Gila River Health Care Corporation
Gila River Health Care Corporation
PROVIDER MANUAL
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Arizona Department of Health Services

Division of Behavioral Health Services
PROVIDER MANUAL
Gila River Regional Behavioral Health Authority Edition

7.7.1 Introduction
Any Tribal/Regional Behavioral Health Authority (T/RBHA) mental health provider employed or contracted by a T/RBHA or its subcontracted provider of a mental health provider, having determined that a patient poses a serious danger of violence to others, shall take reasonable actions to protect the potential victim(s) of that danger.

7.7.2 References
The following citations can serve as additional resources for this content area:

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7.7.3 Scope
To whom does this apply?

This applies to all T/RBHAs, their subcontracted providers, and any subcontracted provider of a mental health provider in Arizona’s public behavioral health system.

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7.7.4 Definitions
Mental Health Provider

Patient 

7.7.5 Objectives
The objective of this section is to identify situations in which a T/RBHA, a T/RBHA mental health provider employed or contracted by a T/RBHA or a subcontracted provider of a mental health provider subcontracted provider may have a duty to protect potential victims of physical harm when a patient poses a serious danger of violence to others.

7.6.7 Procedures

7.6.7-A. Duty to Protect Potential Victims of Physical Harm
All T/RBHA mental health providers employed or contracted by a T/RBHA, or subcontracted providers of-mental health providers have a duty to protect others against the violent conduct of a patient. When a T/RBHA mental health provider employed or contracted by a T/RBHA or a subcontracted provider of a mental health provider determines, or under applicable professional standards, reasonably should have determined, that a patient poses a serious danger to others, he/she bears a duty to exercise care to protect the foreseeable victim of that danger. The foreseeable victim need not be specifically identified by the patient, but may be someone who would be the most likely victim of the patient’s violent conduct./span>

While the discharge of this duty may take various forms, the T/RBHA mental health providers employed or contracted by a T/RBHA or subcontracted provider of a mental health provider need only exercise that reasonable degree of skill, knowledge and care ordinarily possessed and exercised by members of that professional specialty, under similar circumstances. Any duty owed by a mental health provider employed or contracted by a T/RBHA or a subcontracted provider of a mental health provider to take reasonable precautions to prevent harm threatened by a patient can be discharged by any of the following, depending upon the circumstances:

  • Communicating when possible the threat to all identifiable victims;

  • Notifying a law enforcement agency in the vicinity where the patient or any potential victim resides;

  • Taking reasonable steps to initiate proceedings for voluntary or involuntary hospitalization, if appropriate, and in accordance with PM Section 3.18, Pre-petition Screening, Court Ordered Evaluation and Court Ordered Treatment  or

  • Taking any other precautions that a reasonable and prudent mental health provider would take under the circumstances.

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7.7 Duty to Warn
Last Revised:  08/30/2012
Effective Date: 10/1/2012

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