I want to start an online child behavior management system web site. It is membership based. A parent works together with a therapist to set up an online program (level & reward system) that works best for the child. The parent enters behavior information daily and the therapist can log in remotely and pull reports on the childs behavior. What type of law affects this type of system?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Washington
HIPAA is the main concern for this type of system. You will need to have HIPAA compliant security on the site to prevent hacking and unauthorized access of records and tracking of access of records. This means you will need to engage a computer company that specializes in HIPAA compliant software.The other issue is practice and license issues and if the therapists are actually practicing therapy through this format, then they need to be licensed in the states they are performing with clients. If the therapists are not actually practicing counseling and are merely providing information and not advising the clients or counseling them, then you may be able to get around this, but it is a very fine line there where they cannot provide advice if they are not licensed in the states where the clients are located. If they will be dealing with clients in their own states, then this is not an issue.The other issue is if the therapists are doing this for pay, how are they getting paid. Are they paid by the clients and you handle the money as an intermediary and the therapists are independent contractors or are you collecting membership and you are paying the therapists and as such they are employees and this makes a difference on your tax reporting and withholdings.
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The therapist will be located in the same state as their clients and will be licensed. The online system is a information gathering tool that the parents will use to manage behavior for their child and provide good trending information to the therapist to see if the child is improving on the existing behavior plan.
Okay, so they will be using it for their own clients who will pay to sign up to the website. That eliminates all of the issues except for the HIPAA compliance issue which still applies and that is the only law you really have to deal with other than forming a business entity for your ownership of the site (LLC or C-Corp) and filing for a tax ID number and paying your taxes on the subscriptions. As you are just providing a site these are really your only concerns.
JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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