WSR 06-21-106

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


(Board of Hearing and Speech)

[ Filed October 17, 2006, 12:56 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-13-050.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 246-828-510 Continuing education requirements for licensed hearing instrument fitter/dispensers, audiologists, and speech-language pathologists, 246-828-500 Citation and purpose, 246-828-530 Exceptions for continuing education, and 246-828-550 Programs approved by the board of hearing and speech.

Hearing Location(s): Department of Health, Point Plaza East, 310 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98504, on December 1, 2006, at 9:15 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: December 1, 2006.

Submit Written Comments to: Leann Yount, P.O. Box 47869, Olympia, WA 98504-7869, web site http://www3.doh.wa.gov/policyreview/, fax (360) 236-4918, by November 17, 2006.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Leann Yount by November 17, 2006, TTY (800) 833-6388 or 711.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: In 2002, legislation passed as HB 2589, chapter 310, Laws of 2002, that changed audiologists and speech language pathologists from certified to licensed and also mandated CE requirements before renewing their license.

Prior to the passage of this legislation, the law required ten hours of continuing education for hearing instrument fitter/dispensers before renewing their license. There was not [were no] CE requirements for audiologists and speech-language pathologists because they were certified and not licensed at that time. This law requires hearing instrument fitter dispensers, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists to obtain thirty hours of CE in a three-year period prior to renewing their licenses. One CE hour must be on infection control and twenty CE hours must be through board of hearing and speech approved programs. The remaining ten CE hours may be obtained through internet, self study, etc.

Currently, there are four different CE WACs that only address hearing instrument fitter/dispensers. This proposal will combine those WACs into one, as WAC 246-828-510, and will pertain to hearing instrument fitter/dispensers, audiologists, and speech-language pathologists. In addition, this proposal will also repeal WAC 246-828-500, 246-828-530, and 246-828-550.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: This proposal assures rules are consistent with law. In addition, this proposal will also improve and increase the ability of hearing instrument fitter/dispensers, audiologists, and speech-language pathologists to deliver the highest possible quality professional care.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.35.161.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.35.090.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Board of hearing and speech, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Karen Kelley, 310 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501, (360) 236-4856; Implementation and Enforcement: Leann Yount, 310 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501, (360) 236-4856.

A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.

Small Business Economic Impact Statement

1. Briefly Describe the Proposed Rule: In 2002 legislation passed as HB 2589, chapter 310, Laws of 2002, that changed audiologists and speech-language pathologists from certified to licensed and also mandated CE requirements before renewing their license.

Prior to the passage of this legislation, the law required ten hours of continuing education for hearing instrument fitter/dispensers before renewing their license. There was not [were no] CE requirements for audiologists and speech-language pathologists because they were certified and not licensed at that time. This law requires hearing instrument fitter dispensers, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists to obtain thirty hours of CE in a three year period prior to renewing their licenses. One CE hour must be on infection control and twenty CE hours must be through board of hearing and speech approved programs. The remaining ten CE hours may be obtained through internet, self study, etc.

Currently, there are four different CE WACs that only address hearing instrument fitter/dispensers. This proposal will combine those WACs into one, as WAC 246-828-510, and will pertain to hearing instrument fitter/dispensers, audiologists, and speech-language pathologists. In addition, this proposal will also repeal WAC 246-828-500, 246-828-530, and 246-828-550.

Overall, these proposed changes will improve and increase the ability of the hearing instrument fitter/dispenser, audiologist, and speech-language pathologist to deliver the highest possible quality of care.

2. Is a Small Business Economic Impact Statement (SBEIS) Required for this Rule? Yes, because portions of the proposed rule will impose more than minor costs on small businesses.

3. Which Industries are Affected by this Rule?


SIC DESCRIPTION TOTAL

UNITS

TOTAL

EMP

Avg.

EMP

< 50

Avg.

EMP

>= 50

3842 Surgical appliances and supplies 37 733 4.7 70.0
5999 Miscellaneous retail stores, nec 959 6,333 5.6 63.8
5047 Medical and hospital equipment 666 3,339 3.8 86.2
8049 Offices of health practitioners, ne 913 5,450 4.5 102.9

4. What are the Costs of Complying with this Rule for Small Businesses (Those with fifty or Fewer Employees) and for the Largest 10% of Businesses Affected?: Both the audiologists and speech-language pathologists want to have a mandatory CE requirement. There will be a cost for this requirement of approximately $20.00 per hour. This would be a total of $600.00 for 30 hours of CE to be submitted every three years. CE courses can be completed outside of work time. The maximum cost of compliance is $600.00.

5. Does the Rule Impose a Disproportionate Impact on Small Businesses?


SIC Industry Code and Title SIC Industry Description Average # of Employees for Smallest Businesses Average # of Employees for 10% of Largest Businesses Maximum Costs of Rule Change Average Cost Per Employees Small Businesses Average Cost Per Employees Large Businesses
3842 Surgical appliances and supplies 4.7 70.0 $600 $128 $9
5999 Miscellaneous retail stores, nec 5.6 63.8 $600 $107 $9
5047 Medical and hospital equipment 3.8 86.2 $600 $158 $7
8049 Offices of health practitioners 4.5 102.9 $600 $133 $6

If we assume providers are the business owners and pay for the costs of the CE requirements then there is no disproportionate impact. However, if some providers are hired by larger businesses and the providers must pay for their own cost of CE requirements then there may be disproportionate impact as the table shows.

6. If the Rule Imposes a Disproportionate Impact on Small Businesses, What Efforts were Taken to Reduce that Impact (or Why is it not "Legal and Feasible" to do so)? There is little to no disproportionate impact on small businesses.

This proposal will update the current hearing instrument fitter/dispenser CE rules by combining language from the four current CE rules into one, allowing practitioners to complete thirty hours of CE over a three-year period rather than ten hours each year, reducing the amount of reporting that is required. The proposal will also require that audiologist and speech-language pathologists complete CE.

7. How are Small Businesses Involved in the Development of this Rule? Three rule-writing workshops were held and all interested parties were notified. Draft rules were also reviewed and discussed at several board of hearing and speech meetings. These meetings are open public meetings, and notices of the meetings are sent to interested parties. All comments received were considered when drafting the proposal.

A copy of the statement may be obtained by contacting Leann Yount, P.O. Box 47869, Olympia, WA 98504-7869, phone (360) 236-4856, fax (360) 236-4918, e-mail leann.yount@doh.wa.gov.

A cost-benefit analysis is required under RCW 34.05.328. A preliminary cost-benefit analysis may be obtained by contacting Leann Yount, P.O. Box 47869, Olympia, WA 98504-7869, phone (360) 236-4856, fax (360) 236-4918, e-mail leann.yount@doh.wa.gov.

October 16, 2006

Leann Yount

Program Manager

OTS-8701.4


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-05-060, filed 2/13/98, effective 3/16/98)

WAC 246-828-510   Continuing education.   (((1) Licensed hearing instrument fitter/dispensers must complete ten hours of continuing education as required in chapter 246-12 WAC, Part 7.

(2) A maximum of two hours may be in the area of practice management. Practice management includes, but is not limited to, marketing, computer recordkeeping, and personnel issues.)) The ultimate aim of continuing education is to ensure the highest quality professional care. The objectives are to improve and increase the ability of the hearing instrument fitter/dispenser, audiologist and speech-language pathologist to deliver the highest possible quality professional care and keep the professional abreast of current developments.

Continuing education consists of educational activities designed to review existing concepts and techniques and to convey information and knowledge about advances in hearing instrument fitting/dispensing, audiology and speech-language pathology fields as applied to the work setting.

(1) Continuing education requirement. Licensees must complete a minimum of thirty hours of continuing education every three years including:

(a) At least one hour on infection control.

(b) At least twenty hours of the total hours must be from board-approved programs. Board-approved programs shall include:

(i) Courses, seminars, workshops and postgraduate programs offered by accredited educational institutions. These educational activities shall be recorded on an official transcript or certificate stating the number of continuing education units completed.

(ii) Courses, seminars and workshops offering continuing clock or continuing educational units offered by profession-related organizations or industries. These units shall be accepted with proof of completion.

(c) The remaining hours must not exceed ten hours and may be obtained in the following areas:

(i) Attendance at a continuing education program having a featured speaker(s) or panel, which has been sponsored or endorsed by a profession-related organization or industry.

(ii) Participation as a speaker or panel member in a continuing education program which has been sponsored or endorsed by a profession-related organization or industry. A maximum of eight hours, including preparation time, may be applied to the total three-year requirement.

(iii) Completion of a written, video, internet, or audio continuing education program which has been sponsored or endorsed by a profession-related organization or industry. Only programs with tests that are independently graded shall be accepted.

(2) General information.

(a) The effective date of the continuing education requirement shall be three years after the licensee's 2007 renewal date.

(b) The board shall not grant credit for preparation time, except as provided in subsection (1)(c)(ii) of this section.

(3) The board may grant an exception for continuing education requirements under certain circumstances including, but not limited to, severe illness. The licensee must submit to the board for review, a written request for exception. The board will approve or deny the request.

(4) This section incorporates by reference the requirements of chapter 246-12 WAC, Part 7.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.70.280. 98-05-060, 246-828-510, filed 2/13/98, effective 3/16/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.35.161(3). 93-07-007 (Order 342B), 246-828-510, filed 3/5/93, effective 4/5/93.]


REPEALER

     The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 246-828-500 Citation and purpose.
WAC 246-828-530 Exceptions for continuing education.
WAC 246-828-550 Programs approved by the board of hearing and speech.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office