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RULE §112.98Code of Ethics

(a) The purpose of this section is to establish the standards of professional and ethical conduct required of a license holder or permit holder and constitutes a code of ethics. It is the responsibility of all license holders and permit holders to uphold the highest standards of integrity and ethical principles.

(b) A license holder or permit holder of hearing instruments must observe and comply with the code of ethics and standards of practice set forth in this chapter. Any violation of the code of ethics or standards of practice will constitute unethical conduct or conduct that discredits the profession of the dispensing and fitting of hearing instruments and is grounds for disciplinary action.

(c) A license holder or permit holder shall:

  (1) offer only those services that are within the person's professional competency;

  (2) comply with client confidentiality rights within the limits established by the law;

  (3) refer a client for those services that the license holder or permit holder is unable to provide;

  (4) comply with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA);

  (5) ensure that all equipment used is in proper working order and is properly calibrated; and

  (6) comply with any order relating to the license holder or permit holder which is issued by the commission or executive director.

(d) A license holder or permit holder shall not:

  (1) falsify records;

  (2) refuse to provide services solely on the basis of a client's age, gender, race, color, religion, national origin, or disability;

  (3) misrepresent the person's professional credentials or qualifications;

  (4) engage in sexual contact or sexual exploitation with a client. Sexual contact means the behaviors and activities described in the Texas Penal Code, §21.01 (relating to Sexual Offenses; Definitions). 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, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse;

  (5) provide services while impaired due to the use of medication, drugs, or alcohol, or a physical or mental health condition; or

  (6) interfere with an investigation or disciplinary proceeding by willful misrepresentation or omission of facts to the department or the department's designee or by the use of threats or harassment against any person.

Source Note: The provisions of this §112.98 adopted to be effective October 1, 2016, 41 TexReg 4458; amended to be effective September 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 6096

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