Mental and Behavioral Health: Reporting of Clients Who Pose a Danger to Self or Others

Jonathan P. Tomes

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Why should you attend? 

With the recent shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, the debate on the prevalence of mental health in public mass shootings has identified. Much Press coverage has focused on the failure of many entities to take effective action to prevent these deaths and serious injuries. Such practices face great potential liability both for reporting improperly (e.g., breach or confidentiality lawsuit) or for failing to report (e.g. lawsuit for wrongful death). And the decision whether to report is not an easy one.

 Attendees will have the knowledge of whether and how to disclose health information to prevent or mitigate the harm of violence against a named individual or the public in general.

Attendees will have a methodology to make those determinations, document them, and protect themselves from liability in such situations.

Besides learning all the points covered above, attendees will also receive a checklist to follow to document such incidents and their outcomes.


Description of the topic:

This webinar will give attendees the knowledge to evaluate whether and how to report that a client is a risk to himself or others without violating HIPAA, 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (regulating substance abuse treatment information) and other state and federal confidentiality laws. It will provide a methodology to do so, including a worksheet to fill out in such situations which will go a long way to ensuring a correct decision while at the same time minimizing any adverse legal consequences.

Areas to Cover:

  • Consider whether mental or behavioral health clients are actually more likely than others to engage in violent attacks.
  • Sanctions for failure to report/disclose and for improper disclosure.
  • Review whether ethics permit or require disclosure of client information to prevent or mitigate violence.
  • Federal and state statutes and regulations on the duty to warn to prevent or mitigate violence.
  •  HIPAA.
  • 42 C.F.R. Part 2.
  • State Laws.
  • Federal and state statutes and regulations on disclosure of client information to prevent or mitigate violence.
  • Judicial decisions on the duty to warn and the propriety of disclosure of client information to prevent or mitigate violence.
  •  What conditions give rise to the duty to warn or permission to do so in the absence of a specific duty?
  • DHHS methodology to assess whether a threat exists.
  • The Presenter’s methodology to assess whether a threat exists.
  • Conclusion.

Who should attend:

The following individuals and organizational representatives.

  • Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Substance Abuse Counselors, Family Counselors, and related medical, mental, and behavioral health workers.
  • Mental and behavioral health staff.
  • American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, the Association for Addiction Professionals, the Association of Substance Abuse Organizations, and the like.
  • Directors of Health Information Management, medical record directors, and those who work with medical information.
  •  Compliance officers and legal counsel.
  • Risk managers.
  • Staff of mental and behavioral health clinics and facilities.
  • HIPAA consultants.
  • General healthcare practitioners.


  • Reporting
  • Dangerous clients
  • Active shooter reporting
  • Duty to report threats
  • Threats to patients/clients/others
  • Disclose of threats
  • Preventing threats

Webinar Events
Live -Coming soon!

Training CD-DVD

Physical CD-DVD of recorded session will be despatched after 72 hrs on completion of payment

Recorded video

Recorded video session

Speaker: Jonathan P. Tomes, National HIPAA compliance consultant

Jonathan P. Tomes is a national HIPAA compliance consultant and attorney admitted in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma who practices in Kansas City, Kansas, and the greater Kansas City area. After he had retired from the U.S. Army as a JAGC officer, having been a military judge (which taught him how to read and interpret government regulations) and having spent several years as a military intelligence officer (which taught him about gathering and using information), he taught law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law before he opened his own private law practice. Mr. Tomes is President of EMR Legal, a national HIPAA compliance consulting firm. EMR Legal has consulted and trained over 1,000 HIPAA clients since 1998, ranging from Federal, State and County governments to large hospitals to small practices. Jon is currently working on an online HIPAA training video and an online HIPAA risk assessment.

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