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News and Updates

TDLR Health Monitor – October 2020 Edition

Articles in this October 2020 edition of The Health Monitor include updates on:

  • New Training Requirements for Human Trafficking Prevention
  • 87th Texas Legislature Convenes in January
  • Virtual Midwives Educational Summit
  • Rule Amendments for Hearing Instrument Fitters & Dispensers
  • Changes to Continuing Medical Education Activity for Podiatrists

RULE REVIEW─NOTICE OF INTENT TO REVIEW
Deadline for comments—November 9, 2020

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) files this notice of intent to review and consider for re-adoption, revision, or repeal the chapters listed below, in their entirety, contained in Title 16, Part 4, of the Texas Administrative Code. This review and consideration is being conducted in accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.039.

Business and Professionals Programs
Chapter 76, Water Well Drillers and Water Well Pump Installers.

Transportation Safety Programs
Chapter 84, Driver Education and Safety.

Business and Consumer Safety Programs
Chapter 85, Vehicle Storage Facilities.
Chapter 86, Vehicle Towing and Booting.

Medical and Health Professions Programs
Chapter 100, General Provisions for Health-Related Programs.
Chapter 110, Athletic Trainers.
Chapter 111, Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
Chapter 112, Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers.
Chapter 114, Orthotists and Prosthetists.
Chapter 115, Midwives.
Chapter 116, Dietitians.

During the review, the Department will assess whether the reasons for adopting or readopting the rules in these chapters continue to exist. The Department will review each rule to determine whether it is obsolete, whether the rule reflects current legal and policy considerations, and whether the rule reflects current Department procedures. This review is required every four years.

Written comments regarding the review of these chapters may be submitted electronically on the Department’s website at https://ga.tdlr.texas.gov:1443/form/gcerules (select the appropriate chapter name for your comment); by facsimile to (512) 475-3032; or by mail to Vanessa Vasquez, Legal Assistant, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

Any proposed changes to the rules in these chapters as a result of the rule review will be published in the Proposed Rule Section of the Texas Register. The proposed rules will be open for public comment prior to final adoption or repeal by the Department in accordance with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on September 30, 2020.

Brad Bowman
General Counsel
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

TDLR Adopts Amendments to Administrative Rules

The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopts amendments to the Behavior Analysts program rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 121, §§121.10, 121.21, 121.22, 121.26, 121.70, 121.75, and 121.95. The adopted rules implement House Bill (HB) 2059 and HB 2847, Article 7, 86th Legislature, Regular Session (2019). Collectively, these bills address immunity for individuals assisting with complaint investigations and require a training course on human trafficking prevention. The proposed amendments also include recommendations from the Behavior Analyst Advisory Board to revise and expand the professional responsibilities and ethics code of license holders.

The adoption justification was published in the July 24, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 5192). The updated rule chapter will be made available upon its effective date of August 1, 2020.

86th Legislative Session Update

Notice to Health Care Practitioners of New Training Requirement

House Bill 2059 requires certain health care practitioners to complete a Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) approved human trafficking prevention training course to renew their license. The bill also requires HHSC to post a list of approved courses on their website. Licensees are required to comply with the training requirements beginning September 1, 2020. For more information, visit our Human Trafficking Prevention Training for Health Care Practitioners webpage.

Important Information To Help You Keep Your License Current And Active In Good Standing

License Renewal: Stay Current

  • Your license must be renewed online every two years. Your BACB certification must be current when you apply to renew your license.
  • Need to update your contact information with TDLR? Visit our contact information update page.
  • TDLR will email you a reminder notice 60 days before your license expires to let you know that it’s time to renew. If you have not renewed 30 days before your license expires, we will also mail you a postcard.

Communication & Social Media: Stay Informed

  • Email updates are the best way for you to stay informed. TDLR sends out vital information about the law, rules, and meetings through email lists specific to each regulated profession. If you have not already done so, sign up for Behavior Analyst email updates here.
  • Stay up to date with the latest news about our medical and health professions programs by reading our newsletter, TDLR Health Monitor, at www.tdlr.texas.gov/healthmonitor.htm.
  • The Behavior Analyst Advisory Board and TDLR Commission meetings are available to watch online live or later at your convenience at the TDLR YouTube page.
  • TDLR has a Facebook page dedicated to TDLR Medical and Health Professions. Follow us for important news and the latest information: www.facebook.com/TDLRHealth/

We are here to assist you with your important work in any way we can.

Governor Approves Regulatory Suspensions to Facilitate Services to Behavior Analyst Clients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

To help combat the spread of Coronavirus, TDLR requested and received authority from Governor Greg Abbott to suspend certain regulatory requirements, to the extent necessary, to allow licensees of the Behavior Analysts program to provide more services to clients through telehealth and to ease other licensing restrictions.

These suspensions are in effect until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration is lifted or expires. In accordance with Section 418.016 of the Texas Government Code, the Office of the Governor has granted TDLR’s request to suspend the following provisions:

Supervision:

Supervision of a behavior analyst student, intern, or fellow by a licensed behavior analyst or an instructor in a course sequence approved by the certifying entity may now be done through telehealth if approved by the university and/or certifying entity (suspension of Texas Occupations Code, §506.055(2)).

Practice:

Applied behavior analysis interventions are based on scientific research and the direct observation and measurement of behavior and environment. Telehealth may now be used for direct observation and measurement of behavior and environment, as allowed by the certifying entity (suspension of Texas Occupations Code, §506.003(c)(1)).

Licensees who need additional information on billing policies relating to the provision of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic should contact Texas Health and Human Services Medicaid or managed care organizations (MCOs), as policies are changing rapidly. It is critical to check with your payor before initiating a new type of service or service delivery model, such as telehealth.

Before providing telehealth services, licensees should verify the applicability of other requirements and obligations, such as HIPAA and other medical and personal privacy requirements.

Guidance Statement on TDI Rules Related to Senate Bill 1264

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has adopted emergency rules interpreting Senate Bill (SB) 1264’s prohibitions related to “surprise billing” (or “balance billing”). This Guidance Statement is intended to provide clear information concerning SB 1264 to Texas patients, clients, and health care providers under the regulatory authority of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).

SB 1264 prohibits surprise billing, with certain exceptions. Health care providers under TDLR’s regulatory authority who seek to exercise the exceptions to SB 1264’s prohibitions against balance billing must comply with all provisions of SB 1264, including as interpreted by TDI rules. See the TDI SB 1264 webpage for additional information. SB 1264 applies to a health care or medical service or supply provided on or after January 1, 2020.

TDLR will be responsible for investigating complaints and taking disciplinary action against TDLR licensees for violations of SB 1264, including as interpreted by TDI rules. Any person who believes that a TDLR-licensed health care provider has committed a balance billing-related violation may file a complaint online with TDLR. Additionally, TDLR and TDI will work together to ensure that any complaints filed with TDI regarding TDLR licensees will be referred to TDLR and investigated.

TDLR will be working on the development of enforcement rules consistent with SB 1264 and TDI’s rules interpreting the statute. As rulemaking moves ahead, we look forward to a transparent process and engaging the public and stakeholders on this important issue.

Important Information for Healthcare Facilities Seeking to Use Out-Of-State Healthcare Providers to Assist with Tropical Storm Imelda Disaster Response

On September 19, 2019 in accordance with Sections 418.016 and 418.171 of the Texas Government Code, Governor Greg Abbott temporarily suspended all necessary statutes and rules to allow a healthcare professional licensed and in good standing in another state to practice in various facilities in Texas to assist with Tropical Storm Imelda disaster response operations.

The suspension allows a healthcare provider who holds a license, certificate, or other permit issued by another state jurisdiction satisfying qualifications for professional, mechanical, or other skills to render aid in this state to meet an emergency or disaster.

This suspension is in effect until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the Tropical Storm Imelda disaster declaration is lifted or expires.

For the healthcare provider types listed below, a healthcare facility must submit to the TDLR by email each out-of-state provider’s name, license type, state of licensure, and license identification number to: recovery@tdlr.texas.gov

TDLR licenses the following healthcare providers:

  • Athletic Trainers
  • Behavior Analysts
  • Dietitians
  • Dyslexia Therapists and Practitioners
  • Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers
  • Midwives
  • Orthotists and Prosthetists
  • Podiatrists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

If you have questions or need assistance, please call (800) 803-9202 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. or email recovery@tdlr.texas.gov.


Program Timeline

  • Advisory Board applications available: August 1, 2017
  • Advisory Board appointments by Texas Commission of Licensing & Regulation: October 2017
  • Advisory Board meeting (voted to propose rules): December 13, 2017
  • Proposed rules published for public comment: February 2, 2018
  • Advisory Board meeting (voted to send rules to Commission for adoption): March 16, 2018
  • TDLR Commission voted to adopt rules: March 27, 2018
  • New rules become effective: May 1, 2018
  • Licensing applications available: June 15, 2018
  • License required: September 1, 2018

Advisory Board Meetings

November 4, 2020

The Behavior Analyst Advisory Board met November 4, 2020 via videoconference. The agenda and staff reports are available online. The meeting was archived and is available on TDLR’s YouTube channel.