TITLE 40. SOCIAL SERVICES AND ASSISTANCE

PART 12. TEXAS BOARD OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY EXAMINERS

CHAPTER 364. REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE

40 TAC §§364.1 - 364.4

The Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners adopts amendments to 40 Texas Administrative Code §364.1, Requirements for Licensure; §364.2, Initial License by Examination; §364.3, Temporary License; and §364.4, Licensure by Endorsement. The amendments to the sections are adopted to streamline and increase the efficiency of the Board's licensing processes, including through the use of digital technology, and to reduce potential burdens for applicants.

The amendments are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the June 19, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 4163). The rules will not be republished.

The amendments to §364.1, §364.2, and §364.4 concern the application submission criteria required for the issuance of a license. An amendment to §364.1 will allow an applicant to submit the photograph required for initial licensure in electronic form. Amendments to §364.2 and §364.4 include adding provisions that will allow the Board to verify an applicant's history of licensure in occupational therapy, rather than routinely requiring that an applicant submit a verification of license from each state or territory of the U.S. in which the applicant is currently licensed or previously held a license. The amendments include that if the Board cannot verify the applicant's history of licensure, the applicant must submit a verification of license. The amendments concerning license verification will, therefore, result in applicants only being required to submit verifications for licenses that the Board cannot verify. Adopted amendments concerning similar requirements for the restoration of a license will also be submitted to the Texas Register for publication.

Additional amendments to §364.1, Requirements for Licensure, remove redundant language that already appears in another section of the Occupational Therapy Rules and include a further cleanup for consistency.

The amendments, in addition, include amendments to §364.3, Temporary License. Applicants for a temporary license must submit a Confirmation of Examination Registration and Eligibility to Examine form from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), which must be sent directly to the Board by NBCOT and which reflects the eligibility window in which the applicant will take the examination. Related provisions in the section include that this is a 90-day window. This examination eligibility window is set by NBCOT, which is the national testing entity recognized by the Board. The amendments remove the reference to 90 days with regard to that window and replace such with "eligibility." This change will ensure that the section will not specify a number of days that are determined by another entity, NBCOT, prior to sending the form to the Board.

The amendments to the section also include the removal of language regarding licensure in another country from §364.3(b). Board rule §364.3 requires that to be issued a temporary license, the applicant must meet all the provisions in §364.1, concerning requirements for licensure, and §364.2, concerning initial license by examination, and licensure in another country is not addressed in the sections with regard to an applicant's eligibility for licensure. To bring greater uniformity to the Occupational Therapy Rules and remove potential barriers to licensure for an applicant who would otherwise be eligible for a temporary license, the amendments include the removal of language from the provision that would prevent an applicant from obtaining a temporary license in Texas if the applicant has received a license in another country.

The current §364.3(b) also allows for temporary licensure as an occupational therapist to be available to an applicant for an occupational therapist license who has had a history of licensure or employment as an occupational therapy assistant; amendments to the section will, similarly, make temporary licensure as an occupational therapy assistant available to an applicant for an occupational therapy assistant license who has had a history of licensure or employment as an occupational therapist. The changes, likewise, are adopted to bring greater uniformity to the Occupational Therapy Rules and remove a potential barrier to temporary licensure for an applicant who otherwise would be eligible for such.

The amendments include additional cleanups to the sections.

No comments were received regarding adoption of the amendments.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.102, which authorizes the Board to adopt rules to carry out its duties under chapter 454. Specifically, the amendments to §364.1 and §364.2 are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.201, which requires a license under chapter 454 in order to practice occupational therapy, and adopted under Texas Occupation Code §454.202, which requires that the applicant for a license submit a written application to the Board in the form prescribed by the Board. The amendments to §364.3 are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.211, which authorizes the Board to provide for the issuance of a temporary license. The amendments to §364.4 are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.216, which authorizes the Board to issue a license by endorsement, requires that the applicant provide to the Board information regarding the status of any professional license that the applicant holds or has held in another jurisdiction, and requires the applicant to submit a current photograph that meets requirements for a United States passport.

No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by these amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on July 31, 2020.

TRD-202003120

Ralph A. Harper

Executive Director

Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners

Effective date: September 1, 2020

Proposal publication date: June 19, 2020

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6900


CHAPTER 367. CONTINUING EDUCATION

40 TAC §367.1

The Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners adopts amendments to 40 Texas Administrative Code §367.1, Continuing Education. The amendments are adopted to add requirements concerning training on the prevention of human trafficking pursuant to House Bill 2059 of the 86th Regular Legislative Session in 2019. The amendments are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the June 19, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 4166). The rule will not be republished.

House Bill 2059 requires that a health care practitioner successfully complete a training course on human trafficking prevention approved by the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission as a condition for license renewal. The Bill defines "health care practitioner" as an individual who provides direct patient care. The amendments to §367.1 and adopted amendments to other chapters of the Board rules will require the completion of human trafficking prevention training as condition for license renewal for all occupational therapy licensees. The amendments also pre-approve up to two contact hours for a human trafficking prevention training course and will allow a specific training course to be repeated for credit during a subsequent renewal period.

No comments were received regarding adoption of the amendments.

The amendments to §367.1 are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.102, which authorizes the Board to adopt rules to carry out its duties under chapter 454, and adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.254, which authorizes the Board to require license holders to attend continuing education courses specified by the Board.

The amendments implement Texas Occupations Code §116.002 and §116.003, which require a health care practitioner to complete human trafficking prevention training as a condition of license renewal. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by these amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on July 31, 2020.

TRD-202003121

Ralph A. Harper

Executive Director

Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners

Effective date: September 1, 2020

Proposal publication date: June 19, 2020

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6900


CHAPTER 370. LICENSE RENEWAL

40 TAC §370.2, §370.3

The Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners adopts amendments to 40 Texas Administrative Code §370.2, Late Renewal, and §370.3, Restoration of a Texas License. The amendments are adopted to support the Board in streamlining and increasing the efficiency of its licensing processes, including through the use of digital technology, and reduce potential burdens for applicants. The amendments also cleanup and modify requirements for the renewal of an expired license and add human trafficking prevention training requirements pursuant to House Bill 2059 of the 86th Regular Legislative Session in 2019. The amendments are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the June 19, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 4168). The rules will not be republished.

Amendments to §370.2 include as a cleanup the replacement of the current §370.2(a) with the simplified "A renewal application is late if all the required renewal materials do not bear a postmark or electronic time-stamp showing a date prior to the expiration of the license." An additional amendment to the section concerns removing the requirement that to renew a license expired for more than 90 days, but less than one year, the individual must submit copies of the continuing education documentation. This change will reduce requirements for a late renewal and streamline the late renewal process.

Amendments to §370.3 concern the renewal of a license expired one year or more, which, in the Occupational Therapy Rules, is referred to as the restoration of a license. Amendments to the section will allow an applicant to submit the photograph required for the restoration of a license in electronic form and allow the Board to verify an applicant's history of licensure in occupational therapy, rather than routinely requiring that an applicant submit a verification of license from each state or territory of the U.S. in which the applicant is currently licensed or previously held a license. The amendments include that if the Board cannot verify the applicant's history of licensure, the applicant must submit a verification of license. The amendments concerning license verification will, therefore, result in applicants only being required to submit verifications for licenses that the Board cannot verify. Adopted amendments in other sections concerning similar requirements for initial licensure will also be submitted to the Texas Register for publication.

A further amendment to §370.3 concerns reducing the number of continuing education hours required for the restoration of a license expired at least one year, but less than two years. Previously, the Occupational Therapy Rules required that to renew a license expired less than one year, the individual must complete thirty hours of continuing education. Recent amendments to other rule sections changed that amount to twenty-four hours. The changes to §370.3 are a cleanup to coincide with such changes by reducing the required continuing education hours for restoration from forty-five to thirty-six hours. The amendments include further cleanups.

An additional modification to the section includes that certain restoration requirements for an individual whose license is expired two years or more must be completed no more than two years prior to the submission of the application. The amendment is adopted to specify a time frame during which the requirements must be met in the corresponding subsection.

Further amendments to §370.3 concern adding provisions requiring that individuals complete training on the prevention of human trafficking as a requirement for license restoration. House Bill 2059 of the 86th Regular Legislative Session in 2019 requires that a health care practitioner successfully complete a training course on human trafficking approved by the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission as a condition for license renewal, and in the bill, "health care practitioner" refers to an individual who provides direct patient care. The amendments to §370.3 and further adopted amendments to the Occupational Therapy Rules submitted for publication in the Texas Register will add the completion of this training as a requirement for license renewal for all occupational therapy licensees.

No comments were received regarding adoption of the amendments.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.102, which authorizes the Board to adopt rules to carry out its duties under chapter 454. Specifically, the amendments to §370.2 and §370.3 are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.252, which requires that a person whose license has been expired less than one year may renew the license by paying the renewal fee and late fee set by the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners and which authorizes the Board to reinstate a license expired one year or more. The amendments to §370.3 are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.253, which authorizes the Board to renew the expired license of an individual licensed in another state and the amendments to §370.3 are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.254, which authorizes the Board to require license holders to attend continuing education courses specified by the Board.

The amendments to §370.3 implement Texas Occupations Code §116.002 and §116.003, which require a health care practitioner to complete human trafficking prevention training as a condition of license renewal. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by these amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on July 31, 2020.

TRD-202003122

Ralph A. Harper

Executive Director

Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners

Effective date: September 1, 2020

Proposal publication date: June 19, 2020

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6900


CHAPTER 371. INACTIVE AND RETIRED STATUS

40 TAC §371.1, §371.2

The Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners adopts amendments to 40 Texas Administrative Code §371.1, Inactive Status, and §371.2, Retired Status. The amendments to the sections are adopted to cleanup and clarify the sections and to reduce the requirements to initiate retired status. In addition, amendments to §371.2 are adopted to add requirements concerning training on the prevention of human trafficking pursuant to House Bill 2059 of the 86th Regular Legislative Session in 2019. Cleanups and clarifications to the sections include amendments to provisions concerning fees to add greater uniformity and clarity to the manner in which such are referenced. The amendments are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the June 19, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 4172). The rules will not be republished.

Amendments to §371.2 include changes concerning reducing the number of hours of continuing education required to initiate retired status. Rather than requiring that the individual complete the same number of continuing education hours required to renew an active or inactive status license, the amendments will instead require that to initiate retired status, the individual must complete six hours of continuing education, which is the number of hours required to renew a license already on retired status. This change will reduce potential barriers for licensees concerning the initiation of retired status. Concomitant with these changes, requirements to return a license to active status have been revised so that a licensee who has been on retired status less than one year must complete the remainder of continuing education hours required for the renewal of a license on active status.

Further amendments to §371.2 concern the addition of requirements concerning training on human trafficking. House Bill 2059 of the 86th Regular Legislative Session requires that a health care practitioner successfully complete a training course on human trafficking approved by the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission as a condition for license renewal, and in the bill, "health care practitioner" refers to an individual who provides direct patient care. The amendments to §371.2 and adopted amendments to other chapters of the Occupational Therapy Rules submitted for publication in the Texas Register will add the completion of this training as a requirement for license renewal for all occupational therapy licensees.

No comments were received regarding adoption of the amendments.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.102, which authorizes the Board to adopt rules to carry out its duties under chapter 454. Specifically, the amendments to §371.1 are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.212, which allows for the Board to provide for a license holder to place the holder's license on inactive status. Amendments to §371.2 are adopted under Texas Occupations Code §454.254, which authorizes the Board to require license holders to attend continuing education courses specified by the Board.

The amendments to §371.2 implement Texas Occupations Code §116.002 and §116.003, which require a health care practitioner to complete human trafficking prevention training as a condition of license renewal. The amendments to §371.2 implement Texas Occupations Code §112.051, which requires each licensing entity to adopt rules providing for reduced fees and continuing education requirements for a retired health care practitioner whose only practice is voluntary charity care. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by these amendments.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on July 31, 2020.

TRD-202003123

Ralph A. Harper

Executive Director

Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners

Effective date: September 1, 2020

Proposal publication date: June 19, 2020

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6900