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TITLE 25HEALTH SERVICES
PART 1DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 146TRAINING AND REGULATION OF PROMOTORES OR COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS
RULE §146.6Eligibility Requirements and Application Procedures for Promotores or Community Health Workers

(a) Minimum eligibility requirements for promotor(a) or community health worker certification. The following requirements apply to all individuals applying for certification:

  (1) currently live in Texas;

  (2) attainment of 18 years of age or an eligible and informed minor as determined by the department;

  (3) freedom from physical or mental impairment, which in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, interferes with the performance of duties or otherwise constitutes a hazard to the health or safety of the persons being served;

  (4) achievement of core competencies in communication skills, interpersonal skills, service coordination, capacity-building skills, advocacy, organizational skills, teaching, and knowledge base on specific health issues through completion of a certified competency-based training program by an approved sponsoring institution or verification of related experience; and

  (5) submission of a complete application in a format specified by the department.

(b) Community health worker certification based on experience. A person who has performed related promotor(a) or community health worker services in the previous six years may submit an application and required information for consideration of certification based on their experience. The department shall verify the applicant's related experience of not less than 1000 cumulative hours demonstrating competence in eight core competencies (communication skills, interpersonal skills, service coordination, capacity-building skills, advocacy, organizational skills, teaching, and knowledge base on specific health issues). The department shall approve the application and issue a certificate to a person with verified experience and competence in performing promotor(a) or community health worker services for not less than 1000 cumulative hours in the previous six years starting from the date the application is signed, as documented on form(s) specified by the department.

(c) Community health worker certification. Individuals shall complete a certified competency-based training program by an approved sponsoring organization.

(d) Application requirements and procedures.

  (1) Unless otherwise indicated, an applicant must complete all required information and documentation on current official department forms and submit the required information and documentation electronically or in hard copy as specified by the department.

  (2) The department shall send a notice listing the additional materials or information required to an applicant whose application is incomplete, including a notice if a color photograph for an identification card was not submitted.

(e) Application approval. The department shall approve any application which is in compliance with this chapter and which properly documents applicant eligibility, unless the application is disapproved under the provisions of subsection (f) of this section.

(f) Disapproved applications.

  (1) The department may disapprove the application if the applicant:

    (A) has not met the eligibility and application requirements set out in this chapter;

    (B) has failed or refused to properly complete or submit any required information or has knowingly presented false or misleading information in the application process;

    (C) has engaged in unethical conduct as defined in §146.7 of this title (relating to Professional and Ethical Standards);

    (D) has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor directly related to the duties and responsibilities of a promotor(a) or community health worker or instructor as set out in §146.8 of this title (relating to Violations, Complaints and Subsequent Actions); or

    (E) has developed an incapacity, which in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, prevents the individual from practicing with reasonable skill, competence, and safety to the public as the result of:

      (i) an illness;

      (ii) drug or alcohol dependency; or

      (iii) another physical or mental condition or illness;

  (2) If the department determines that the application should not be approved, the department shall give the applicant written notice of the reason for the disapproval and of the opportunity for re-application or appeal.

  (3) The applicant whose application has been disapproved under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be permitted to reapply and may submit a current application satisfactory to the department, in compliance with the then current requirements of this chapter and the provisions of the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 48.

  (4) An applicant whose application has been disapproved may appeal the disapproval under the fair hearing procedures found in Chapter 1, Subchapter C of this title (relating to Fair Hearing Procedures).

(g) Application processing. The following periods of time shall apply from the date of receipt of an application until the date of issuance of a written notice that the application has been approved or that the application is deficient and additional specific information is required.

  (1) Notice of approval for certification - no more than 90 days.

  (2) Notice of application deficiency - no more than 90 days.

(h) Changes of name and address.

  (1) The department shall change the status of a certification to inactive upon receipt of notification that the certificate holder no longer lives in Texas.

  (2) Before any certificate and identification cards will be issued by the department, notification of name changes must be submitted to the department and shall include a copy of a marriage certificate, court decree evidencing such change, Texas driver's license or identification card, or a social security card reflecting the new name.

(i) Certificate.

  (1) Upon approval of the application, the department shall issue the promotor(a) or community health worker a certificate with an expiration date and a certificate number. An identification card shall be included for a promotor(a) or community health worker.

  (2) Certificates shall be signed by the commissioner of the department and presiding officer of the advisory committee. The identification card issued to a promotor(a) or community health worker shall bear the signature of the commissioner and contain a photo of the promotor(a) or community health worker.

  (3) Any certificate or identification card(s) issued by the department remains the property of the department and shall be surrendered to the department on demand.

  (4) A promotor(a) or community health worker shall carry the original identification card. Photocopies shall not be carried or displayed.

  (5) A person certified as a promotor(a) or community health worker shall only allow his or her certificate to be copied for the purpose of verification by employers, professional organizations, and third party payors for credentialing and reimbursement purposes. Other persons and/or agencies may contact the department in writing or by phone or access the department online licensing services website to verify certification status.

  (6) No one shall display, present, or carry a certificate or an identification card which has been altered, photocopied, or otherwise reproduced.

  (7) No one shall make any alteration on any certificate or identification card issued by the department.

  (8) The department shall replace a lost, damaged, or destroyed certificate or identification card upon written request.

(j) Certificate renewal.

  (1) Each promotor(a) or community health worker shall renew the certificate biennially (every two years).

  (2) Each promotor(a) or community health worker is responsible for renewing the certificate before the expiration date. Failure to receive notification from the department prior to the expiration date will not excuse failure to file for renewal.

  (3) Each promotor(a) or community health worker is responsible for completing a renewal application.

  (4) The department may not renew the certificate of a promotor(a) or community health worker who is in violation of Health and Safety Code, Chapter 48 or this chapter at the time of renewal.

(k) Late renewals.

  (1) A person whose certificate has expired for not more than one year may renew the certificate by submitting to the department the completed renewal application. Promotores or community health workers must also submit proof of compliance with continuing education requirements for renewal as set out in this section before the late renewal is effective. A certificate issued under this subsection shall expire two years from the date the previous certificate expired.

  (2) A certificate not renewed within one year after expiration cannot be renewed.

  (3) A person may not use a title that implies certification while the certificate is expired as set out in §146.8 of this title (relating to Violations, Complaints and Subsequent Actions).

  (4) A person whose certification has been expired for more than one year may apply for another certificate by meeting the then-current requirements of the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 48 and this chapter which apply to all new applicants.

(l) Expired certificates. The department, using the last address known, shall attempt to inform each promotor(a) or community health worker who has not timely renewed a certificate, after a period of more than ten days after the expiration of the certificate that the certificate has automatically expired.

(m) Continuing education requirements. Continuing education requirements for recertification shall be fulfilled during each biennial renewal period.

  (1) A promotor(a) or community health worker must complete 20 contact hours of continuing education related to the core competencies acceptable to the department during each biennial renewal period.

    (A) At least five hours shall be satisfied by participation in a department certified training program including a training program sponsored or provided by the department that provides continuing education credits for promotores or community health workers.

    (B) Up to five hours may be satisfied through continuing education counted toward the renewal of a promotor(a) or community health worker's Texas license, registration, or certification in another health profession provided the hours meet all the requirements of this section.

    (C) Up to 10 hours may be satisfied through verifiable independent self-study. These activities include reading materials, audio materials, audiovisual materials, training not certified by the department, or a combination thereof which meet the requirements set out in this section.

  (2) A contact hour shall be defined as 50 minutes of participation. One-half contact hour shall be defined as 30 minutes of participation during a 30-minute period.

(n) All continuing education activities should provide for the professional growth of the community health worker or promotor(a).

(o) Types of acceptable continuing education. Continuing education shall be acceptable if the experience or activity is at least 30 consecutive minutes in length and is offered by an approved sponsoring organization.

(p) Reporting of continuing education. Each promotor(a) or community health worker is responsible for and shall complete and file with the department at the time of renewal a continuing education report form approved by the department listing the title, date, number of hours, and core competency(ies) covered for each activity for which credit is claimed. The sponsoring organization must provide a list of instructors, promotores or community health workers who successfully complete continuing education contact hours within 30 days of the continuing education event in a format specified by the department.

(q) Failure to complete the required continuing education.

  (1) A promotor(a) or community health worker may request one 120-day extension per certification period if needed in order to complete the continuing education requirement.

  (2) A promotor(a), or community health worker who has not corrected the deficiency by the expiration date of the 120-day extension shall be considered as noncompliant with the renewal requirements and may no longer be certified under the expired certificate.

  (3) A promotor(a) or community health worker may renew late under subsection (k) of this section after all the continuing education requirements have been met.


Source Note: The provisions of this §146.6 adopted to be effective June 24, 2015, 40 TexReg 3828

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