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RULE §470.21Disciplinary Guidelines

(a) Purpose. The Purpose of the guidelines is to:

  (1) Provide guidance and a framework of analysis for administrative law judges in the making of recommendations in contested licensure and disciplinary matters;

  (2) Promote consistency in the exercise of sound discretion by the Board in the imposition of sanctions in disciplinary matters; and

  (3) Provide guidance for the resolution of potentially contested matters.

(b) Limitations. The Board shall render the final decision in a contested case and has the responsibility to assess sanctions against licensees who are found to have violated the Act. The Board welcomes recommendations of administrative law judges as to the sanctions to be imposed, but the Board is not bound by such recommendations. A sanction should be consistent with sanctions imposed in other similar cases and should reflect the Board's determination of the seriousness of the violation and the sanction required to deter future violations. A determination of the appropriate sanction is reserved to the Board. The appropriate sanction is not a proper finding of fact or conclusion of law. This chapter shall be construed and applied so as to preserve the Board's discretion in the imposition of sanctions and remedial measures pursuant to the Act's provisions related to methods of discipline and administrative penalties. This chapter shall be further construed and applied so as to be consistent with the Act, and shall be limited to the extent as otherwise proscribed by statute and Board rule.

(c) Revocation. The Board shall revoke the license of any licensee if the Board determines that the continued practice of psychology by the licensee poses a harm to the public. The Board shall revoke the license of any licensee who is convicted of a felony involving Medicare or Medicaid fraud. The Board may revoke the license of any licensee who receives deferred adjudication for a felony involving Medicare or Medicaid fraud, if, after consideration of the factors described by Sections 53.022 and 53.023(a) of the Occupations Code, the Board determines that the licensee may pose a continued threat to public safety; or the practice of psychology by the licensee would create a situation in which the licensee has an opportunity to repeat the prohibited conduct. Licensees who violate the following Board rules shall be subject to revocation without reference to subsections (e) through (g) of this section:

  (1) Board rule §465.13(b)(3) and (b)(6) of this title (relating to Personal Problems, Conflicts and Dual Relationships) pertaining to certain forms of sexual impropriety with current patients;

  (2) Board rule §465.33(d) of this title (relating to Improper Sexual Conduct) as it pertains to sexual relations, defined in §465.33(c), with current patients; and

  (3) Board rule §469.7(d)(1)(A) of this title (relating to Persons with Criminal Backgrounds) pertaining to offenses against the person (for example, homicide, kidnapping, sexual offenses, and assaultive offenses).

  (4) Board rule §461.16 of this title (relating to (Inaccurate and False Information in Licensure Application/Documentation and for Annual Licensure Renewal Application/Documentation), as it pertains to serious falsification of an application or documentation to obtain a license or renewal, and therefore fraud in obtaining a license.

(d) The rules enumerated above are not intended to be exhaustive. The Board may recommend revocation for licensees who violate one or more Board rules that are not listed above.

(e) Disciplinary Sanctions. If the Board does not revoke the license of a licensee as part of a disciplinary matter, it may impose the following disciplinary sanctions which are listed in descending order of severity:

  (1) Suspension for a definite period of time;

  (2) Suspension plus probation of any or all of the suspension period;

  (3) Probation of the license for a definite period of time;

  (4) Reprimand.

(f) Additional conditions. As terms of any sanction imposed by the Board upon a licensee pursuant to a disciplinary matter the Board may, at its discretion, impose any additional conditions and/or restrictions upon the license of the licensee that the Board deems necessary to facilitate the rehabilitation and education of the licensee and to protect the public, including but not limited to:

  (1) Consultation with the licensee on matters of ethics rules, laws and standards of practice by a licensed psychologist approved by the Board;

  (2) Restrictions on the licensee's ability to provide certain types of psychological services or to provide psychological services to certain classes of patients;

  (3) Restrictions on the licensee's supervision of others in the practice of psychology;

  (4) Completion of a specified number of continuing education hours on specified topics approved in advance by the Board in addition to any minimum number required of all licensees as a condition of licensure;

  (5) Taking and passing with the minimum required score of any examination required by the Board of a licensee;

  (6) Undergoing a psychological and/or medical evaluation by a qualified professional approved in advance by the Board and undergoing any treatment recommended pursuant to the evaluation;

  (7) Writing a research paper on a specific topic;

  (8) Any other condition reasonably related to the rehabilitation and education of the licensee.

(g) The length of the sanction period shall be determined by the Board taking into account the time reasonably required to complete the required terms and conditions set forth in the order imposing the sanction.

Source Note: The provisions of this §470.21 adopted to be effective December 2, 1999, 24 TexReg 10552; amended to be effective May 16, 2000, 25 TexReg 4353; amended to be effective July 8, 2001, 26 TexReg 5007; amended to be effective July 9, 2002, 27 TexReg 6032; amended to be effective December 20, 2005, 30 TexReg 8433; amended to be effective May 30, 2007, 32 TexReg 2865; amended to be effective March 3, 2008, 33 TexReg 1813; amended to be effective September 19, 2012, 37 TexReg 7291

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