State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology FAQ's-General Questions

Loading...

My current place of employment needs to hire more therapists and wants to hire an assistant to be supervised by an SLP who will ONLY be completing direct & indirect supervision for this assistant & provide initial contact for her caseload. Can this assistant treat the patients that I evaluate/reevaluate after her supervisor provides initial contact?

Yes; HOWEVER, the Supervisor needs to remember it is her caseload and if she does not believe her assistant can provide therapy to a patient that you have evaluated, then she is not to assign that patient to her assistant.

I plan to move to Texas shortly. How long may I practice before I must obtain a license? I am certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 

Occupation Code 401.301, requires that you obtain a license before you may practice. To practice without a valid license is a class B misdemeanor and upon conviction is punishable by confinement in the county jail for up to six months, by a $1,000 fine, or by both.

 

I am ASHA certified and want to see a few clients for a local hospital each week. I was told that I would also need to be licensed even though I may only be in Texas for a year. Must I get a license? 

Yes. The ASHA CCC is the nationally recognized certification, and it may be required by insurers or other third party payors if your employer or clients file for reimbursement for services you delivered but the ASHA CCC is not a license to practice. You may not practice speech-language pathology or audiology in the State of Texas unless you hold a current valid license as specified in Occupation Code, Chapter 401.

 

How should I list my name with the licensure Board? I am known professionally by a "nickname". 

A licensee must ALWAYS use his or her legal name in license matters, including contacting the Board for information - no nicknames ever. Also in cases where a hyphenated last name is used, always use the hyphenated name in matters related to the license. Using a "nickname" or only part of a hyphenated name when contacting the Board office often delays the response to your request.

 

I called and notified the licensing board office of my new address. I left it on the recorder after hours. I did not get my license renewal forms until almost the deadline since they were sent to my old address. Why wasn't the new address change made? 

All address changes and name changes must be made in writing to the board office. The office staff cannot accept changes made by telephone or verbally. Proof must be submitted to change your name (e.g. copy of marriage license or divorce decree). Submit any changes by letter or fax; be sure to identify yourself by giving either your license number or your social security number.

 

Is official training necessary for a speech-language pathologist to suction saliva and phlegm from the oral and pharyngeal cavity of a patient?   

The procedure is not considered the practice of speech-language pathology; therefore, the Board does not have the authority to determine the training required. It would not be unethical for a speech-language pathologist to perform this service if he or she is competent to do so.

 

May the public schools employ a substitute to fill in when the speech-language pathologist or assistant is not available? 

The only substitute that may be employed is one who holds a current valid speech-language pathology, intern in speech-language pathology or assistant in speech-language pathology license or one who holds the Texas Education Agency's certificate in speech and hearing therapy. Occupation Code, 401.301 requires an individual to hold a license to practice in Texas. Exemptions are listed in Sections 401.051-401.060.

 

I have agreed to supervise one intern and two assistants; however, one of them can't find her license and another hasn't filed the appropriate papers identifying me as the supervisor. My supervisor told me to begin supervising and the two people could obtain the necessary paperwork later. Can I do this? 

No. Board Rules require that you have proof that the intern or assistant has a valid license and has submitted the appropriate form naming you as the supervisor. The Board shall initiate disciplinary actions against both you and the intern or assistant should Board Rules be violated.

 

 

I have been told by my employer to keep my therapy records in such a manner as to have it appear that I have given individual therapy to children I have provided group therapy. If I have four in a group for one hour, they want me to separate them out on my log sheets as separate hours and keep my therapy records as if it was individual therapy. This helps the school district collect more money from SHARS, but this sounds like fraud to me. What will happen if my records are investigated? 

What you described is unethical and you could possibly have your certification and license removed if you were investigated and found in violation of the Code of Ethics. You must be able to document what you record relative to the amount, type and activities of services performed. There are documented records of speech-language pathologists and audiologists going to prison for Medicare fraud and this may constitute fraud concerning federal funds (Medicaid). You have a professional responsibility to honor the Code of Ethics of the State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology as well as your professional associations.

 

I plan to supervise interns and assistants so that services may be reimbursed by Medicaid. What does "under the direction" mean? 

The Department of Health and Human Services provided the following response:
In terms of school-based services, our interpretation of the term "under the direction" of a speech pathologists is that the speech pathologist is more directly involved with the individual under his or her direction and accepts professional responsibility for actions of the personnel that he or she agrees to direct. The speech pathologist must see each patient at least once, have some input as to the type of care to be provided, and review the patient after the treatment has begun. The speech pathologist would also need to assume professional responsibility for the services provided. Therefore, it would clearly be in the pathologists own interest to maintain close oversight of any services for which he or she agrees to assume direction. Our interpretation would be the same in clinics, hospitals and rehabilitation settings.

 

Relating to the above question, must the supervisor and intern or assistant be employed by the same company at the same physical location? 

There is no Federal requirement that the supervisor and intern or assistant be employed by the same employer. However, the supervisor must be affiliated with the company (e.g., some type of contractual agreement or other type of formal arrangement by which the supervisor is obligated to supervise the care provided to the patients).

What is the role of the radiologist in conducting the videofluoroscopic swallowing function study, commonly referred to as the “modified barium swallow?

Typically, the radiographic study is conducted by a speech-language pathologist, in conjunction with a radiologist or another physician who is knowledgeable regarding radiation safety and techniques. The speech-language pathologist’s responsibilities usually include administration and modification of the bolus material, positioning of the patient, examining compensatory swallow maneuvers, and interpretation of the physiology of the swallow. The speech-language pathologist should identify the causes and symptoms of dysphagia, make decisions about the safety of oral feeding, and recommend a plan of treatment for the dysphagia. The physician has primary responsibility for making a medical diagnosis and for identifying masses and structural deviations.

May an assistant SLP be assigned service coordination duties in an Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program?

Yes, an assistant SLP may assist families in locating resources and completing paperwork, and perform other tasks that are typically assigned to service coordinators.

In Early Childhood Intervention programs, a professional other than an SLP (e.g., OT, PT, educator) may perform a comprehensive assessment of an infant or toddler and identify developmental delays in communication skills. Does this mean that the infant or toddler automatically qualifies for speech-language therapy?

No. When other professionals evaluate an infant or toddler and provide an “informed clinical opinion”, indicating the child shows a developmental delay or atypical development in the area of communication, this information may be used to determine a child’s eligibility for the ECI program. However, only the licensed SLP is authorized to diagnose a speech-language disorder and determine if the child is a candidate for speech-language therapy.

May the public schools employ a substitute to fill in when the speech-language pathologist or assistant is not available?

The only substitute that may be employed is one who holds a current, valid speech-language pathology, intern in speech-language pathology or assistant in speech-language pathology license or one who holds the Texas Education Agency's certificate in speech and hearing therapy. Occupation Code, 401.301 requires an individual to hold a license to practice in Texas. Exemptions are listed in Sections 401.051-401.060.


I have been told by my employer to keep my therapy records in such a manner as to have it appear that I have given individual therapy to children I have seen in group therapy. This helps the school district collect more money from SHARS, but this sounds like fraud to me. What will happen if my records are investigated?

What you described is unethical and you could possibly have your license suspended if you were investigated and found in violation of the Code of Ethics. Your records must be accurate relative to the duration, dates, and type of services performed.

Is a license required to practice speech-language pathology in Texas public schools?

The Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 401.054, states that the licensure law “does not prevent or restrict the activities and services or the use of an official title by a person who is certified in speech-language pathology by the Texas Education Agency if the person only performs speech-language pathology or audiology services as part of the person's duties within an agency, institution, or organization under the jurisdiction of the Texas Education Agency.” The Texas Education Agency no longer issues certificates in speech-language therapy, but individuals who hold a lifetime TEA certificate in speech and hearing therapy or speech-language therapy are allowed to practice in public schools without a license.

 

Go to the top of this page. Return to the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Home Page.

 

  • Loading...
Last updated August 27, 2010
  • Loading...