TITLE 25. HEALTH SERVICES

PART 1. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES

CHAPTER 96. BLOODBORNE PATHOGEN CONTROL

25 TAC §§96.101, 96.201 - 96.203, 96.401

The Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission, on behalf of the Department of State Health Services (department), proposes amendments to §§96.101, 96.201 - 96.203, and 96.401 concerning bloodborne pathogen control.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

These rules are being changed to update the list of conditions that are bloodborne pathogens, update the reporting period for a contaminated sharps injury to correlate with other Texas requirements, update website links and references, and update the language for clarity and consistency.

The amendments comply with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding surveillance for reportable conditions and allow the department to conduct more relevant and efficient disease surveillance.

The amendments comply with Health and Safety Code, Chapter 81, which requires the department to identify each communicable disease or health condition which is reportable under the chapter.

The rules are also being revised in compliance with Government Code, §2001.039, which requires that each state agency review and consider for re-adoption each rule adopted by that agency pursuant to the Government Code, Chapter 2001 (Administrative Procedure Act). Sections 96.101, 96.201 - 96.203, 96.301 - 96.304, 96.401, 96.402 and 96.501 have been reviewed, and the department has determined that reasons for adopting the sections exist because rules on this subject are needed to administer the program effectively. Sections 96.301 - 96.304, 96.402 and 96.501 have been reviewed and no amendments are needed. There will be amendments to §§96.101, 96.201 - 96.203, and 96.401 in this rulemaking.

SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY

The proposed amendments to §96.101(10) change "A specific eye" to "Eye" for clarity, and revise the spelling of "non-intact."

The proposed amendments to §96.101(12), (13), and (15) rearrange the acronyms for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus in the definitions to be consistent with the rest of the subchapter.

The proposed amendment to §96.101(18) adds the acronym "OPIMs," a commonly used abbreviation for "other potentially infectious materials."

The proposed amendments to §96.101(18)(C) add "hepatitis C" to the list of bloodborne pathogens.

The proposed amendments to §96.101(19) add the acronym "PPE," commonly used abbreviation for "personal protective equipment."

The proposed amendment to §96.101(21) adds the phrase "but is not limited to," to emphasize that the list of objects listed in paragraph (21)(A) - (G) are not an exhaustive list of what could be considered a sharp object.

The proposed amendments to §96.101(23) add "hepatitis C" to the list of bloodborne pathogens and update the resource for universal and standard precautions practices in healthcare settings to the Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings.

The proposed amendments to §96.201(a)(2), (b), and (c), §96.203, and §96.401(e) and (f) update language for clarity, consistency, and to avoid redundancy.

The proposed amendment to §96.202(a) adds the phrase "a model plan to achieve" for added clarity on how to use the Exposure Control Plan and updates the website link for the Exposure Control Plan in §96.202(b).

The proposed amendments to §96.401(d) update the reporting period of each contaminated sharps injury from "not later than ten working days after the end of the calendar month in which it occurred" to "no later than 30 days after it occurred" to correlate with the current reporting period of the Texas Notifiable Conditions. The Texas Notifiable Conditions are found in §97.3 of this title (relating to What Condition to Report and What Isolates to Report or Submit) and found on the department's website: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/investigation/conditions.

FISCAL NOTE

Ms. Janna Zumbrun, Associate Commissioner, Disease Control and Prevention Services, has determined that for each year of the first five years that the sections are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing and administering the sections as proposed.

SMALL AND MICRO-BUSINESS IMPACT ANALYSIS

Ms. Zumbrun has also determined that there will be no adverse economic costs to small businesses or micro-businesses required to comply with the sections as proposed. This was determined by interpretation of the rules that small businesses and micro-businesses will not be required to alter their business practices in order to comply with the sections.

ECONOMIC COSTS TO PERSONS AND IMPACT ON LOCAL EMPLOYMENT

There are no anticipated costs to persons who are required to comply with the sections as proposed. There is no anticipated negative impact on local employment.

PUBLIC BENEFIT

In addition, Ms. Zumbrun also has determined that for each year of the first five years the sections are in effect, the public will benefit from their adoption. These rules impact the people of Texas by decreasing the risk of illness through early detection and control or prevention of infectious diseases in the community.

REGULATORY ANALYSIS

The department has determined that this proposal is not a "major environmental rule" as defined by Government Code, §2001.0225. "Major environmental rule" is defined to mean a rule the specific intent of which is to protect the environment or reduce risk to human health from environmental exposure and that may adversely affect, in a material way, the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment or the public health and safety of a state or a sector of the state. This proposal is not specifically intended to protect the environment or reduce risks to human health from environmental exposure.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT

The department has determined that the proposed rules do not restrict or limit an owner's right to his or her property that would otherwise exist in the absence of government action and, therefore, do not constitute a taking under Government Code, §2007.043.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Nadia Bekka, Emerging and Acute Infectious Disease Branch, Infectious Disease Control Unit, Infectious Disease Prevention Section, Division for Disease Control and Prevention Services, Department of State Health Services, Mail Code 1960, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347 or by email to Nadia.Bekka@dshs.texas.gov. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

LEGAL CERTIFICATION

The Department of State Health Services General Counsel, Lisa Hernandez, certifies that the proposed rules have been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the state agencies' authority to adopt.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendments are authorized by Health and Safety Code, §81.004, which authorizes rules necessary for the effective administration of the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Act; §81.050, which requires a rule to prescribe criteria that constitute exposure to reportable diseases; and Government Code, §531.0055, and Health and Safety Code, §1001.075, which authorize the Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission to adopt rules and policies necessary for the operation and provision of health and human services by the department and for the administration of Health and Safety Code, Chapter §1001.

The amendments affect Health and Safety Code, Chapters 81 and 1001.

§96.101.Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) - (9) (No change.)

(10) Exposure incident--Eye [A specific eye], mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact [nonintact ] skin, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that results from the performance of an employee's duties.

(11) (No change.)

(12) [HBV--] Hepatitis B virus (HBV)--[.]A virus that may be contracted through exposure to blood and/or body fluids and can result in chronic liver disease, [infections and] cirrhosis, and hepatocellular (liver) cancer.

(13) [HCV--] Hepatitis C virus (HCV)--[.]A virus that may be contracted through exposure to blood and/or body fluids and may result in chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular (liver) cancer.

(14) (No change.)

(15) [HIV--] Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)--[. The] HIV [virus] may be contracted through blood and/or body fluids and can result in Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a condition in which the body is unable to fight infections.

(16) - (17) (No change.)

(18) Other potentially infectious materials (OPIMs); include:

(A) - (B) (No change.)

(C) HIV-, HBV-, or HCV-containing [HIV-containing ] cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, [and HIV- or HBV-containing] culture medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV, [or] HBV or HCV.

(19) Personal protective equipment (PPE)--Specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against a hazard. General work clothes (e.g. [eg], uniforms, pants, shirts, or blouses) not intended to function as protection against a hazard are not considered to be personal protective equipment.

(20) (No change.)

(21) Sharp--An object used or encountered in a health care setting that can be reasonably anticipated to penetrate the skin or any other part of the body and to result in an exposure incident and includes but is not limited to:

(A) - (G) (No change.)

(22) (No change.)

(23) Universal precautions/standard precautions--Approaches to infection control as defined in Title 29 Code of Federal Regulation §1910.1030, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)[,] Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and the Healthcare [Morbidity and Hospital] Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee’s 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings [Committee, Guideline for isolation precautions in hospitals published in Infection Control Hospital Epidemiology, 1996;17:53-80, and American Journal of Infection Control, 1996;24:24-52 ]. According to the concept of universal precautions, all human blood and certain human body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for HIV, HBV, HCV, and other bloodborne pathogens.

§96.201.Applicability.

(a) These minimum standards apply to a governmental unit that employs employees who:

(1) (No change.)

(2) otherwise have a risk of exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material [potentially] containing bloodborne pathogens in connection with exposure to sharps.

(b) These governmental units would include, but not limited to, hospital district hospitals, city hospitals, county hospitals, city/county hospitals, hospital authority hospitals, local health departments, Department of State Health Services regions and hospitals, other state hospitals and state supported living centers, community mental health and intellectual disability centers, Texas Juvenile Justice Department, [state schools, community mental health mental retardation centers, Texas Youth Commission,] Texas Department of Criminal Justice, locally [local-] or state-funded university student infirmaries, public school district clinics, emergency medical services, locally [local-] or state-funded long term care facilities, and blood banks.

(c) Employees who are directly compensated by a governmental unit are subject to all provisions of this chapter. Employees who are subject through their private employer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)[,] Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and uncompensated employees are subject only to the log and reporting provisions of §96.401 [§§96.401] of this title (relating to Sharps Injury Log), and §96.402 [96.402] of this title (relating to Confidentiality Statement) unless otherwise required by contract.

§96.202.Exposure Control Plan.

(a) The exposure control plan (plan) developed by the Department of State Health Services (department), is adopted as a model plan to achieve the minimum standard to implement Health and Safety Code, §81.304. The plan is designed to minimize exposure of employees as described in §96.201 of this title (relating to Applicability) and includes policies relating to occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens, training and educational requirements for employees, measures to increase vaccination of employees, and increased use of personnel protective equipment by employees.

(b) Copies of the plan are available on the Internet at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/IDCU/health/infection_control/bloodborne_pathogens/Resources.doc [http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/health/bloodborne_pathogens/reporting/ ] or from the department's [Department of State Health Services] regional offices.

§96.203.Minimum Standards.

(a) This exposure control plan (plan) is provided by the Department of State Health Services (department) to be analogous with Title 29 Code of Federal Regulation §1910.1030, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)[,] Bloodborne Pathogens Standard as specified in Health and Safety Code, §81.304.

(b) - (c) (No change.)

§96.401.Sharps Injury Log.

(a) - (c) (No change.)

(d) Information contained in subsection (c)(1) - (17) of this section concerning each contaminated sharps injury shall be reported no [not] later than 30 days [ten working days] after [the end of the calendar month in which] it occurred.

(e) A chief administrative officer for each facility within a governmental unit or the designee shall report the contaminated sharps injury to the local health authority where the facility is located. The local health authority, acting as an agent for the Department of State Health Services (department), shall receive and review the report for completeness, and submit the report to the department. If no local health authority is appointed for the jurisdiction where the facility is located, the report shall be made to the regional director of the department's [Department of State Health Services (department)] regional office in which the facility is located.

(f) A contaminated sharps injury shall be reported on the department's Contaminated Sharps Injury Reporting Form or through an electronic means established by the department. Copies of the Contaminated Sharps Injury Reporting Form can be obtained on the Internet at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/health/bloodborne_pathogens/reporting/ or from the department's [Department of State Health Services] regional offices.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 27, 2017.

TRD-201700398

Lisa Hernandez

General Counsel

Department of State Health Services

Earliest possible date of adoption: March 12, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 776-6972