ANNUAL REPORT For Fiscal Year 2001
Respiratory Care Practitioners Advisory Committee
Professional Licensing and Certification Division
Texas Department of Health
The Texas Legislature enacted the Respiratory Care Practitioners Act in 1985. The Act relates to the certification and regulation of persons practicing respiratory care. The qualifications for obtaining certification are a high school diploma or equivalency, completion of an accredited respiratory care education program at a recognized college or university, and successful completion of a national examination.
As of October 2001, there are 10,616 certified respiratory care practitioners. Of that number, 1,034 hold inactive status, and 267 hold temporary permits until they pass the examination. For fiscal year 2001, there was a total of 12,046 initial applicants, temporary permits, and renewals.
The committee was initially established as an advisory board by the Respiratory Care Practitioners Act in 1985. In 1995, the board was reconfigured into its present advisory committee form under the Health and Safety Code, '11.016, which allows the Texas Board of Health (Board) to establish advisory committees. The purpose of the committee is to recommend rules and examinations for the approval of the Board.
The committee is composed of nine members appointed by the Board. The composition of the committee includes three consumer members, three certified respiratory care practitioners and three physicians.
The term of office is for six years. Members are appointed for staggered terms expiring on January 1 of even-numbered years. The committee roster is included with this report.
Two consumer positions are vacant. Three terms will expire as of January 1, 2002, two terms expire on January 1, 2004, and two terms expire January 1, 2006. Program staff anticipates presenting an appointment packet to the Board for action in early 2002.
The committee functions within the Professional Licensing and Certification Division. Donna Flippin, Program Director, provides oversight for committee staff and operations. Pam Kaderka, Program Administrator, carries out managerial functions associated with the committee and the Respiratory Care Practitioner Program. Sharon Melton carries out administrative functions for the committee and works with Vicky Watson and Patsy Payne to execute duties required to operate the certification program including complaint processing and enforcement.
Meetings and Attendance
The committee meets only as necessary to conduct committee business. During fiscal year 2001, the committee met on October 20, 2000. In May of 2001, the Board of Health appointed five new members to the Respiratory Care Practitioners Advisory Committee. Committee staff was not able to coordinate a quorum to meet during the last three months of fiscal year 2001.
Tasks Assigned by the Board of Health
The committee's tasks are set out in Board rule 25 TAC §123.9(d). The committee shall recommend rules and examinations relating to respiratory care practitioners and carry out any other tasks assigned by the Board.
At the October 20, 2000, meeting, the committee assisted the Department in the review of its rules relating to respiratory care practitioners. Texas Government Code, §2001.039 requires that each state agency review and consider for readoption each rule adopted by that agency pursuant to the Government Code, Chapter 2001 (Administrative Procedure Act). The committee recommended proposed rule amendments for consideration and approval to publish the rules in the Texas Register for a 30-day comment period. The Board considered the proposed amendments at the February 2001 meeting. The amendments covered purpose and scope, definitions, fees, exemptions, application requirements and procedures, types of certificates, temporary permits, applicant eligibility, examination, certificate renewal, continuing education requirements, changes of name or address, violations, complaints, and subsequent actions. A new section was added which includes informal disposition. The proposed rules were published in the Texas Register on March 16, 2001. The amendments were adopted on September 9, 2001.
The Board did not assign any additional tasks to the committee during fiscal year 2001.
Costs Related to the Committee's Existence
Fiscal year 2001 operating costs of the Respiratory Care Program were $248,584 and fee revenue collected was $462,308. The cost of staff time spent in support of the committee's activities (meetings, departmental advisory committee review, committee member nominee recruitment and member appointments, rule-making based on committee recommendations) during FY 2001 is estimated as follows:
Administrative Technician $ 1,485.00
Administrative Technician $ 1,200.00
Program Director $ 255.00
Program Administrator $ 2945.00
Total $ 5,885.00
Travel reimbursement for the consumer members of the committee was not authorized for the October 2000 meeting by the General Appropriations Act or the budget execution process.
Status of Committee Recommendations for Rule Amendments
The committee recommended rule amendments at its October 20, 2000, meeting. The proposed amendments were published in the March 16, 2001, issue of the Texas Register for a 30-day comment period. The amendments were adopted on September 9, 2001.
The committee plans to meet twice during fiscal year 2002.
The committee will continue to provide advice to the Board of Health and department staff in the area of respiratory care and the regulation of respiratory care practitioners.