Louisiana Revised Statutes
Title 37. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 34. Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
Revised August 1, 2021
Download Full Practice Act
The legislature declares that it is a policy of this state that the practice of speech-language pathology and audiology is a privilege granted to qualified individuals and that, in order to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare, to protect the public from incompetent, unscrupulous, and unauthorized persons, and from unprofessional conduct by speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech-language pathology assistants, it is necessary to provide regulatory authority over persons offering speech-language pathology and audiology services to the public.
As used in this Chapter:
(1) "Audiologist" means any person who represents himself to the public by title or description of services, methods, or procedures as one who offers to provide or provides services involving the application of principles, methods, and procedures of the science and profession of audiology. An audiologist, by definition of scope of practice, may sell and dispense hearing aids under these provisions.
(2) "Board" means the Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
(3) "Licensed audiologist" means an individual who meets the qualifications for licensure as an audiologist under R.S. 37:2659(A) and who holds a current, unsuspended, and unrevoked license issued by the board. Unless otherwise specified, "licensed audiologist" shall not mean a person who has a provisional or restricted license issued under this Chapter.
(4) "Licensed speech-language pathologist" means an individual who meets the qualifications for licensure as a speech -language pathologist under R.S. 37:2659(A) and who holds a current, unsuspended, and unrevoked license issued by the board. Unless otherwise specified, "licensed speech-language pathologist" shall not mean a person who has a provisional or restricted license issued under this Chapter.
(5) "Licensed speech-language pathology assistant" means an individual who meets the qualifications for licensure as a speech-language pathology assistant provided in R.S. 37:2659(D), holds a current, unsuspended, and unrevoked license issued by the board, works under the direct supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist in accordance with standards promulgated by the board, and performs only those duties specified in the rules and regulations established by the board.
(6) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity, except that only an individual shall be eligible for license or be issued a license under this Chapter.
(7)(a) "Practice of audiology" means providing, or offering to provide, to individuals or groups of individuals who have, or are suspected of having, disorders of the auditory system, any service in audiology, including prevention, identification, evaluation, interpretation, counseling, consultation, habilitation, rehabilitation, instruction, supervision, and research. The practice of audiology shall also include audiology services for disorders of the vestibular system upon referral of a physician. An audiologist may engage in any task, procedure, act, or practice that is necessary:
(i) For the evaluation of hearing and the monitoring of neural functioning.
(ii) For training in the use of amplification, including hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
(iii) For the making of earmolds.
(iv) For the fitting, dispensing, and selling of hearing aids.
(b) An individual who meets the requirements of this Chapter for licensure as an audiologist and who engages in the fitting and selling of hearing aids shall:
(i) Register with the board his intent to fit and dispense hearing aids.
(ii) Comply with federal Food and Drug Administration guidelines required for fitting and dispensing hearing aids.
(iii) Follow guidelines adopted by the board for a thirty-day trial period on hearing aids dispensed.
(iv) Comply with pre-purchase evaluation guidelines adopted by the board.
(v) Provide documentation of completion of at least thirty semester credit hours of professional coursework, twenty-one hours of which shall be in audiology. A minimum of six semester credit hours shall be in specific areas in amplification, including:
(aa) Physical and electroacoustic characteristics of hearing aids and other assistive amplification devices.
(bb) Earmold and in-the-ear hearing aid acoustics, materials, types, tubing, impressions techniques, and modifications.
(cc) Room acoustics, including the effects of noise on speech intelligibility, environmental modifications, and interaction with amplification devices.
(dd) Principles and methods of evaluation, including determination of need for and characteristics of appropriate amplification using case history, self-assessment inventories, and audiological assessment data.
(ee) Selection procedures and protocols, such as traditional and contemporary evaluations, prescriptive fittings, real ear measurements, and programmable hearing aids.
(ff) Rationale for selection of various hearing aid characteristics and types of fittings.
(gg) Procedural modifications for special populations, such as pediatric, geriatric, developmentally disabled, and physically disabled.
(hh) Rehabilitative procedures, such as hearing aid orientation, counseling of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, speechreading, and auditory training.
(ii) Business management and marketing strategies.
(jj) Professional aspects of hearing aid services, such as recordkeeping and documentation, risk management, quality assurance, professional liability, equipment selection, and reimbursement systems.
(vi) Provide documentation of a minimum of three hundred fifty supervised clock hours of clinical practicum obtained during graduate training with at least eighty of those hours obtained in the evaluation, selection, and use of appropriate amplification systems and their related components, including:
(aa) Making, fitting, and acoustic modification of earmolds.
(bb) Electroacoustic tests of amplification systems.
(cc) Maintenance of amplification systems, earmolds, and assistive devices.
(vii) Complete nine months of postgraduate professional experience, begun after completion of the academic and clinical experiences, under the supervision of a licensed dispensing audiologist.
(c) Any audiologist licensed to dispense hearing aids on or prior to the effective date of this Act may continue to dispense, provided he meets the guidelines for license renewal.
(d) Any audiologist who comes to this state from a state with similar dispensing qualifications as provided in this Chapter may apply to the board for reciprocity and thereafter meet the guidelines for license renewal.
(e) All dispensing audiologists shall affix an annual registration seal to the displayed audiology license.
(f) An individual who meets the qualifications for licensure as an audiologist but lacks the coursework and practicum requirement necessary for registration as a dispenser of hearing aids may fulfill these requirements by:
(i) Completing nine months of postgraduate professional experience under the supervision of a licensed dispensing audiologist in the performance of such duties as specified in the rules and regulations adopted by the board.
(ii) Proof of the successful completion of a study course by the National Institute for Hearing Instruments Studies, or its equivalent, as defined in the rules and regulations adopted by the board.
(g) The practice of audiology may include speech and language screening, limited to a pass/fail determination for the purpose of identifying and referring individuals suspected of having disorders of communication.
(8) "Practice of speech-language pathology" means providing, or offering to provide, to individuals or groups of individuals who have or are suspected of having disorders of communication, including speech, voice, language, or cognitive processes and disorders of oral-pharyngeal function, including dysphagia, any service in speech-language pathology including prevention, identification, evaluation, interpretation, counseling, consultation, habilitation, rehabilitation, instruction, supervision, and research. The practice of speech-language pathology may include performing a hearing screening limited to a pass/fail determination for the purpose of identifying or referring individuals suspected of having disorders of hearing.
(9) "Provisional license" means a license issued by the board to an individual who meets the qualifications for provisional licensure established under R.S. 37:2659(B) and is practicing speech-language pathology or audiology while completing the postgraduate professional experience or examination as required by this Chapter. The provisional license holder may perform the practice of speech-language pathology or audiology only while under the supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist or audiologist in accordance with standards promulgated by the board.
(10) "Provisional speech-language pathology assistant license" means a license issued by the board to an individual who meets the qualifications for provisional licensure established in R.S. 37:2659(E), and works under the direct supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist in accordance with standards promulgated by the board and performs only those duties specified in the rules and regulations established by the board.
(11) "Restricted license" means a license issued to an individual who is certified by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education as a speech, hearing, and language specialist or the equivalent as defined by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education or as defined in R.S. 37:2659(C), wherein, the holder is authorized to perform the practice of speech-language pathology only while under the direct supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist, in accordance with standards promulgated by the board.
(12) "Speech-language pathologist" means any person who represents himself to the public by title or by description of services, methods, or procedures as one who offers to provide or provides services involving the application of principles, methods, and procedures of the science and profession of speech-language pathology.
Added by Acts 1972, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1978, No. 384, §1, eff. July 1, 1979; Acts 1995, No. 892, §2; Acts 2017, No. 146, §7.
No individual shall practice speech-language pathology or audiology in the state unless the individual holds acurrent, unsuspended, unrevoked license issued by the board in accordance with this Chapter. This license shall be kept conspicuously posted in the office or place of business at all times. The license shall be granted in either speech-language pathology or in audiology, independently, but nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prevent a qualified individual from being licensed in both areas with a dual speech-language pathology/audiology designation.
A. The provisions of this Chapter do not apply to:
(1) The activities and services, and the use of an official title, by an individual in the employ of a federal agency to the extent that such services and activities of such individual are part of the duties of the individual's office or position with such agency.
(2) The supervised activities and services of a student or trainee in speech-language pathology or in audiology, or both, who is pursuing a course of study at an accredited university or college or working in a recognized center, if these activities and services constitute a part of the student or trainee's course of study, and if such individuals identify themselves as students or trainees and not as speech-language pathologists or audiologists.
(3) The activities of aides and others who are not licensed or provisionally licensed speech-language pathology assistants but who assist the speech-language pathologist or audiologist in the performance of the speech-language pathologist's or audiologist's duties. Nothing in this Paragraph shall be construed to relieve the supervising speech-language pathologist or audiologist from the legal, ethical, and moral responsibility for the services to the client.
(4) The activities of a physician or surgeon licensed under R.S. 37:1261 et seq., and his employees who are performing their duties relating to the measurement of hearing under the direct supervision and control of the physician or surgeon but they shall not be called "audiologists".
(5) The activities of a hearing aid dealer licensed under R.S. 37:2441 et seq. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to limit or otherwise affect the "practice of selling and fitting hearing aids" as defined in R.S. 37:2442(4).
(6) The performing of routine hearing screening, limited to a pass/fail determination, by a registered nurse for the purpose of identifying and referring individuals suspected of having hearing disorders. B. No person shall be exempt under Paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of Subsection A of this Section who does any work as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist for which a fee is charged to the recipient of the service or to a third party.
§2654. Board of examiners; creation; membership; appointment; terms; chair; quorum; domicile
A. The Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is hereby created within the Louisiana Department of Health and is subject to the provisions of R.S. 36:803. The board shall consist of seven persons who are residents of this state, and who, except for the consumer member, have been engaged in providing service, or in teaching, or research in speech-language pathology or audiology for at least five years prior to appointment and who are licensed speech-language pathologists or audiologists under this Chapter. At least three of the members shall be practicing audiologists, one of whom shall be a dispensing audiologist, at least three shall be practicing speech-language pathologists, one of whom shall be currently employed in a public school setting, and one shall be a consumer member.
(2)(a) The consumer member of the board shall possess all of the following qualifications:
(i) Is a citizen of the United States and has been a resident of Louisiana for at least one year immediately prior to appointment.
(ii) Has attained the age of majority.
(iii) Has never been licensed by any of the licensing boards identified in R.S. 36:259(A), nor shall he have a spouse who has ever been licensed by a board identified in R.S. 36:259(A).
(iv) Has never been convicted of a felony.
(v) Does not have and has never had a material financial interest in the healthcare profession.
(vi) Is an individual or a family member or spouse of an individual with a communication disorder.
(b) The consumer member shall be a full voting member of the board with all rights and privileges conferred on board members, except that the consumer member shall not participate in grading of individual examinations.
B. Members of the board shall be appointed by the governor for terms of three years each or until their successors have been appointed.
C. Appointment to the board shall be made without regard to race or ethnicity, age, religion, national origin, sex, or disability of the appointee. The board shall within not less than thirty days prior to the expiration of each term of office, submit to the governor a list of the names of interested and qualified individuals for each respective category of board member identified through notice to all licensed speech-language pathologists and audiologists in this state, from which the governor shall make his appointment to fill the office for the next succeeding term.
D. Any vacancy on the board occurring for any cause except the expiration of the term, shall be filled by the governor for the unexpired portion of the term from a list of names of interested and qualified individuals submitted by the board.
E. No person shall be eligible to serve for more than two consecutive three-year terms. All members appointed by the governor shall be confirmed by the Senate.
F. There shall be a chair and a vice chair of the board, who shall be elected annually from among the members of the board licensed pursuant to this Chapter. In order to be eligible for these positions, an individual shall have served as a member of the board for a minimum of two years. A chair shall serve no more than three consecutive full years.
G. Regular meetings of the board shall be held at such times and places as is prescribed and special meetings may be held upon the call of the chair, provided that at least one regular meeting be held each quarter. Meetings may be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order. Four members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the board provided that at least one speech-language pathologist and one audiologist are present.
H. No member shall be paid any compensation for duties performed as a member of the board, but shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary travel expenses in attending any board meeting within this state and may be reimbursed for all other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in attending board meetings or on necessary business of the board which is authorized by the board.
I. No member of the board shall be an officer or hold any leadership position in a state speech-language pathology or audiology professional association for the term of the member's appointment to the board. For the purposes of this Subsection, "leadership position" shall include but not be limited to an elected or appointed position as a member of the state executive board, service on an ethics committee or membership committee, or other similar positions of the state professional association.
J. There shall be a secretary-treasurer of the board who shall be elected annually from among the members of the board. The secretary-treasurer shall review financial records and, together with one of the officers of the board, shall co-sign all checks disbursing funds of the board.
K. The domicile of the board shall be the parish of East Baton Rouge.
Added by Acts 1972, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1977, No. 684, §27; Acts 1978, No. 384, §1, eff. July 1, 1979; Acts 1995, No. 892, §2; Acts 2017, No. 302, §1; Acts 2018, No. 515, §2..
Repealed by Acts 2017, No. 302, §2.
The powers and duties of the board are as follows:
(1) Specific powers.
(a) The board shall administer, coordinate, and enforce the provisions of this Chapter, establish licensure and other necessary administrative fees, evaluate the qualifications of applicants, supervise the examination of applicants, and it may issue subpoenas, examine witnesses and administer oaths and shall investigate persons engaging in practices which violate or are alleged to violate the provisions of this Chapter.
(b) The board shall conduct such hearings and keep such records and minutes as are necessary for an orderly dispatch of business.
(c) The board shall adopt necessary rules and regulations, including but not limited to rules and regulations which establish ethical standards of practice, which the board may adopt and promulgate as a code of ethics; and it may amend or repeal rules and regulations made by it. Rules and regulations so adopted shall apply to all individuals who hold a license to practice or assist in the practice of speech-language pathology and/or audiology in this state at the time the rule or regulation is adopted.
(d) The board shall employ and may discharge employees necessary to carry out the work of the board and, subject to the laws applicable to employees in the classified service, shall outline their duties and fix their compensation.
(e) The board shall establish continuing education requirements for individuals licensed under this Chapter as a condition of licensure renewal. Such continuing education may be through programs either provided by or approved by the board.
(f) The board may enter into such professional service contracts as necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this Chapter in accordance with R.S. 36:803.
(g) The board shall adopt standards governing supervision of individuals who are required to be supervised by a licensed speech-language pathologist and/or audiologist under R.S. 37:2651.
(2) General powers. The conferral or enumeration of specific powers, unless otherwise indicated, shall not be construed as a limitation upon the general powers of the board conferred by this Chapter.
A member of the board may be removed by the board upon an affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority of board members upon one or more of the following grounds:
(1) Refusal or inability for any reason of a member of the board to perform the duties required of a board member.
(2) Failure to attend two consecutive meetings of the board without prior approval of the board chair.
(3) Misuse of a board member position to obtain or attempt to obtain any financial or material gain, or any advantage personally or for another, through such position.
(4) A final adjudication that there has been a violation of the laws governing the practice of speech-language pathology or audiology by a board member.
(5) Conviction of a crime other than a minor traffic offense.
(6) Failure to maintain standards of practice.
Acts 2017, No. 302, §1.
A. No individual shall be eligible for licensure by the board as an audiologist, unless the individual:
(1) Is of good moral character.
(2) Holds a doctoral degree, or equivalent, in audiology from an accredited educational program, as evidenced by the
submission of an official transcript, which consists of course work approved by the board.
(3) Has completed supervised clinical practicum through an accredited educational program, as evidenced by official
documentation from the institution, the content of which shall be approved by the board.
(4) Has passed an examination approved by the board pertinent to the license sought.
B. (1) No individual shall be eligible for licensure by the board as a speech-language pathologist unless the individual:
(a) Is of good moral character.
(b) Holds a master's degree, or equivalent, in speech-language pathology from an accredited educational program,
as evidenced by the submission of an official transcript which consists of course work approved by the board.
(c) Has completed supervised clinical practicum through an accredited educational program, as evidenced by official
documentation from the institution, the content of which shall be approved by the board.
(d) Has passed an examination approved by the board pertinent to the area of practice.
(e) Presents written evidence from an employer or supervisor of at least thirty-six weeks of full-time supervised
postgraduate professional employment, or its part-time equivalent. This experience must follow the completion of
the requirements set forth in Subparagraphs (1)(b) and (c) of this Subsection.
(2) Individuals holding a baccalaureate degree in speech pathology and a speech pathology license issued pursuant to
the law in effect prior to August 15, 1995, may continue to renew such license as specified in the rules and
regulations as established by the board.
C. Individuals who apply for dual licensure in audiology and speech-language pathology must meet the qualifications set
forth in Subsections A and B of this Section.
D. The board may issue a provisional speech-language pathology license to an individual who:
(1) Except for the supervised postgraduate professional experience, meets the requirements for licensure as a
speech-language pathologist as provided by Subsection B of this Section. An individual may not hold such license
for more than three years from the date of original issuance.
(2) Except for the supervised postgraduate professional experience and the examination requirement, meets the
requirements for licensure as a speech-language pathologist as provided by Subsection B of this Section. An
individual shall fulfill the examination requirement within one year from the date of original issuance. An
individual who has passed the examination may have two additional years to complete the postgraduate
E. The board may issue a restricted license to an individual who previously held a restricted license, on or prior to August
15, 1995, and submits proof of such licensure. Such individual may maintain a restricted license in accordance with the
requirements for renewal established in R.S. 37:2661.1.
F. No individual shall be eligible for licensure by the board as a speech-language pathology assistant unless the individual:
(1) Is of good moral character.
(2) Holds at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited educational institution, as evidenced by the submission of
an official transcript and has completed the course work specified by the board.
(3) Has completed required supervised clinical practicum from an accredited educational institution or its cooperating
programs, as evidenced by official documentation from the institution, the content of which shall be approved by
the board, or has completed a combination of supervised clinical practicum from an accredited educational
institution or its cooperating program as evidenced by official documentation from the institution, the content of
which shall be approved by the board, as well as supervised on-the-job training, the content of which shall be
approved by the board.
G. The board may issue a provisional speech-language pathology assistant license to an individual who, except for the
supervised on-the-job training, the content of which shall be approved by the board, meets the requirements for
licensure as a speech-language pathology assistant as provided by Subsection F of this Section. An individual may
not hold such provisional license for more than three years from the date of original issuance.
Added by Acts 1972, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1978, No. 384, §1, eff. July 1, 1979; Acts 1995, No. 892, §2; Acts 2016, No. 478, §1.
A. As used in this Section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) "Applicant" means an individual who has made application to the board for the issuance, renewal, or reinstatement of any form of licensure or registration which the board is authorized by law to issue.
(2) "Board" means the Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
(3) "Bureau" means the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information of the office of state police within the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
(4) "Criminal history record information" means information collected by state and federal criminal justice agencies on individuals consisting of identifiable descriptions and notations of arrests, detentions, indictments, bills of information, or any formal criminal charges, and any disposition arising therefrom, including sentencing, criminal correctional supervision, and release. It shall not include intelligence information gathered for investigatory purposes or any identification information which does not indicate involvement of the individual in the criminal justice system.
(5) "FBI" means the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States Department of Justice.
(6) "Licensure" means any license, provisional license, certification, or registration that the board is authorized to issue.
B. In addition to any other requirements established by board rules, the board shall require an applicant, as a condition of eligibility for licensure:
(1) To submit a full set of fingerprints, in a form and manner prescribed by the board.
(2) To permit the board to request and obtain state and national criminal history record information on the applicant.
(3) To pay the reasonable costs to be incurred by the board in requesting and obtaining state and national criminal history record information on the applicant.
C. In accordance with the provisions and procedure prescribed by this Section, the board shall request and obtain state and national criminal history record information from the bureau and the FBI relative to any applicant for licensure or registration whose fingerprints the board has obtained pursuant to this Section for the purpose of determining the applicant's suitability and eligibility for licensure.
D. Upon request by the board and upon the board's submission of an applicant's fingerprints, and such other identifying information as may be required, the bureau shall survey its criminal history records and identification files and make a simultaneous request of the FBI for like information from other jurisdictions. The bureau may charge the board a reasonable processing fee for conducting and reporting on any such search.
E. Any and all state or national criminal history record information obtained by the board from the bureau or FBI which is not already a matter of public record shall be deemed nonpublic and confidential information restricted to the exclusive use by the board, its members, officers, investigators, agents, and attorneys in evaluating the applicant's eligibility or disqualification for licensure. No such information or records related thereto shall, except with the written consent of the applicant or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, be released or otherwise disclosed by the board to any other person or agency.
F. Upon investigation of the application and other evidence submitted, the board shall notify each applicant that the application and evidence submitted for consideration is satisfactory and accepted, or is unsatisfactory and rejected. If an application is rejected, such notice shall state the reasons for the rejection and the applicant's right to a compliance hearing in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the board.
Acts 2016, No. 478, §1.
The board may issue licenses under the following special conditions:
(1)(a) The board may, in its discretion, license as a speech-language pathologist and/or audiologist without examination, or a speech-language pathology assistant on payment of the prescribed fee, an applicant for licensure who is a speech-language pathologist and/or audiologist or a speech-language pathology assistant licensed under the laws of another state, territory, commonwealth, or District of Columbia, if:
(i) The requirements for licensure of speech-language pathologists and/or audiologists or speech-language pathology assistants were at the date of licensure substantially equal to the requirements then or subsequently in force in this state.
(ii) The state, territory, commonwealth, or District of Columbia, from whence the applicant for a license comes, accords similar privilege of licensure without examination to holders of certificates as licensed speech-language pathologists and/or audiologists under this Chapter.
(iii) The state, territory, commonwealth, or District of Columbia, from whence the applicant for a speech-language pathologist and/or audiologist comes, requires successful completion of an examination as a condition of such licensure.
(b) The board may, in its discretion, allow an applicant who may meet the requirements of reciprocity to practice until a license is issued or the application for reciprocity is denied by the board, provided that the applicant has submitted documentation of a current, unsuspended, unrevoked license.
(2) The board may waive the examination and the requirement of documentation of clinical practicum for applicants who hold a certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
(3) The board shall waive, upon request, the examination requirements for any applicant who is currently certified by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education as a specialist of speech-language pathology and currently employed in a school setting.
The use of telehealth in the delivery of speech-language pathology or audiology services, regardless of where the services are rendered or delivered, constitutes the practice of speech-language pathology or audiology and shall require Louisiana licensure for in-state practitioners and telehealth registration for out-of-state practitioners.
Acts 2017, No. 302, §1.
A. The board shall charge and collect a licensing fee not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars, an annual renewal fee not to exceed one hundred dollars, and other reasonable administrative fees, the amounts of which shall be fixed by the board. The board shall fix the amount of the fee so that the total fees collected will be sufficient to meet the expenses of administering this Chapter.
B. The fees fixed by the board shall be exclusive, and no parish or municipality shall have the right to require any person licensed under the provisions of this Chapter to furnish any bond, pass any examination, or pay any license fee or occupational tax as a condition precedent to engaging in the practice of speech pathology and audiology.
A. Every individual licensed under this Chapter and whose license is renewable, including holders of provisional, restricted, assistant, and provisional assistant licenses shall:
(1) Pay a renewal fee established by the board.
(2) Submit timely application for renewal on a form prescribed by the board.
(3) Show evidence of continuing education as required by the board.
B. An individual licensed under this Chapter who has allowed such license to lapse shall:
(1) Pay a lapsed renewal fee not to exceed two hundred dollars.
(2) Resubmit application for license on a form prescribed by the board.
(3) Show evidence of continuing education as required by the board.
An individual may have a license issued on a conditional basis. Conditions may include but are not limited to any of the following:
(1) Additional requirements for continuing education.
(2) Additional supervision requirements.
(3) Limitations on practice.
(4) Limitations on supervisory responsibility.
(5) Monthly monitoring of conditions.
Acts 2017, No. 302, §1.
A. Any individual licensed or registered pursuant to this Chapter may have his license suspended or revoked or be disciplined by the board upon proof that such individual:
(1) Has been convicted of any offense which constitutes a felony under the laws of this state, whether or not the conviction was in a court in this state.
(2) Has obtained his license or registration by means of fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment of material facts.
(3) Has engaged in negligent or fraudulent billing in connection with services provided.
(4) Has engaged in conduct likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public, or demonstrated a willful or careless disregard for the welfare or safety of a consumer.
(5) Has engaged in unprofessional conduct, as defined by the rules established by the board, or has violated the code of ethics adopted and published by the board.
(6) Has violated any lawful order, rule or regulation rendered or adopted by the board.
(7) Has provided professional services while:
(a) Mentally incompetent.
(b) Under the influence of alcohol.
(c) Under the influence of any narcotic or controlled dangerous substance or other drug that is in excess of therapeutic amounts or without valid medical indication.
(8) Has violated any provision of this Chapter.
B. It shall be unlawful for any individual to engage in the practice of speech-language pathology or the practice of audiology unless currently licensed or registered to practice pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter. The individual engaging in unlicensed practice shall be subject to a cease and desist order or disciplinary action by the board, as appropriate, and as provided for in Subsection C of this Section.
C. When the board is authorized to discipline an individual, the board may impose, separately or in combination, any of the following disciplinary actions:
(1) Refuse to issue or renew a license or registration.
(2) Issue a public letter of reprimand or concern.
(3) Require restitution of costs and expenses, not to include attorney fees, in connection with the enforcement of this Chapter.
(4) Impose probationary conditions.
(5) Impose a fine for each violation not to exceed one thousand dollars.
(6) Suspend or revoke a license or registration.
(7) Restrict the license by limiting or reducing the scope of practice.
(8) Otherwise discipline a licensee or registrant upon proof of violations of any provisions of this Chapter.
(9) Issue a consent agreement and order.
Added by Acts 1972, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1973; Acts 1995, No. 892, §2; Acts 2017, No. 302, §1.
A. Any person, against whom a complaint has been filed pursuant to this Chapter shall be given thirty days notice, in writing by certified mail with return receipt, enumerating the charges and specifying the date, place, and time for public hearing thereon. In connection with any hearing, the board may issue subpoenas, compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and administer oaths the same as a district court in the parish where the hearing takes place. A record of all proceedings before the board shall be made and kept on file with the board.
B. Any licensee or registrant aggrieved by a decision of the board may appeal the decision within thirty days thereof to the district court for the parish in which the board is domiciled. In such case the secretary-treasurer shall transmit to the district court a certified copy of the record. The procedure for the appeal shall be pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.
C. The board is authorized to recover its attorney fees, costs, and expenses in connection with the enforcement of R.S. 37:2662 through 2666.
D. The state of Louisiana shall be a party to the prosecution of all such actions and hearings before the board pertaining to the suspension and revocation of a license or registration, and the attorney general, or one of his assistants, shall appear on behalf of the state.
Added by Acts 1972, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1973; Acts 1995, No. 892, §2; Acts 2017, No. 302, §1.
No person shall:
(1) Sell, barter, or offer to sell or barter a license or registration.
(2) Purchase or procure by barter a license or registration with intent to use it as evidence of the holder's qualifications in the practice of speech-language pathology or audiology.
(3) Alter a license or registration materially.
(4) Use or attempt to use a license or registration which has been purchased, fraudulently obtained, counterfeited, or materially altered.
(5) Willfully make a false, material statement in an application for a license or registration or for renewal of a license or registration.
Added by Acts 1972, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1973; Acts 1995, No. 892, §2; Acts 2017, No. 302, §1.
A. Whoever violates this Chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by fine or both, and each violation shall be considered a separate offense.
B. The board may enforce this Chapter by injunction or by any other appropriate proceeding. No such proceeding shall be barred by any proceeding had or pending pursuant to R.S. 37:2662, or by the imposition of any fine or term of imprisonment pursuant thereto.
A. There shall be no liability on the part of and no action for damages against:
(1) Any member of the board, or its agents or employees, or any member of an examining committee of speech-language pathologists or audiologists appointed or designated by the board, for any action undertaken or performed by such person within the scope of the duties, powers, and functions of the board or such examining committee as provided for in this Chapter when such person is acting without malice and in the reasonable belief that the action taken by him is warranted.
(2) Any person, committee, association, organization, firm, or corporation providing information to the board, its agents or employees, or to an examining committee of speech-language pathologists or audiologists appointed or designated by the board, whether a witness or otherwise. Such a person, committee, association, organization, firm, or corporation providing such information without malice and in the reasonable belief that such information is accurate shall not be held, by reason of having provided such information, to be liable in damages under any law of the state or any political subdivision thereof.
B. In any suit brought against the board, its employees or agents, any member of an examining committee appointed by the board, or any person or entity providing information to the board, when any such defendant substantially prevails in such suit, the court shall, at the conclusion of the action, award to any such substantially prevailing party defendant against any such claimant the cost of the suit attributable to such claim, including a reasonable attorney's fee, if the claim was frivolous, unreasonable, without foundation, or in bad faith.
C. For the purposes of this Section, a defendant shall not be considered to have substantially prevailed when the claimant obtains an award for damages or permanent injunctive or declaratory relief.
The Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact is hereby recognized and enacted into law and entered into by this state with all states legally joining therein in the form substantially as follows:
SECTION 1. PURPOSE
The purpose of this compact is to facilitate interstate practice of audiology and speech-language pathology with the goal of improving public access to audiology and speech-language pathology services. The practice of audiology and speech-language pathology occurs in the state where the patient, client, or student is located at the time of the patient, client, or student's encounter. The compact preserves the regulatory authority of states to protect public health and safety through the current system of state licensure. This compact is designed to achieve the following objectives:
(1) Increase public access to audiology and speech-language pathology services by providing for the mutual recognition of other member state licenses.
(2) Enhance the states' ability to protect the public's health and safety.
(3) Encourage the cooperation of member states in regulating multistate audiology and speech-language pathology practice.
(4) Support spouses of relocating active duty military personnel.
(5) Enhance the exchange of licensure, investigative, and disciplinary information between member states.
(6) Allow a remote state to hold a provider of services with a compact privilege in that state accountable to that state's practice standards.
(7) Allow for the use of telehealth technology to facilitate increased access to audiology and speech-language pathology services.
SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS
As used in this compact, and except as otherwise provided, the following definitions shall apply:
A. "Active duty military" means full-time duty status in the active uniformed service of the United States, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1209 and 1211.
B. "Adverse action" means any administrative, civil, equitable or criminal action permitted by a state's laws which is imposed by a licensing board or other authority against an audiologist or speech-language pathologist, including actions against an individual's license or privilege to practice such as revocation, suspension, probation, monitoring of the licensee, or restriction on the licensee's practice.
C. "Alternative program" means a nondisciplinary monitoring process approved by an audiology or speech-language pathology licensing board to address impaired practitioners.
D. "Audiologist" means an individual who is licensed by a state to practice audiology.
E. "Audiology" means the care and services provided by a licensed audiologist as set forth in the member state's statutes and rules.
F. "Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Compact Commission" or "commission" means the national administrative body whose membership consists of all states that have enacted the compact.
G. "Audiology and speech-language pathology licensing board," "audiology licensing board," "speech-language pathology licensing board," or "licensing board" means the agency of a state that is responsible for the licensing and regulation of audiologists or speech-language pathologists.
H. "Compact privilege" means the authorization granted by a remote state to allow a licensee from another member state to practice as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist in the remote state under its laws and rules. The practice of audiology or speech-language pathology occurs in the member state where the patient, client, or student is located at the time of the patient, client, or student's encounter.
I. "Current significant investigative information" means investigative information that a licensing board, after an inquiry or investigation that includes notification and an opportunity for the audiologist or speech-language pathologist to respond, if required by state law, has reason to believe is not groundless and, if proved true, would indicate more than a minor infraction.
J. "Data system" means a repository of information about licensees, including but not limited to continuing education, examination, licensure, investigative, compact privilege, and adverse action.
K. "Encumbered license" means a license in which an adverse action restricts the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology by the licensee and said adverse action has been reported to the National Practitioners Data Bank (NPDB).
L. "Executive committee" means a group of directors elected or appointed to act on behalf of, and within the powers granted to them by, the commission.
M. "Home state" means the member state that is the licensee's primary state of residence.
N. "Impaired practitioner" means individuals whose professional practice is adversely affected by substance abuse, addiction, or other health-related conditions.
O. "Licensee" means an individual who currently holds an authorization from the state licensing board to practice as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist.
P. "Member state" means a state that has enacted the compact.
Q. "Privilege to practice" means a legal authorization permitting the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology in a remote state.
R. "Remote state" means a member state other than the home state where a licensee is exercising or seeking to exercise the compact privilege.
S. "Rule" means a regulation, principle, or directive promulgated by the commission that has the force of law.
T. "Single-state license" means an audiology or speech-language pathology license issued by a member state that authorizes practice only within the issuing state and does not include a privilege to practice in any other member state.
U. "Speech-language pathologist" means an individual who is licensed by a state to practice speech-language pathology.
V. "Speech-language pathology" means the care and services provided by a licensed speech-language pathologist as set forth in the member state's statutes and rules.
W. "State" means any state, commonwealth, district, or territory of the United States of America that regulates the practice of audiology and speech-language pathology.
X. "State practice laws" means a member state's laws, rules, and regulations that govern the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology, define the scope of audiology or speech-language pathology practice, and create the methods and grounds for imposing discipline.
Y. "Telehealth" means the application of telecommunication technology to deliver audiology or speech-language pathology services at a distance for assessment, intervention, or consultation.
SECTION 3. STATE PARTICIPATION IN THE COMPACT
A. A license issued to an audiologist or speech-language pathologist by a home state to a resident in that state shall be recognized by each member state as authorizing an audiologist or speech-language pathologist to practice audiology or speech-language pathology, under a privilege to practice, in each member state where the licensee obtains such privilege.
B. A state must implement or utilize procedures for considering the criminal history records of applicants for initial privilege to practice. These procedures shall include the submission of fingerprints or other biometric-based information by applicants for the purpose of obtaining an applicant's criminal history record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the agency responsible for retaining that state's criminal records.
(1) A member state must fully implement a criminal background check requirement, within a timeframe established by rule, by receiving the results of the Federal Bureau of Investigation record search on criminal background checks and use the results in making licensure decisions.
(2) Communication between a member state, the commission, and among member states regarding the verification of eligibility for licensure through the compact shall not include any information received from the Federal Bureau of Investigation relating to a federal criminal records check performed by a member state under P. L. 92-544.
C. Upon application for a privilege to practice, the licensing board in the issuing remote state shall ascertain, through the data system, whether the applicant has ever held, or is the holder of, a license issued by any other state, whether there are any encumbrances on any license or privilege to practice held by the applicant, whether any adverse action has been taken against any license or privilege to practice held by the applicant.
D. Each member state shall require an applicant to obtain or retain a license in the home state and meet the home state's qualifications for licensure or renewal of licensure, as well as, all other applicable state laws.
E. For an audiologist:
(1) Must meet one of the following educational requirements:
(a) On or before December 31, 2007, has graduated with a master's degree or doctorate in audiology, or equivalent degree regardless of degree name, from a program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or its successor, or by the United States Department of Education and operated by a college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the board.
(b) On or after January 1, 2008, has graduated with a Doctoral degree in audiology, or equivalent degree, regardless of degree name, from a program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or its successor, or by the United States Department of Education and operated by a college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the board.
(c) Has graduated from an audiology program that is housed in an institution of higher education outside of the United States (a) for which the program and institution have been approved by the authorized accrediting body in the applicable country and (b) the degree program has been verified by an independent credentials review agency to be comparable to a state licensing board-approved program.
(2) Has completed a supervised clinical practicum experience from an accredited educational institution or its cooperating programs as required by the board.
(3) Has successfully passed a national examination approved by the commission.
(4) Holds an active, unencumbered license.
(5) Has not been convicted or found guilty, and has not entered into an agreed disposition, of a felony related to the practice of audiology, under applicable state or federal criminal law.
(6) Has a valid United States Social Security or National Practitioner Identification number.
F. For a speech-language pathologist:
(1) Must meet one of the following educational requirements:
(a) Has graduated with a master's degree from a speech-language pathology program that is accredited by an organization recognized by the United States Department of Education and operated by a college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the board.
(b) Has graduated from a speech-language pathology program that is housed in an institution of higher education outside of the United States (a) for which the program and institution have been approved by the authorized accrediting body in the applicable country and (b) the degree program has been verified by an independent credentials review agency to be comparable to a state licensing board-approved program.
(2) Has completed a supervised clinical practicum experience from an educational institution or its cooperating programs as required by the commission.
(3) Has completed a supervised postgraduate professional experience as required by the commission.
(4) Has successfully passed a national examination approved by the commission.
(5) Holds an active, unencumbered license.
(6) Has not been convicted or found guilty, and has not entered into an agreed disposition, of a felony related to the practice of speech-language pathology, under applicable state or federal criminal law.
(7) Has a valid United States Social Security or National Practitioner Identification number.
G. The privilege to practice is derived from the home state license.
H. An audiologist or speech-language pathologist practicing in a member state must comply with the state practice laws of the state in which the client is located at the time service is provided. The practice of audiology and speech-language pathology shall include all audiology and speech-language pathology practice as defined by the state practice laws of the member state in which the client is located. The practice of audiology and speech-language pathology in a member state under a privilege to practice shall subject an audiologist or speech-language pathologist to the jurisdiction of the licensing board, the courts, and the laws of the member state in which the client is located at the time service is provided.
I. Individuals not residing in a member state shall continue to be able to apply for a member state's single-state license as provided under the laws of each member state. However, the single-state license granted to these individuals shall not be recognized as granting the privilege to practice audiology or speech-language pathology in any other member state. Nothing in this compact shall affect the requirements established by a member state for the issuance of a single-state license.
J. Member states may charge a fee for granting a compact privilege.
K. Member states must comply with the bylaws and rules and regulations of the commission.
SECTION 4. COMPACT PRIVILEGE
A. To exercise the compact privilege under the terms and provisions of the compact, the audiologist or speech-language pathologist shall:
(1) Hold an active license in the home state.
(2) Have no encumbrance on any state license.
(3) Be eligible for a compact privilege in any member state in accordance with Section 3.
(4) Have not had any adverse action against any license or compact privilege within the previous two years from date of application.
(5) Notify the commission that the licensee is seeking the compact privilege within a remote state or states.
(6) Pay any applicable fees, including any state fee, for the compact privilege.
(7) Report to the commission adverse action taken by any nonmember state within thirty days from the date the adverse action is taken.
B. For the purposes of the compact privilege, an audiologist or speech-language pathologist shall only hold one home state license at a time.
C. Except as provided in Section 6, if an audiologist or speech-language pathologist changes primary state of residence by moving between two-member states, the audiologist or speech-language pathologist must apply for licensure in the new home state, and the license issued by the prior home state shall be deactivated in accordance with applicable rules adopted by the commission.
D. The audiologist or speech-language pathologist may apply for licensure in advance of a change in primary state of residence.
E. A license shall not be issued by the new home state until the audiologist or speech-language pathologist provides satisfactory evidence of a change in primary state of residence to the new home state and satisfies all applicable requirements to obtain a license from the new home state.
F. If an audiologist or speech-language pathologist changes primary state of residence by moving from a member state to a nonmember state, the license issued by the prior home state shall convert to a single-state license, valid only in the former home state.
G. The compact privilege is valid until the expiration date of the home state license. The licensee must comply with the requirements of Section 4A to maintain the compact privilege in the remote state.
H. A licensee providing audiology or speech-language pathology services in a remote state under the compact privilege shall function within the laws and regulations of the remote state.
I. A licensee providing audiology or speech-language pathology services in a remote state is subject to that state's regulatory authority. A remote state may, in accordance with due process and that state's laws, remove a licensee's compact privilege in the remote state for a specific period of time, impose fines, and take any other necessary actions to protect the health and safety of its citizens.
J. If a home state license is encumbered, the licensee shall lose the compact privilege in any remote state until the following occur:
(1) The home state license is no longer encumbered.
(2) Two years have elapsed from the date of the adverse action.
K. Once an encumbered license in the home state is restored to good standing, the licensee must meet the requirements of Section 4A to obtain a compact privilege in any remote state.
L. Once the requirements of Section 4J have been met, the licensee must meet the requirements in Section 4A to obtain a compact privilege in a remote state.
SECTION 5. COMPACT PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE TELEHEALTH
Member states shall recognize the right of an audiologist or speech-language pathologist, licensed by a home state in accordance with Section 3 and under rules promulgated by the commission, to practice audiology or speech-language pathology in any member state via telehealth under a privilege to practice as provided in the compact and rules promulgated by the commission.
SECTION 6. ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL OR THEIR SPOUSES
Active duty military personnel, or their spouses, shall designate a home state where the individual has a current license in good standing. The individual may retain the home state designation during the period the service member is on active duty. Subsequent to designating a home state, the individual shall only change their home state through application for licensure in the new state.
SECTION 7. ADVERSE ACTIONS
A. In addition to the other powers conferred by state law, a remote state shall have the authority, in accordance with existing state due process law, to:
(1) Take adverse action against an audiologist's or speech-language pathologist's privilege to practice within that member state.
(2) Issue subpoenas for both hearings and investigations that require the attendance and testimony of witnesses as well as the production of evidence. Subpoenas issued by a licensing board in a member state for the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of evidence from another member state shall be enforced in the latter state by any court of competent jurisdiction, according to the practice and procedure of that court applicable to subpoenas issued in proceedings pending before it. The issuing authority shall pay any witness fees, travel expenses, mileage, and other fees required by the service statutes of the state in which the witnesses or evidence are located.
(3) Only the home state shall have the power to take adverse action against an audiologist's or speech-language pathologist's license issued by the home state.
B. For purposes of taking adverse action, the home state shall give the same priority and effect to reported conduct received from a member state as it would if the conduct had occurred within the home state. In so doing, the home state shall apply its own state laws to determine appropriate action.
C. The home state shall complete any pending investigations of an audiologist or speech-language pathologist who changes primary state of residence during the course of the investigations. The home state shall also have the authority to take appropriate action or actions and shall promptly report the conclusions of the investigations to the administrator of the data system. The administrator of the coordinated licensure information system shall promptly notify the new home state of any adverse actions.
D. If otherwise permitted by state law, recover from the affected audiologist or speech-language pathologist the costs of investigations and disposition of cases resulting from any adverse action taken against that audiologist or speech-language pathologist.
E. Take adverse action based on the factual findings of the remote state, provided that the home state follows its own procedures for taking the adverse action.
F. Joint Investigations:
(1) In addition to the authority granted to a member state by its respective audiology or speech-language pathology practice act or other applicable state law, any member state may participate with other member states in joint investigations of licensees.
(2) Member states shall share any investigative, litigation, or compliance materials in furtherance of any joint or individual investigation initiated under the compact.
G. If adverse action is taken by the home state against an audiologist's or speech-language pathologist's license, the audiologist's or speech-language pathologist's privilege to practice in all other member states shall be deactivated until all encumbrances have been removed from the state license. All home state disciplinary orders that impose adverse action against an audiologist's or speech-language pathologist's license shall include a statement that the audiologist's or speech-language pathologist's privilege to practice is deactivated in all member states during the pendency of the order.
H. If a member state takes adverse action, it shall promptly notify the administrator of the data system. The administrator of the data system shall promptly notify the home state of any adverse actions by remote states.
I. Nothing in this compact shall override a member state's decision that participation in an alternative program may be used in lieu of adverse action.
SECTION 8. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY COMPACT COMMISSION
A. The compact member states hereby create and establish a joint public agency known as the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Compact Commission:
(1) The commission is an instrumentality of the compact states.
(2) Venue is proper and judicial proceedings by or against the commission shall be brought solely and exclusively in a court of competent jurisdiction where the principal office of the commission is located. The commission may waive venue and jurisdictional defenses to the extent it adopts or consents to participate in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
(3) Nothing in this compact shall be construed to be a waiver of sovereign immunity.
B. Membership, Voting, and Meetings:
(1) Each member state shall have two delegates selected by that member state's licensing board. The delegates shall be current members of the licensing board. One shall be an audiologist and one shall be a speech-language pathologist.
(2) An additional five delegates, who are either a public member or board administrator from a state licensing board, shall be chosen by the executive committee from a pool of nominees provided by the commission at-large.
(3) Any delegate may be removed or suspended from office as provided by the law of the state from which the delegate is appointed.
(4) The member state board shall fill any vacancy occurring on the commission, within ninety days.
(5) Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote with regard to the promulgation of rules and creation of bylaws and shall otherwise have an opportunity to participate in the business and affairs of the commission.
(6) A delegate shall vote in person or by other means as provided in the bylaws. The bylaws may provide for delegates' participation in meetings by telephone or other means of communication.
(7) The commission shall meet at least once during each calendar year. Additional meetings shall be held as set forth in the bylaws.
C. The commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) Establish the fiscal year of the commission.
(2) Establish bylaws.
(3) Establish a code of ethics.
(4) Maintain its financial records in accordance with the bylaws.
(5) Meet and take actions as are consistent with the provisions of this compact and the bylaws.
(6) Promulgate uniform rules to facilitate and coordinate implementation and administration of this compact. The rules shall have the force and effect of law and shall be binding in all member states.
(7) Bring and prosecute legal proceedings or actions in the name of the commission, provided that the standing of any state audiology or speech-language pathology licensing board to sue or be sued under applicable law shall not be affected.
(8) Purchase and maintain insurance and bonds.
(9) Borrow, accept, or contract for services of personnel, including but not limited to employees of a member state.
(10) Hire employees, elect or appoint officers, fix compensation, define duties, grant individuals appropriate authority to carry out the purposes of the compact, and to establish the commission's personnel policies and programs relating to conflicts of interest, qualifications of personnel, and other related personnel matters.
(11) Accept any and all appropriate donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services, and to receive, utilize, and dispose of the same; provided that at all times the commission shall avoid any appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest.
(12) Lease, purchase, accept appropriate gifts or donations of, or otherwise to own, hold, improve or use, any property, real, personal or mixed, provided that at all times the commission shall avoid any appearance of impropriety.
(13) Sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property real, personal or mixed.
(14) Establish a budget and make expenditures.
(15) Borrow money.
(16) Appoint committees, including standing committees composed of members, and other interested persons as may be designated in this compact and the bylaws.
(17) Provide and receive information from, and cooperate with, law enforcement agencies.
(18) Establish and elect an executive committee.
(19) Perform other functions as may be necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this compact consistent with the state regulation of audiology and speech-language pathology licensure and practice.
D. The Executive Committee: The executive committee shall have the power to act on behalf of the commission according to the terms of this compact.
(1) The executive committee shall be composed of ten members:
(a) Seven voting members who are elected by the commission from the current membership of the commission.
(b) Two ex-officios, consisting of one nonvoting member from a recognized national audiology professional association and one nonvoting member from a recognized national speech-language pathology association.
(c) One ex-officio, nonvoting member from the recognized membership organization of the audiology and speech-language pathology licensing boards.
E. The ex-officio members shall be selected by their respective organizations.
(1) The commission may remove any member of the executive committee as provided in bylaws.
(2) The executive committee shall meet at least annually.
(3) The executive committee shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) Recommend to the entire commission changes to the rules or bylaws, changes to this compact legislation, fees paid by compact member states such as annual dues, and any commission compact fee charged to licensees for the compact privilege.
(b) Ensure compact administration services are appropriately provided, contractual or otherwise.
(c) Prepare and recommend the budget.
(d) Maintain financial records on behalf of the commission.
(e) Monitor compact compliance of member states and provide compliance reports to the commission.
(f) Establish additional committees as necessary.
(g) Other duties as provided in rules or bylaws.
(4) Meetings of the Commission: All meetings shall be open to the public, and public notice of meetings shall be given in the same manner as required under the rulemaking provisions in Section 10.
(5) The commission or the executive committee or other committees of the commission may convene in a closed, nonpublic meeting if the commission or executive committee or other committees of the commission must discuss:
(a) Noncompliance of a member state with its obligations under the compact.
(b) The employment, compensation, discipline or other matters, practices or procedures related to specific employees, or other matters related to the commission's internal personnel practices and procedures.
(c) Current, threatened, or reasonably anticipated litigation.
(d) Negotiation of contracts for the purchase, lease, or sale of goods, services, or real estate.
(e) Accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any person.
(f) Disclosure of trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.
(g) Disclosure of information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
(h) Disclosure of investigative records compiled for law enforcement purposes.
(i) Disclosure of information related to any investigative reports prepared by or on behalf of or for use of the commission or other committee charged with responsibility of investigation or determination of compliance issues pursuant to the compact.
(j) Matters specifically exempted from disclosure by federal or member state statute.
(6) If a meeting, or portion of a meeting, is closed pursuant to this provision, the commission's legal counsel or designee shall certify that the meeting may be closed and shall reference each relevant exempting provision.
(7) The commission shall keep minutes that fully and clearly describe all matters discussed in a meeting and shall provide a full and accurate summary of actions taken, and the reasons therefore, including a description of the views expressed. All documents considered in connection with an action shall be identified in the minutes. All minutes and documents of a closed meeting shall remain under seal, subject to release by a majority vote of the commission or order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(8) Financing of the Commission:
(a) The commission shall pay, or provide for the payment of, the reasonable expenses of its establishment, organization, and ongoing activities.
(b) The commission may accept any and all appropriate revenue sources, donations, and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services.
(c) The commission may levy on and collect an annual assessment from each member state or impose fees on other parties to cover the cost of the operations and activities of the commission and its staff, which must be in a total amount sufficient to cover its annual budget as approved each year for which revenue is not provided by other sources. The aggregate annual assessment amount shall be allocated based upon a formula to be determined by the commission, which shall promulgate a rule binding upon all member states.
(9) The commission shall not incur obligations of any kind prior to securing the funds adequate to meet the same; nor shall the commission pledge the credit of any of the member states, except by and with the authority of the member state.
(10) The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the commission shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant, and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the commission.
F. Qualified Immunity, Defense, and Indemnification:
(1) The members, officers, executive director, employees, and representatives of the commission shall be immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for any claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or other civil liability caused by or arising out of any actual or alleged act, error or omission that occurred, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to protect any person from suit or liability for any damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional and/or willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence of that person.
(2) The commission shall defend any member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the commission in any civil action seeking to impose liability arising out of any actual or alleged act, error or omission that occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit that person from retaining his or her own counsel; and provided further, that the actual or alleged act, error or omission did not result from that person's gross negligence or intentional or willful or wanton misconduct.
(3) The commission shall indemnify and hold harmless any member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the commission for the amount of any settlement or judgment obtained against that person arising out of any actual or alleged act, error or omission that occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error or omission did not result from the gross negligence or intentional or willful or wanton misconduct of that person.
SECTION 9. DATA SYSTEM
A. The commission shall provide for the development, maintenance, and utilization of a coordinated database and reporting system containing licensure, adverse action, and investigative information on all licensed individuals in member states.
B. Notwithstanding any other provision of state law to the contrary, a member state shall submit a uniform data set to the data system on all individuals to whom this compact is applicable as required by the rules of the commission including:
(1) Identifying information.
(2) Licensure data.
(3) Adverse actions against a license or compact privilege.
(4) Nonconfidential information related to alternative program participation.
(5) Any denial of application for licensure and the reason or reasons for denial.
(6) Other information that may facilitate the administration of this compact, as determined by the rules of the commission.
C. Investigative information pertaining to a licensee in any member state shall only be available to other member states.
D. The commission shall promptly notify all member states of any adverse action taken against a licensee or an individual applying for a license. Adverse action information pertaining to a licensee in any member state shall be available to any other member state.
E. Member states contributing information to the data system may designate information that may not be shared with the public without the express permission of the contributing state.
F. Any information submitted to the data system that is subsequently required to be expunged by the laws of the member state contributing the information shall be removed from the data system.
SECTION 10. RULEMAKING
A. The commission shall exercise its rulemaking powers pursuant to the criteria set forth in this Section and the rules adopted thereunder. Rules and amendments shall become binding as of the date specified in each rule or amendment.
B. If a majority of the legislatures of the member states rejects a rule, by enactment of a statute or resolution in the same manner used to adopt the compact within four years of the date of adoption of the rule, the rule shall have no further force and effect in any member state.
C. Rules or amendments to the rules shall be adopted at a regular or special meeting of the commission.
D. Prior to promulgation and adoption of a final rule or rules by the commission, and at least thirty days in advance of the meeting at which the rule shall be considered and voted upon, the commission shall file a notice of proposed rulemaking:
(1) On the website of the commission or other publicly accessible platform.
(2) On the website of each member state's audiology or speech-language pathology licensing board or other publicly accessible platform or the publication in which each state would otherwise publish proposed rules.
E. The notice of proposed rulemaking shall include:
(1) The proposed time, date, and location of the meeting in which the rule shall be considered and voted upon.
(2) The text of the proposed rule or amendment and the reason for the proposed rule.
(3) A request for comments on the proposed rule from any interested person.
(4) The manner in which interested persons may submit notice to the commission of their intention to attend the public hearing and any written comments.
F. Prior to the adoption of a proposed rule, the commission shall allow persons to submit written data, facts, opinions, and arguments, which shall be made available to the public.
G. The commission shall grant an opportunity for a public hearing before it adopts a rule or amendment if a hearing is requested by:
(1) At least twenty-five persons.
(2) A state or federal governmental subdivision or agency.
(3) An association having at least twenty-five members.
H. If a hearing is held on the proposed rule or amendment, the commission shall publish the place, time, and date of the scheduled public hearing. If the hearing is held via electronic means, the commission shall publish the mechanism for access to the electronic hearing.
(1) All persons wishing to be heard at the hearing shall notify the executive director of the commission or other designated member in writing of their desire to appear and testify at the hearing not less than five business days before the scheduled date of the hearing.
(2) Hearings shall be conducted in a manner providing each person who wishes to comment a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment orally or in writing.
(3) All hearings shall be recorded. A copy of the recording shall be made available on request.
(4) Nothing in this Section shall be construed as requiring a separate hearing on each rule. Rules may be grouped for the convenience of the commission at hearings required by this Section.
I. Following the scheduled hearing date, or by the close of business on the scheduled hearing date if the hearing was not held, the commission shall consider all written and oral comments received.
J. If no written notice of intent to attend the public hearing by interested parties is received, the commission may proceed with promulgation of the proposed rule without a public hearing.
K. The commission shall, by majority vote of all members, take final action on the proposed rule and shall determine the effective date of the rule, if any, based on the rulemaking record and the full text of the rule.
L. Upon determination that an emergency exists, the commission may consider and adopt an emergency rule without prior notice, opportunity for comment, or hearing, provided that the usual rulemaking procedures provided in the compact and in this Section shall be retroactively applied to the rule as soon as reasonably possible, in no event later than ninety days after the effective date of the rule. For the purposes of this provision, an emergency rule is one that must be adopted immediately in order to:
(1) Meet an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare.
(2) Prevent a loss of commission or member state funds.
(3) Meet a deadline for the promulgation of an administrative rule that is established by federal law or rule.
M. The commission or an authorized committee of the commission may direct revisions to a previously adopted rule or amendment for purposes of correcting typographical errors, errors in format, errors in consistency, or grammatical errors. Public notice of any revisions shall be posted on the website of the commission. The revision shall be subject to challenge by any person for a period of thirty days after posting. The revision may be challenged only on grounds that the revision results in a material change to a rule. A challenge shall be made in writing and delivered to the chair of the commission prior to the end of the notice period. If no challenge is made, the revision shall take effect without further action. If the revision is challenged, the revision may not take effect without the approval of the commission.
SECTION 11. OVERSIGHT, DISPUTE RESOLUTION, AND ENFORCEMENT
A. Dispute Resolution:
(1) Upon request by a member state, the commission shall attempt to resolve disputes related to the compact that arise among member states and between member and nonmember states.
(2) The commission shall promulgate a rule providing for both mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes as appropriate.
(1) The commission, in the reasonable exercise of its discretion, shall enforce the provisions and rules of this compact.
(2) By majority vote, the commission may initiate legal action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or the federal district where the commission has its principal offices against a member state in default to enforce compliance with the provisions of the compact and its promulgated rules and bylaws. The relief sought may include both injunctive relief and damages. In the event judicial enforcement is necessary, the prevailing member shall be awarded all costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees.
(3) The remedies herein shall not be the exclusive remedies of the commission. The commission may pursue any other remedies available under federal or state law.
SECTION 12. DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY PRACTICE AND ASSOCIATED RULES, WITHDRAWAL, AND AMENDMENT
A. The compact shall come into effect on the date on which the compact statute is enacted into law in the tenth member state. The provisions, which become effective at that time, shall be limited to the powers granted to the commission relating to assembly and the promulgation of rules. Thereafter, the commission shall meet and exercise rulemaking powers necessary to the implementation and administration of the compact.
B. Any state that joins the compact subsequent to the commission's initial adoption of the rules shall be subject to the rules as they exist on the date on which the compact becomes law in that state. Any rule that has been previously adopted by the commission shall have the full force and effect of law on the day the compact becomes law in that state.
C. Any member state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the same.
(1) A member state's withdrawal shall not take effect until six months after enactment of the repealing statute.
(2) Withdrawal shall not affect the continuing requirement of the withdrawing state's audiology or speech-language pathology licensing board to comply with the investigative and adverse action reporting requirements of this act prior to the effective date of withdrawal.
D. Nothing contained in this compact shall be construed to invalidate or prevent any audiology or speech-language pathology licensure agreement or other cooperative arrangement between a member state and a nonmember state that does not conflict with the provisions of this compact. E. This compact may be amended by the member states. No amendment to this compact shall become effective and binding upon any member state until it is enacted into the laws of all member states.
SECTION 13. CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any member state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any member state, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining member states and in full force and effect as to the member state affected as to all severable matters.
SECTION 14. BINDING EFFECT OF COMPACT AND OTHER LAWS
A. Nothing herein prevents the enforcement of any other law of a member state that is not inconsistent with the compact.
B. All laws in a member state in conflict with the compact are superseded to the extent of the conflict.
C. All lawful actions of the commission, including all rules and bylaws promulgated by the commission, are binding upon the member states.
D. All agreements between the commission and the member states are binding in accordance with their terms.
E. In the event any provision of the compact exceeds the constitutional limits imposed on the legislature of any member state, the provision shall be ineffective to the extent of the conflict with the constitutional provision in question in that member state.
Acts 2020, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 37, §2, eff. July 1, 2021.