The Board recognizes that mental health services are expressly
exempt from the provisions of Section 111, Texas Occupations Code.
Pursuant to §§151.056, 153.001 and 157.001 of the Medical
Practice Act, the Board has authority to promulgate rules concerning
mental health services. Given that many areas of the state lack access
to mental health services and providers, the use of technology can
help alleviate this shortage. Therefore, the following rules are enacted
to provide greater access to care, while insuring patient safety:
(1) Licensure or Certification Required--Any individual
providing mental health services must be properly licensed or certified
in this state to perform health care services, or be a qualified mental
health professional-community services (QMHP-CS) as defined in 25
TAC §412.303(48) (relating to Definitions) and only perform tasks
and activities within the scope of the individual's licensure or certification.
(2) Use of Technology to Provide Mental Health Services--Mental
health services may be provided to a patient at a different location
from the location of the licensed or certified provider using telecommunications
or information technology.
(3) Establishing the Provider/Patient Relationship--When
providing mental health services, the provider must establish the
provider-patient relationship, which can be established through use
of telecommunications or information technology.
(4) Standard of Care--When providing mental health
services, such services must be conducted in the same manner as those
in a traditional in-person setting. This includes keeping of proper
medical records, performing observations and evaluations, and treatment.
If treatment involves the use of prescription medication, all applicable
federal and state laws and rules apply.
(5) Investigations and Discipline--Complaints regarding
violations of rules related to mental health services may result in
an investigation and discipline under the Medical Practice Act and
applicable board rules and procedures, or referral to the proper regulatory
authority of the practitioner providing the mental health services.
(6) Chronic Pain Treatment Prohibited--Treatment of
chronic pain with scheduled drugs through use of telecommunications
or information technology is prohibited, unless otherwise allowed
under federal and state law.