What is The Trust Advocate 800 Program?
Brought to you by The Trust and Trust Practice and Risk Management Association (TrustPARMA), the Advocate 800 Program is intended to help those individuals insured through The Trust Sponsored Professional Liability Insurance Program to avoid or reduce the risk of malpractice actions and disciplinary complaints. The principal service of the Advocate 800 Program is the availability of professional ethical and risk management consultation from licensed psychologists with extensive legal, ethical, and risk management expertise.
The Advocate 800 Program also includes a preventative educational component which provides continuing education workshops and webinars, articles, and other risk management products and services designed to heighten recognition of high-risk situations and general risk management strategies.
Who should use the Advocate 800 Program?
The Advocate 800 Program is designed to assist psychologists insured through The Trust Sponsored Professional Liability Insurance Program who are confronting a problem which currently has, or may have, legal or ethical ramifications for their day-to-day practice. The question may be generic or specific. In addition, psychologists who believe that they are at high risk of a suit or who have been notified of circumstances that might result in a suit but who have not, as of that time, been assigned an attorney by the insurance carrier should contact The Trust Advocate 800 Program for consultation on procedures to reduce the possibility of a suit or to control potential damages.
How do I use the service?
Call The Advocate 800 Program at (800) 477-1200 at the first sign of a potential problem. If you wait until the problem has developed, it is much more difficult to limit the potential damage. Remember, in risk management, there is no such thing as a "stupid" or unnecessary call. Your call will be answered by a licensed customer service representative who will record basic confidential information and will schedule an appointment for the Risk Management Consultant to call you back. When the Consultant calls, be prepared to discuss the issues in some detail. Have your case files and other related documents readily available. In complex situations, the consultation may include a recommendation that you consult with an attorney or a clinical consultant.
What types of issues are covered and what are excluded?
The Advocate 800 Program is limited to issues that are subject to coverage under The Trust Professional Liability insurance program. This includes, but is not limited to, questions about:
- Minor children, parents, divorce, custody issues or problematic patients;
- Confidentiality and its exceptions; including duty to protect, suicidal client, mandated reporting of child abuse, bill collection;
- Forensic issues and court involvement, including expert testimony;
- Employment related evaluations;
- Conflicts between managed care demands and responsibilities to patients, including certain contractual provisions of managed care contracts;
- Responding to complaints before licensing boards and ethics committees;
- Potential conflicts of interest, multiple relationships, allegations of sexual misconduct;
- Supervisory responsibilities; and
- Informed consent, record keeping, and access to professional records.
The service is not designed to provide advice on business questions, such as advantages and disadvantages of different organizational structures, antitrust issues, analysis of business contracts, office leases, and employee-employer relations. The service is also not designed for consultation on personal legal questions which are unrelated to professional liability, such as the purchase of a house, tax matters, and interpretations of a legal document such as a will. These types of questions should be addressed by a personal attorney. Questions on types of insurance, pricing, and coverage issues related to your Professional Liability insurance policy should be addressed to The Trust (800) 477-1200.
Other important information about the service.
- The Advocate 800 Program's consultations constitute confidential professional ethical and risk management advice.
- While the consultations represent ethical and risk management advice, they do not constitute legal representation or a contract to provide legal representation. In some cases, follow-up calls may be recommended, but the Consultant will be the sole judge of whether such calls are appropriate.
- A customer service representative will request basic confidential information from each caller as part of the initial intake process. Only aggregate case information about the problem raised will be supplied by the Consultant to The Trust.