analyze the APTA Code of Ethics, Guide for Professional Conduct and Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant. Evaluate the range of disparate supervision and delegation rules for physical therapy extenders across the United States. Compare and contrast APTA ethical and regulatory standards to those of other representative rehabilitation disciplines. Execute ethical and legal duties to maintain lifelong continuing clinical competence.