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RULE §120.90Professional Standards and Basis for Disciplinary Action

(a) This section is authorized under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 403.

  (1) If a person violates any provision of Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51, 403, or any other applicable provision, this chapter, or a rule or order of the executive director or commission, proceedings may be instituted to impose administrative penalties, administrative sanctions, or both in accordance with the provisions of the Texas Occupations Code and the associated rules.

  (2) The enforcement authority granted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 403, and any associated rules may be used to enforce the Texas Occupations Code and this chapter.

(b) A license holder shall comply with the following requirements in the provision of professional services. All license holders shall:

  (1) only provide professional services that are within the scope of the license holder's competence, considering level of education, training, and experience.

  (2) ensure a safe therapy or teaching environment for clients.

  (3) not jeopardize a client's safety or well-being by abusive or inattentive behavior.

  (4) maintain objectivity in all matters concerning the welfare of the client.

  (5) terminate a professional relationship when it is reasonably clear that the client is not benefitting from the services being provided or when it is reasonably clear that the client no longer needs the services.

  (6) seek to identify competent, dependable referral sources for clients and shall refer when requested or appropriate.

  (7) provide accurate information to clients and the public about the nature and management of dyslexia and about the services rendered.

  (8) be knowledgeable of all available diagnostic data and other relevant information regarding each client.

  (9) not guarantee, directly or by implication, the results of any therapeutic or teaching services, except that a reasonable statement of prognosis may be made. A license holder shall not mislead clients to expect results that cannot be predicted from reliable evidence.

  (10) accurately represent and describe any product created or recommended by the license holder.

  (11) not require the exclusive use or purchase by a client of any product created or produced by the license holder.

  (12) not use his or her professional relationship with a client to promote any product for personal gain or profit, unless the license holder has disclosed to the client the nature of the license holder's personal gain or profit.

  (13) not misrepresent his or her education, training, credentials, or competence.

  (14) fully inform clients of the nature and possible outcomes of services rendered.

  (15) obtain written consent from a client or a minor client's parent or legal guardian in order to use the client's data or information for research or teaching activities.

  (16) not falsify records.

  (17) bill a client or third party only for the services actually rendered in the manner agreed to by the license holder and the client or the minor client's parent or legal guardian.

  (18) not provide professional services to a client who is receiving dyslexia services from another license holder, except with the prior knowledge and consent of the other license holder.

  (19) not reveal, without authorization, any professional or personal information about a client unless required by law or compelled by a court to do so, or unless doing so is necessary to protect the welfare of the client or of the community. If a license holder reveals professional or personal information about a client without authorization, the information disclosed, the person or entity to whom it was disclosed, and the justification for disclosure shall be documented by the license holder in the client's record.

  (20) provide, in plain language, a written explanation of the charges for professional services previously made on a bill or statement, upon the written request of a client or the minor client's parent or legal guardian.

  (21) not engage in the medical diagnosis or treatment of clients.

  (22) not engage in sexual contact, including intercourse or kissing, sexual exploitation, or therapeutic deception, with a client. Sexual contact and sexual intercourse mean the activities and behaviors described in Penal Code, §21.01. Sexual exploitation means a pattern, practice, or scheme of conduct, which may include sexual contact, that can reasonably be construed as being for the purposes of sexual arousal or gratification or sexual abuse of any person. Therapeutic deception means a representation by a license holder that sexual contact with, or sexual exploitation by, the license holder is consistent with, or part of, the professional services being provided to the client.

  (23) not use alcohol or drugs, not legally prescribed for the license holder, when the use adversely affects or could adversely affect the provision of professional services.

  (24) not offer to pay or agree to accept any remuneration directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to or from any person, firm, association of persons, partnership, or corporation for securing or soliciting clients or patronage.

  (25) comply with all provisions of the Act and this chapter, as well as any other state or federal law or rule that relates to the provision of professional services by, or the regulation of the license holder.

  (26) not obtain a license by means of fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment of a material fact.

  (27) not sell, barter, or offer to sell or barter a license.

  (28) inform the department of any violations of this chapter or the Act.

  (29) comply with any order issued by the department that relates to the license holder.

  (30) not interfere with a department investigation or disciplinary proceeding by misrepresentation or omission of facts to the department or by the use of threats or harassment against any person.

  (31) cooperate with the department by promptly furnishing required documents and by promptly responding to a request for information from the department.

  (32) provide professional services without discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, or disability.

(c) A license holder in private practice shall:

  (1) provide a client or a minor client's parent or legal guardian with a written agreement for services prior to the commencement of professional services.

    (A) The agreement shall contain, at a minimum, a description of the services to be provided, goals, techniques, materials, the cost for services, payment arrangements and policies, hours, cancellation and refund policies, contact information for both parties, and the dated signatures of both parties.

    (B) Any subsequent modifications to the agreement shall be signed and dated by both parties.

  (2) maintain legible and accurate records of professional services rendered. A license holder practicing in an educational setting, including a school, learning center, or clinic, shall comply with the recordkeeping requirements of the educational setting.

  (3) maintain records for a minimum of five years following the termination of services. A license holder practicing in an educational setting, including a school, learning center, or clinic, shall comply with the records retention requirements of the educational setting.

  (4) not delegate any service requiring professional competence to a person not competent to provide the service. A license holder in private practice is responsible for the services provided by unlicensed persons employed or contracted by the license holder.

  (5) notify each client or the minor client's parent or legal guardian of the department's name, website, email address, mailing address, and telephone number for the purpose of directing complaints to the department by providing notification on a sign prominently placed in the primary place of business or on a written document, such as an agreement or contract for services or an informational brochure provided by a license holder to a client or the minor client's parent or legal guardian.

  (6) display the license in the primary location of practice, but shall not display a license that has been photographically or otherwise reproduced.

(d) Information used by a license holder in any advertisement or announcement shall not contain information that is false, inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, out of context, deceptive or not readily verifiable. Advertising includes, but is not limited to, any announcement of services, letterhead, business cards, commercial products, and billing statements. False, misleading, or deceptive advertising or advertising not readily subject to verification includes advertising that:

  (1) makes a material misrepresentation of fact or omits a fact necessary to make the statement as a whole not materially misleading;

  (2) makes a representation likely to create an unjustified expectation about the results of a professional service;

  (3) compares a professional's services with another professional's services unless the comparison can be factually substantiated;

  (4) causes confusion or misunderstanding as to the credentials, education, or licensing of a professional;

  (5) makes a representation that is designed to take advantage of the fears or emotions of a particularly susceptible type of client; or

  (6) represents in the use of a professional name, a title or professional identification that is expressly or commonly reserved to or used by another profession or professional, unless the license holder is licensed or otherwise authorized to use the title or professional identification.

(e) Records are the responsibility and property of the entity or individual who owns the practice or the practice setting.

Source Note: The provisions of this §120.90 adopted to be effective October 1, 2016, 41 TexReg 2476; amended to be effective June 1, 20221, 46 TexReg 3385

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