TITLE 22. EXAMINING BOARDS

PART 9. TEXAS MEDICAL BOARD

CHAPTER 183. ACUPUNCTURE

22 TAC §183.20

The Texas Medical Board (Board) proposes amendments to §183.20, concerning Continuing Acupuncture Education.

The proposed amendments to §183.20 change the CAE requirements so that hours from courses that relate to business practices and office administration will be optional rather than required. Further amendments are proposed so that the number of required core hours in the topics of ethics and safety will be reduced from four to two.

The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing this section will be to improve clarity with respect to the number of continuing education hours and topics that are required to maintain licensure and those that are optional.

Scott Freshour, General Counsel for the Board, has determined that for each year of the first five years the section as proposed is in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing this proposal will be as stated above.

Mr. Freshour has also determined that for the first five-year period the sections are in effect there will be no fiscal impact or effect on government growth as a result of enforcing the sections as proposed.

There will be no effect to individuals required to comply with the rules as proposed. There will be no effect on small or micro businesses or rural communities.

Pursuant to Texas Government Code §2006.002, the agency provides the following economic impact statement for the proposed rule amendments and determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments will be in effect:

(1) there will be no effect on small businesses, micro businesses, or rural communities; and

(2) the agency has considered alternative methods of achieving the purpose of the proposed rule amendments and found none.

Pursuant to Texas Government Code §2001.024(a)(4), Mr. Freshour certifies that this proposal has been reviewed and the agency has determined that for each year of the first five years these rule amendments, as proposed, are in effect:

(1) the additional estimated cost to the state and to local governments expected as a result of enforcing or administering the rule is none;

(2) the estimated reductions in costs to the state and to local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rule is none;

(3) the estimated loss or increase in revenue to the state or to local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rule is none; and

(4) there are no foreseeable implications relating to cost or revenues of the state or local governments with regard to enforcing or administering the rule.

Pursuant to Government Code §2001.0221, the agency provides the following Government Growth Impact Statement for the proposed rule. For each year of the first five years the proposed amendments will be in effect, Mr. Freshour has determined the following:

(1) The proposed rule does not create or eliminate a government program.

(2) Implementation of the proposed rule does not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions.

(3) Implementation of the proposed rule does not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency.

(4) The proposed rule does not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency.

(5) The proposed rule does not create a new regulation.

(6) The proposed rule does not expand, limit, or repeal an existing regulation.

(7) The proposed rule does not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability.

(8) The proposed rule does not positively or adversely affect this state's economy.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Rita Chapin, P.O. Box 2018, Austin, Texas 78768-2018, or email comments to: rules.development@tmb.state.tx.us. A public hearing will be held at a later date.

The amendments are proposed under the authority of the Texas Occupations Code Annotated, §205.101, which provides authority for the Board to recommend rules to establish licensing and other fees and recommend rules necessary to administer and enforce Chapter 205.

No other statutes, articles or codes are affected by this proposal.

§183.20.Continuing Acupuncture Education.

(a) Purpose. This section is promulgated to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Texas through the establishment of minimum requirements for continuing acupuncture education (CAE) for licensed Texas acupuncturists so as to further enhance their professional skills and knowledge.

(b) Minimum Continuing Acupuncture Education. As a prerequisite to the biennial registration of the license of an acupuncturist, the acupuncturist shall complete 34 hours of CAE every 24 months.

(1) The required hours shall be from courses that meet one of the following criteria at the time the hours are taken:

(A) are designated or otherwise approved for credit by the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners based on a review and recommendation of the course content by the Education Committee of the board as described in subsection (n) of this section;

(B) are offered by providers approved by the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners;

(C) have been approved for CAE credit for a minimum of three years by another state acupuncture board, having first gone through a formal approval process in such state;

(D) approved by the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) for professional development activity credit; or

(E) are provided outside of the United States by a provider of continuing acupuncture education that is acceptable to the Board.

(2) The required CAE hours shall include the following core hours:

(A) at [At] least eight hours shall be in general acupuncture therapies;[.]

(B) at [At] least two [four] of the required hours shall be from a course in ethics and safety;[.]

(C) at [At] least six of the required hours shall be in herbology; and[.]

(D) at [At] least four hours of biomedicine.

[(E) At least four of the required hours shall be in courses that primarily relate to business practices or office administration.]

(3) The remaining CAE hours may be from other courses approved under paragraph (1) of this subsection, subject to the limitations under paragraphs (5) through [and] (7) [(6)] of this subsection.

(4) Courses may be taught through live lecture, distance learning, or the Internet.

(5) No more than four hours in courses that relate to business practices or office administration may be applied to the total hours required for each registration period.

(6) [(5)] No more than a total of 16 hours completed under paragraph (1)(D) or (E) of this subsection may be applied to the total hours required each registration period.

(7) [(6)] At least 18 hours applied to the total hours required each registration period must be approved under paragraph (1)(A) - (C) of this subsection.

(c) Reporting Continuing Acupuncture Education. An acupuncturist must report on the licensee's registration form whether the licensee has completed the required acupuncture education during the previous two years.

(d) Grounds for Exemption from Continuing Acupuncture Education. An acupuncturist may request in writing and may be exempt from the biennial minimum continuing acupuncture education requirements for one or more of the following reasons:

(1) the licensee's catastrophic illness;

(2) the licensee's military service of longer than one year in duration;

(3) the licensee's acupuncture practice and residence of longer than one year in duration outside the United States; and/or

(4) good cause shown on written application of the licensee which gives satisfactory evidence to the board that the licensee is unable to comply with the requirements of continuing acupuncture education.

(e) Exemption Requests. Exemption requests shall be subject to the approval of the executive director of the board, and shall be submitted in writing at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the license.

(f) Exemption Duration and Renewal. An exemption granted under subsections (d) and (e) of this section may not exceed one year, but may be renewed biennially upon written request submitted at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the current exemption.

(g) Verification of Credits. The board may require written verification of continuing acupuncture education hours from any licensee and the licensee shall provide the requested verification within 30 calendar days of the date of the request. Failure to timely provide the requested verification may result in disciplinary action by the board.

(h) Nonrenewal for Insufficient Continuing Acupuncture Education. Unless exempted under the terms of this section, the apparent failure of an acupuncturist to obtain and timely report the 34 hours of continuing education hours as required and provided for in this section shall result in nonrenewal of the license until such time as the acupuncturist obtains and reports the required hours; however, the executive director of the board may issue to such an acupuncturist a temporary license numbered so as to correspond to the non-renewed license. Such a temporary license issued pursuant to this subsection may be issued to allow the board to verify the accuracy of information related to the continuing acupuncture education hours of the acupuncturist and to allow the acupuncturist who has not obtained or timely reported the required number of hours an opportunity to correct any deficiency so as not to require termination of ongoing patient care.

(i) Fee for Issuance of Temporary License. The fee for issuance of a temporary license pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be in the amount specified under §175.1 of this title (relating to Application Fees); however, the fee need not be paid prior to the issuance of the temporary license, but shall be paid prior to the renewal of a permanent license.

(j) Application of Additional Hours. Continuing acupuncture education hours that are obtained to comply with the requirements for the preceding registration period, as a prerequisite for licensure renewal, shall first be credited to meet the requirements for that previous registration period. Once the requirements of the previous registration period are satisfied, any additional hours obtained shall be credited to meet the continuing acupuncture education requirements of the current registration period. A licensee may carry forward CAE hours earned prior to a biennial registration report, which are in excess of the 34-hour biennial requirement and such excess hours may be applied to the following registration periods' requirements. A maximum of 34 total excess hours may be carried forward. Excess CAE hours may not be carried forward or applied to a biennial report of CAE more than two years beyond the date of the registration following the period during which the hours were earned.

(k) False Reports/Statements. An intentionally false report or statement to the board by a licensee regarding continuing acupuncture education hours reportedly obtained shall be a basis for disciplinary action by the board pursuant to the Act, §205.351(a)(2) and (6).

(l) Monetary Penalty. Failure to obtain and timely report the continuing acupuncture education hours for renewal of a license shall subject the licensee to a monetary penalty for late registration in the amount set forth in §175.2 and §175.3 of this title (relating to Registration and Renewal Fees and Penalties).

(m) Disciplinary Action, Conditional Licensure, and Construction. This section shall be construed to allow the board to impose requirements for completion of additional continuing acupuncture education hours for purposes of disciplinary action and conditional licensure.

(n) Required Content for Continuing Acupuncture Education Courses. Continuing Acupuncture Education courses must meet the following requirements:

(1) the content of the course, program, or activity is related to the practice of acupuncture or oriental medicine, and shall:

(A) be related to the knowledge and/or technical skills required to practice acupuncture; or

(B) be related to direct and/or indirect patient care;

(2) the method of instruction is adequate to teach the content of the course, program, or activity;

(3) the credentials of the instructor(s) indicate competency and sufficient training, education, and experience to teach the specific course, program, or activity;

(4) the education provider maintains an accurate attendance/participation record on individuals completing the course, program, or activity;

(5) each credit hour for the course, program, or activity is equal to no less than 50 minutes of actual instruction or training;

(6) the course, program, or activity is provided by a knowledgeable health care provider or reputable school, state, or professional organization;

(7) the course description provides adequate information so that each participant understands the basis for the program and the goals and objectives to be met; and

(8) the education provider obtains written evaluations at the end of each program, collate the evaluations in a statistical summary, and makes the summary available to the board upon request.

(o) Continuing Acupuncture Education Approval Requests. All requests for approval of courses, programs, or activities for purposes of satisfying CAE credit requirements shall be submitted in writing to the Education Committee of the board on a form approved by the board, along with any required fee, and accompanied by information, documents, and materials accurately describing the course, program, or activity, and necessary for verifying compliance with the requirements set forth in subsection (n) of this section. At the discretion of the board or the Education Committee, supplemental information, documents, and materials may be requested as needed to obtain an adequate description of the course, program, or activity and to verify compliance with the requirements set forth in subsection (n) of this section. At the discretion of the board or the Education Committee, inspection of original supporting documents may be required for a determination on an approval request. The Acupuncture Board shall have the authority to conduct random and periodic checks of courses, programs, or activities to ensure that criteria for education approval as set forth in subsection (n) of this section have been met and continue to be met by the education provider. Upon requesting approval of a course, program, or activity, the education provider shall agree to such checks by the Acupuncture Board or its designees, and shall further agree to provide supplemental information, documents, and material describing the course, program, or activity which, in the discretion of the Acupuncture Board, may be needed for approval or continued approval of the course, program, or activity. Failure of an education provider to provide the necessary information, documents, and materials to show compliance with the standards set forth in subsection (n) of this section shall be grounds for denial of CAE approval or rescission of prior approval in regard to the course, program, or activity.

(p) Reconsideration of Denials of Approval Requests. Determinations to deny approval of a CAE course, program, or activity may be reconsidered by the Education Committee or the board based on additional information concerning the course, program, or activity, or upon a showing of good cause for reconsideration. A decision to reconsider a denial determination shall be a discretionary decision based on consideration of the additional information or the good cause showing. Requests for reconsideration shall be made in writing by the education provider, and may be made orally or in writing by board staff or a committee of the board.

(q) Reconsideration of Approvals. Determinations to approve a CAE course, program, or activity may be reconsidered by the Education Committee or the board based on additional information concerning the course, program, or activity, or upon a showing of good cause. A decision to reconsider an approval determination shall be a discretionary decision based on consideration of the additional information or the good cause showing. Requests for reconsideration may be made in writing by a member of the public or may be made orally or in writing by board staff or a committee of the board.

(r) Criteria for Provider Approval.

(1) In order to be an approved provider, a provider shall submit to the board a provider application on a form approved by the board, along with any required fee. All provider applications and documentation submitted to the board shall be typewritten and in English.

(2) To become an approved provider, a provider shall submit to the board evidence that the provider has three continuous years of previous experience providing at least one different CAE course in Texas in each of those years that were approved by the board. In addition the provider must have no history of complaints or reprimands with the board.

(3) The approval of the provider shall expire three years after it is issued by the board and may be renewed upon the filing of the required application, along with any required fee.

(4) Acupuncture schools and colleges which have been approved by the board, as defined under §183.2(2) of this title (relating to Definitions), who seek to be approved providers shall be required to submit an application for an approved provider number to the board.

(s) Requirements of Approved Providers.

(1) For the purpose of this chapter, the title "approved provider" can only be used when a person or organization has submitted a provider application form, and has been issued a provider number unless otherwise provided.

(2) A person or organization may be issued only one provider number. When two or more approved providers co-sponsor a course, the course shall be identified by only one provider number and that provider shall assume responsibility for recordkeeping, advertising, issuance of certificates and instructor(s) qualifications.

(3) An approved provider shall offer CAE programs that are presented or instructed by persons who meet the minimum criteria as described in subsection (t) of this section.

(4) An approved provider shall keep the following records for a period of four years in one identified location:

(A) course [Course] outlines of each course given;[.]

(B) record [Record] of time and places of each course given;[.]

(C) course [Course] instructor curriculum vitaes or resumes;[.]

(D) the [The] attendance record for each course; and[.]

(E) participant [Participant] evaluation forms for each course given.

(5) An approved provider shall submit to the board the following within ten days of the board's request:

(A) a [A] copy of the attendance record showing the name, signature and license number of any licensed acupuncturists who attended the course; and[.]

(B) the [The] participant evaluation forms of the course.

(6) Approved providers shall issue, within 60 days of the conclusion of a course, to each participant who has completed the course, a certificate of completion that contains the following information:

(A) provider's [Provider's] name and number;[.]

(B) course [Course] title;[.]

(C) participant's [Participant's] name and, if applicable, his or her acupuncture license number;[.]

(D) date [Date] and location of course;[.]

(E) number [Number] of continuing education hours completed;[.]

(F) description [Description] of hours indicating whether hours completed are in general acupuncture, ethics, herbology, biomedicine, or practice management; and[.]

(G) statement [Statement] directing the acupuncturist to retain the certificate for at least four years from the date of completion of the course.

(7) Approved providers shall notify the board within 30 days of any changes in organizational structure of a provider and/or the person(s) responsible for the provider's continuing education course, including name, address, or telephone number changes.

(8) Provider approval is non-transferable.

(9) The board may audit during reasonable business hours records, courses, instructors and related activities of an approved provider.

(t) Instructors.

(1) Minimum qualifications of an acupuncturist instructor. The instructor must:

(A) hold a current valid license to practice acupuncture in Texas or other state and be free of any disciplinary order or probation by a state licensing authority; and

(B) be knowledgeable, current and skillful in the subject matter of the course as evidenced through one of the following:

(i) hold a minimum of a master's degree from an accredited college or university or a post-secondary educational institution, with a major in the subject directly related to the content of the program to be presented;

(ii) have experience in teaching similar subject matter content within the last two years in the specialized area in which he or she is teaching;

(iii) have at least one year's experience within the last two years in the specialized area in which he or she is teaching; or

(iv) have graduated from an acceptable acupuncture school, as defined under §183.2(2) of this title, and have completed 3 years of professional experience in the licensed practice of acupuncture.

(2) Minimum qualifications of a non-acupuncturist instructor. The instructor must:

(A) be currently licensed or certified in his or her area of expertise if appropriate;

(B) show written evidence of specialized training or experience, which may include, but not be limited to, a certificate of training or an advanced degree in a given subject area; and

(C) have at least one year's teaching experience within the last two years in the specialized area in which he or she teaches.

(u) CAE Credit for Course Instruction. Instructors of board-approved CAE courses or courses taught through a program offered by an approved provider for CAE credit may receive three hours of CAE credit for each hour of lecture, not to exceed six hours of continuing education credit per year, regardless of how many hours taught. Participation as a member of a panel presentation for the approved course shall not entitle the participant to earn CAE credit as an instructor. No CAE credit shall be granted to school faculty members as credit for their regular teaching assignments.

(v) Expiration, Denial and Withdrawal of Approval.

(1) Approval of any CAE course shall expire three years after the date of approval.

(2) The board may withdraw its approval of a provider or deny an application for approval if the provider is convicted of a crime substantially related to the activities of a provider.

(3) Any material misrepresentation of fact by a provider or applicant in any information required to be submitted to the board is grounds for withdrawal of approval or denial of an application.

(4) The board may withdraw its approval of a provider after giving the provider written notice setting forth its reasons for withdrawal and after giving the provider a reasonable opportunity to be heard by the board or its designee.

(5) Should the board deny approval of a provider, the provider may appeal the action by filing a letter stating the reason(s) with the board. The letter of appeal shall be filed with the board within ten days of the mailing of the applicant's notification of the board's denial. The appeal shall be considered by the board.

(w) An acupuncturist, who is a military service member, may request an extension of time, not to exceed two years, to complete any CAE requirements.

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 February 1, 2019.

TRD-201900321

Scott Freshour

General Counsel

Texas Medical Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: March 17, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 305-7016


PART 11. TEXAS BOARD OF NURSING

CHAPTER 213. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

22 TAC §213.33

The Texas Board of Nursing (Board) proposes amendments to §213.33, relating to Factors Considered for Imposition of Penalties/Sanctions. The amendments are being proposed under the authority of the Occupations Code §301.461 and §301.151 and are necessary to conform to statutory mandates and eliminate redundant language from the rule.

Background

The Texas Legislature adopted House Bill (HB) 2950 during the 85th Regular Legislative Session. HB 2950 amended the Occupations Code §301.461 (Nursing Practice Act) to prohibit the Board from imposing upon an applicant or licensee the costs of an administrative hearing at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). The proposed amendments are necessary to conform to this statutory requirement. The proposed amendments also eliminate redundant language from the section and clarify the use of the Board's Disciplinary Matrix.

How the Sections Will Function.

The proposed amendments only affect subsection (b) and (e) of the section. Subsection (b) contains the Board's Disciplinary Matrix. The proposed amendments eliminate redundant language from the preamble of the Disciplinary Matrix. The proposed amendments also clarify that the Board and SOAH must consider the requirements of the Occupations Code §301.4531 in matters involving multiple violations or individuals with prior discipline. In such cases, §301.4531 requires the Board to consider taking a more severe disciplinary action than would typically be taken for a single violation or if the individual was not previously the subject of disciplinary action. No other changes are proposed to the Board's Disciplinary Matrix.

The proposed amendments to §213.33(e)(12) eliminate the assessment of costs, as they relate to a contested case hearing at SOAH, from the rule. Potential appellate costs authorized by the Government Code §2001.177 are not affected by the proposal.

Fiscal Note. Katherine Thomas, Executive Director, has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments will be in effect, there will be no anticipated change in the revenue to state government as a result of the enforcement or administration of the proposal.

Public Benefit/Cost Note. Ms. Thomas has also determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments are in effect, the anticipated public benefit will be the adoption of a rule that is easily understood and conforms to the statutory requirements of §301.461.

There are no anticipated costs of compliance associated with the proposal. On the contrary, the proposal may result in cost savings to some individuals. Specifically, the proposal prohibits the Board from imposing the costs associated with a contested case hearing at SOAH upon applicants and licensees. For these individuals, the proposal may result in cost savings. There are no anticipated costs associated with the editorial changes intended to clarify the existing rule text.

Economic Impact Statement and Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Small and Micro Businesses and Rural Communities. The Government Code §2006.002(c) and (f) require that, if a proposed rule may have an economic impact on small businesses or micro businesses or rural communities, state agencies must prepare, as part of the rulemaking process, an economic impact statement that assesses the potential impact of the proposed rule on these businesses and communities and a regulatory flexibility analysis that considers alternative methods of achieving the purpose of the rule. Section 2006.002(c-1) requires that the regulatory analysis "consider, if consistent with the health, safety, and environmental and economic welfare of the state, using regulatory methods that will accomplish the objectives of applicable rules while minimizing adverse impacts on small businesses." Therefore, an agency is not required to consider alternatives that, while possibly minimizing adverse impacts on small and micro businesses, would not be protective of the health, safety, and environmental and economic welfare of the state.

The Government Code §2006.001(1) defines a micro business as a legal entity, including a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship that: (i) is formed for the purpose of making a profit; (ii) is independently owned and operated; and (iii) has not more than 20 employees. The Government Code §2006.001(2) defines a small business as a legal entity, including a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, that: (i) is formed for the purpose of making a profit; (ii) is independently owned and operated; and (iii) has fewer than 100 employees or less than $6 million in annual gross receipts. Each of the elements in §2006.001(1) and §2006.001(2) must be met in order for an entity to qualify as a micro business or small business. The Government Code §2006.001(1-a) defines a rural community as a municipality with a population of less than 25,000.

The proposal does not impose any costs on any entity regulated by the Board. As such, the Board is not required to prepare an economic impact statement or regulatory flexibility analysis.

Government Growth Impact Statement. The Board is required, pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code §2001.0221 and 34 TAC §11.1, to prepare a government growth impact statement. The Board has determined for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments will be in effect: (i) the proposal does not create or eliminate a government program; (ii) implementation of the proposal does not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions, as the proposal is not expected to have an effect on existing agency positions; (iii) implementation of the proposal does not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the Board, as the proposal is not expected to have an effect on existing agency positions; (iv) the proposal does not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the Board; (v) the proposal does not create a new regulation; (vi) the proposal amends an existing regulation consistent with statutory mandate; (vii) the proposal does not change the number of individuals subject to the rule; and (viii) the proposal does not have an effect on the state's economy.

Takings Impact Assessment. The Board has determined that no private real property interests are affected by this proposal and that this proposal does not restrict or limit an owner's right to property that would otherwise exist in the absence of government action and, therefore, does not constitute a taking or require a takings impact assessment under the Government Code §2007.043.

Request for Public Comment. Comments on this proposal may be submitted to James W. Johnston, General Counsel, Texas Board of Nursing, 333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-460, Austin, Texas 78701, or by email to dusty.johnston@bon.texas.gov, or faxed to (512) 305-8101. Comments must be received no later than thirty (30) days from the date of publication of this proposal. If a hearing is held, written and oral comments presented at the hearing will be considered.

Statutory Authority. The amendments are proposed under the authority of the Occupations Code §301.151 and §301.461.

Section 301.151 addresses the Board's rulemaking authority. Section 301.151 authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce rules consistent with Chapter 301 and necessary to: (i) perform its duties and conduct proceedings before the Board; (ii) regulate the practice of professional nursing and vocational nursing; (iii) establish standards of professional conduct for license holders under Chapter 301; and (iv) determine whether an act constitutes the practice of professional nursing or vocational nursing.

Section 301.461 states that the Board may not assess a person who is found to have violated Chapter 301 the administrative costs of conducting a hearing to determine the violation.

§213.33.Factors Considered for Imposition of Penalties/Sanctions.

(a) (No change.)

(b) The Disciplinary Matrix is as follows:

Figure: 22 TAC §213.33(b) (.pdf)

[Figure: 22 TAC §213.33(b)]

(c) - (d) (No change.)

(e) The Board may, upon the finding of a violation, enter an order imposing one or more of the following disciplinary actions, with or without probationary stipulations:

(1) - (11) (No change.)

(12) Assessment of costs as authorized by [the Occupations Code §301.461 and] the Government Code §2001.177; and/or

(13) (No change.)

(f) - (m) (No change.)

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 February 1, 2019.

TRD-201900323

Jena Abel

Deputy General Counsel

Texas Board of Nursing

Earliest possible date of adoption: March 17, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6822


PART 24. TEXAS BOARD OF VETERINARY MEDICAL EXAMINERS

CHAPTER 571. LICENSING

SUBCHAPTER D. LICENSE RENEWALS

22 TAC §571.61

The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (Board) proposes amendments to §571.61, concerning Inactive License Status.

The purpose of the proposed amendments is to comply with statutory requirements by removing limitations on the time a license holder may remain on inactive status. The amendments also remove excess language in order to clarify the time period for requesting that a license be placed on inactive status and the payment of associated fees.

Fiscal Note

John Helenberg, Executive Director, has determined that for each year of the first five years that the rule is in effect, there are no anticipated increases or reductions in costs to the state and local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the amended rule.

Mr. Helenberg has also determined that for each year of the first five years that the rule is in effect, there is no anticipated impact in revenue to state government as a result of enforcing or administering the rule.

Public Benefit and Cost Note

Mr. Helenberg has also determined that for each year of the first five years the rule is in effect, the anticipated public benefit will be that the rule complies with statutory requirements.

Local Employment Impact Statement

Mr. Helenberg has determined that the rule will have no impact on local employment or a local economy. Thus, the board is not required to prepare a local employment impact statement pursuant to §2001.022, Government Code.

Economic Impact Statement and Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Mr. Helenberg has determined that there are no anticipated adverse economic effects on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities as a result of the rule. Thus, the Board is not required to prepare an economic impact statement or a regulatory flexibility analysis pursuant to §2006.002, Government Code.

Takings Impact Assessment

Mr. Helenberg has determined that there are no private real property interests affected by the rule. Thus, the board is not required to prepare a takings impact assessment pursuant to §2007.043, Government Code.

Government Growth Impact Statement

For the first five years that the rule as amended would be in effect, it is estimated that the rule would not create or eliminate a government program; implementation of the rule would not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions; implementation of the rule would not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency; the rule would not require an increase in the fees paid to the agency; the rule would not create a new regulation; the rule would not expand, limit, or repeal an existing regulation; the rule would not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability; and the rule would not positively or adversely affect the state's economy.

Request for Public Comments

The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners invites comments on the proposed amendments to the rule from any interested persons, including any member of the public. A written statement should be mailed or delivered to Valerie Mitchell, Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, 333 Guadalupe, Ste. 3-810, Austin, Texas 78701-3942, by facsimile (FAX) to (512) 305-7574, or by email to Valerie.mitchell@veterinary.texas.gov. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication in the Texas Register. Comments must be received within 30 days after publication of this proposal in order to be considered.

Statutory Authority

The rule is proposed under the authority of §801.151(a), Occupations Code, which states that the Board may adopt rules necessary to administer the chapter, and the authority of §801.306, Occupations Code, which states that the Board may provide for the placement of a license holder on inactive status, but may not include a limit on the time a license holder may remain on inactive status.

No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposal.

§571.61.Inactive License Status.

(a) Application. A licensee may request his/her license be placed on inactive status, whether or not he/she is practicing within the State of Texas, provided:

(1) his or her current license is active and is in good standing; and

(2) a request in writing, on the form prescribed by the Board, is made for his or her license to be placed on official inactive status.[; and]

[(3) the original request is made during the annual license renewal period within three months prior to the first day of the licensee's birth month; provided however, that subsequent requests for continued inactive status may be accepted by the Board at any time during the renewal year if accompanied by the appropriate delinquent penalty.]

(b) Restrictions. The following restrictions shall apply to veterinary licensees whose licenses are on inactive status:

(1) Except as provided in §801.004, Texas Occupations Code, the licensee may not engage in the practice of veterinary medicine or otherwise provide treatment to any animal in the State of Texas.

(2) If the licensee possesses or obtains a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substances registration for a Texas location, the licensee must comply with §573.43 and §573.50 of this title (relating to Controlled Substances Registration and Controlled Substances Records Keeping for Drugs on Hand, respectively).

(c) Return to Active Status. A licensee on inactive status wishing to practice within the State of Texas must receive written approval from the Board prior to returning to active status. In addition to other information which may be requested or required by the Board, the following conditions apply to licensees applying to return to active status.

(1) A licensee who is licensed and practicing in another state or jurisdiction must prove he or she is in good standing in that state or jurisdiction.

(2) A licensee on inactive status must pay the reactivation fee set by the Board. [A licensee on inactive status must pay the total annual renewal fee, less the amount of the inactive annual renewal fee, plus a $25 administrative processing fee to obtain a regular license.] The regular annual renewal fee shall not be prorated for applications to return to active status made after the annual renewal period.

(d) Continuing Education Requirements.

(1) If a licensee on inactive status requesting a return to regular license status has maintained an annual average equal to the number of continuing education hours required annually for renewal of the license, not including any portion of the reactivation year, the licensee will be placed on regular license status without any additional requirements. If the average annual continuing education is less than the number of hours required annually for renewal of the license, the licensee will be placed on regular license status but must complete twice as many continuing education hours as is required to renew the license in the twelve months immediately following the licensee's attaining of regular license status.

(2) For the year of reactivation, proof of continuing education shall not be required for an active license renewal in the year following reactivation.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, the terms "year" and "annual" mean the renewal year.

[(e) Cancellation of Inactive License. A license maintained on inactive status will be automatically cancelled at the end of nine consecutive years. A new license will be issued only upon completion of all requirements for licensure. During the ninth consecutive year of inactive status, the Board will notify the inactive licensee that during the following year, his or her license must be on regular status or the license will be cancelled.]

(e) [(f)] Annual Renewal Fees. The annual fee for a license on inactive status shall be as set by the Board in §577.15 of this title (relating to Fee Schedule).

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 February 4, 2019.

TRD-201900326

John Helenberg

Executive Director

Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Earliest possible date of adoption: March 17, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 305-7573