AN ACT

 

1Amending the act of December 21, 1984 (P.L.1253, No.238),
2entitled "An act regulating the practice of speech-language
3pathologists, audiologists and teachers of the hearing
4impaired; creating the State Board of Examiners in Speech-
5Language and Hearing with certain powers and duties; and
6prescribing penalties," further providing for title of act,
7for short title, for declaration of policy, for definitions,
8for creation of board, appointment and term of members and
9officers, for powers and duties of board, for license
10required and persons and practices not affected and
11exclusions, for requirements for licensure, for application
12and fees, for examinations, for refusal to issue and
13revocation, for requirement of a medical examination, for
14renewal fees and records, for limitation of renewal time and
15new license and for certification to the board; providing for
16use of title; and further providing for enforcement of
17certification to board, for impaired professionals, for
18penalties, for injunction against lawful practice and for
19appropriation.

20The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
21hereby enacts as follows:

22Section 1.  The title and sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the act
23of December 21, 1984 (P.L.1253, No.238), known as the Speech-
24Language and Hearing Licensure Act, are amended to read:

25An Act

1Regulating the practice of speech-language pathologists[,] and
2audiologists [and teachers of the hearing impaired]; creating
3the State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language [and Hearing]
4Pathology and Audiology with certain powers and duties; and
5prescribing penalties.

6Section 1.  Short title.

7This act shall be known and may be cited as the Speech-
8Language [and Hearing] Pathologists and Audiologists Licensure
9Act.

10Section 2.  Declaration of policy.

11It is declared to be the policy of the Commonwealth that the 
12practice of speech-language pathology and the practice of 
13audiology are privileges granted to qualified persons and that,
14in order to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare; to
15protect the public from being misled or receiving treatment by
16incompetent, unscrupulous and unauthorized persons; to protect
17the public from unprofessional conduct [on the part of] by
18qualified speech-language pathologists[,] and audiologists [and
19teachers of the hearing impaired]; and to assure the
20availability of the highest possible quality of speech-language
21[and hearing] pathology and audiology services to the
22[communicatively handicapped] people of this Commonwealth, it is
23necessary to [regulate persons offering speech-language and
24hearing services to the public and persons functioning under the
25direction of these specialists] provide regulatory authority 
26over persons offering speech-language pathology and audiology 
27services to the public.

28Section 3.  Definitions.

29The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
30have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

1context clearly indicates otherwise:

2"Audiologist."  Any person who is qualified by [training and
3experience] education, training and clinical experience and is 
4licensed under this act to engage in the practice of [the
5evaluation, counseling, habilitation and rehabilitation of
6individuals whose communicative disorders center in whole or in
7part in the hearing function. For the purposes of this paragraph
8the words "habilitation" and "rehabilitation" include, but are
9not limited to, hearing aid evaluation, fitting, recommendation,
10speech reading, auditory training and similar activities. A
11person is deemed to be or to hold himself out as being an
12audiologist if he offers such services to the public under any
13title incorporating the words audiology, audiologist,
14audiological consultant, aural rehabilitationist, hearing
15audiologist or any similar title or description of service]
16audiology. The audiologist is an independent practitioner 
17providing services in hospitals, clinics, schools, private 
18practices and other settings in which audiologic services are 
19relevant. A person is deemed to be, or to hold himself out as 
20being, an audiologist if he offers such services to the public 
21under any title incorporating the terms "audiology," 
22"audiologist," "audiological consultant," "hearing aid 
23audiologist" or any variation, synonym, coinage or similar title 
24that expresses, employs or implies these terms, names or 
25functions.

26"Board."  The State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language
27[and Hearing] Pathology and Audiology.

28"Person."  Any individual, organization, association,
29partnership, company, trust or corporate body, except that [any]
30only individuals can be licensed under this act. Any reference

1in this act to a licensed person shall mean a natural individual
2person.

3"Practice of audiology."  The application of principles,
4methods and procedures related to disorders of the auditory and
5vestibular systems. Areas of audiology practice include the
6following:

7(1)  prevention of hearing loss by designing,
8implementing and coordinating industrial, school and
9community-based hearing conservation programs;

10(2)  identification of dysfunction of hearing, balance
11and other auditory-related systems by developing and
12overseeing hearing and balance-related screening programs for
13persons of all ages, including newborn and school screening
14programs;

15(3)  administration of speech or language screening or
16other measures for the purpose of initial identification and
17referral of persons with other communicative disorders;

18(4)  assessment and nonmedical diagnosis and treatment of 
19hearing and vestibular disorders through the administration 
20of behavioral, psychoacoustic, electrophysiologic tests of 
21the peripheral and central auditory and vestibular systems 
22using standardized test procedures, including, but not 
23limited to, audiometry, tympanometry, acoustic reflex 
24measures, otoacoustic emissions, auditory evoked potentials, 
25video and electronystagmography and tests of central auditory 
26function using calibrated instrumentation leading to the 
27diagnosis of auditory and vestibular dysfunction abnormality;

28(5)  assessment of candidacy of persons with hearing loss
29for cochlear implants;

30(6)  nonmedical treatment for persons with impairment of 

1auditory function utilizing amplification and other assistive 
2devices;

3(7)  selection, fitting, evaluation and dispensing of
4hearing aids and other amplification systems;

5(8)  fitting and mapping of cochlear implant devices and
6audiologic rehabilitation to optimize device use;

7(9)  fitting of middle ear implantable hearing aids,
8fully implantable hearing aids and bone-anchored hearing
9aids;

10(10)  conducting otoscopic examinations;

11(11)  nonmedical treatment of persons with tinnitus using 
12techniques including biofeedback, masking, hearing aids, 
13education and counseling;

14(12)  counseling on the psychosocial aspects of hearing
15loss and the use of amplification systems;

16(13)  administration of electrophysiologic measures of
17neural function, including, but not limited to, sensory and
18motor-evoked potentials, preoperative and postoperative
19evaluation of neural function, neurophysiologic
20intraoperative monitoring of the central nervous system,
21spinal cord and cranial nerve function; and

22(14)  referral of persons with auditory and vestibular 
23dysfunction abnormalities to an appropriate physician for 
24medical evaluation when indicated based upon the 
25interpretation of the audiologic and vestibular test results.

26"Speech-language pathologist."  Any person who is qualified
27by training and experience to engage in the practice of the
28evaluation, counseling, habilitation and rehabilitation of
29individuals whose communicative disorders involve the function
30of speech, voice or language. A person is deemed to be or to

1hold himself out as being a speech-language pathologist if he
2offers such services under any title incorporating the words
3speech-language pathologist, speech consultant, speech
4therapist, speech correctionist, speech clinician, speech
5specialist, language pathologist, logopedist, communication
6therapist, voice therapist, aphasia therapist, aphasiologist,
7communicologist, or any similar title or description of service.

8["Teacher of the hearing impaired."  Any person who is
9qualified by training and experience to engage in the practice
10of providing evaluation and instruction in curriculum-based
11material and communication skills appropriate for individuals
12whose cognitive and educational development have been affected
13primarily by impaired hearing sensitivity. A person is deemed to
14be or to hold himself out as being a teacher of the hearing
15impaired if he offers such services under any title
16incorporating the words teacher of the hearing impaired, teacher
17of the acoustically handicapped, teacher of the deaf, teacher of
18the acoustically impaired, hearing teacher, teacher of the
19aurally handicapped, hearing tutor, tutor of the auditorily
20impaired, educator of the deaf or any similar title or
21description of service.]

22Section 4.  Creation of board; appointment and term of members;
23officers.

24(a)  Board created.--There is hereby created a departmental
25administrative board to be known as the State Board of Examiners
26in Speech-Language [and Hearing] Pathology and Audiology which
27shall be in the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs
28of the Department of State. It shall consist of [ten] eight
29members, [nine] seven of whom shall be appointed by the
30Governor, by and with the advice and consent of a majority of

1the members elected to the Senate, who shall be residents of
2Pennsylvania for a three-year period immediately prior to
3appointment. The Commissioner of Professional and Occupational
4Affairs shall serve in his official capacity as the [tenth] 
5eighth member of the board. [At the first meeting, the appointed
6members shall determine, by lot, three members to serve three-
7year terms, three members to serve two-year terms and three
8members to serve one-year terms, with the exception of the
9commissioner.]

10(b)  Vacancies.--When the term of each appointed member of
11the board ends, the Governor shall appoint his successor for a
12term of three years, by and with the advice and consent of a
13majority of the members elected to the Senate. Any appointive
14vacancy occurring on the board shall be filled by the Governor
15by appointment for the unexpired term, by and with the advice
16and consent of a majority of the members elected to the Senate.
17Board members shall continue to serve until their successors are
18appointed and qualified but not longer than six months beyond
19the three-year period.

20(c)  Qualifications of board.--The board shall consist of the
21Commissioner of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational
22Affairs, one member who at the time of appointment is engaged in
23rendering professional services in speech-language pathology,
24one member who at the time of appointment is engaged in
25rendering professional services in audiology, [one member who at
26the time of appointment is engaged in rendering professional
27services as a teacher of the hearing impaired,] two members at
28large who are either speech-language pathologists, or
29audiologists [or teachers of the hearing impaired], however,
30each profession shall not be represented by more than two board

1members, [two members who are physicians] one member who is a 
2physician licensed to practice medicine in this Commonwealth[,
3at least one of whom] who specializes in otolaryngology, and two
4members of the public appointed by the Governor from nominations
5submitted by the governing boards of groups advocating for the
6welfare of the speech-language and hearing handicapped. Of the
7initial members, the speech-language pathologists[,] and
8audiologists [and teachers of the hearing impaired] shall
9possess the necessary qualifications for licensure under this
10act. Thereafter, the members of the board who are speech-
11language pathologists[,] and audiologists [and teachers of the
12hearing impaired] shall be licensed under this act. No public
13member appointed under the provisions of this section shall be
14affiliated in any manner with professions or occupations
15providing health or corrective communications services or
16products to communicatively impaired persons. The public members
17shall be qualified pursuant to law, including section 813 of the
18act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The
19Administrative Code of 1929. In addition, no member of the board
20shall at the same time be an officer or agent of any Statewide
21association or organization representing the professions or
22occupations under the jurisdiction of this board.

23(d)  Reappointment.--A member of the board shall be eligible
24for reappointment. A member shall not be appointed to serve more
25than two consecutive terms.

26(e)  Compensation; expenses.--The members of the board, other
27than the Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs,
28shall receive reimbursement for reasonable travel, hotel and
29other necessary expenses and $60 per diem when actually engaged
30in the performance of their official duties.

1(f)  Meetings of board.--The board shall hold a meeting
2within 150 days after the effective date of this act and
3annually thereafter in the month prescribed by the board and
4elect a chairman, vice chairman and secretary who shall be
5members of the board. The board shall meet at such other times
6as deemed necessary and advisable by the chairman or by a
7majority of its members. Reasonable notice of all meetings shall
8be given in the manner prescribed by the board. A majority of
9the board shall constitute a quorum at any meeting or hearing.

10(g)  Forfeiture.--A member of the board who fails to attend 
11three consecutive meetings shall forfeit his seat unless the 
12Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs, upon 
13written request from the member, finds that the member should be 
14excused from a meeting because of illness or the death of an 
15immediate family member.

16Section 2.  Section 5 of the act, amended October 18, 2000
17(P.L.536, No.71), is amended to read:

18Section 5.  Powers and duties of board.

19The board shall have the power and its duties shall be:

20(1)  To approve the qualifications and fitness of
21applicants for licensure, and to adopt and revise rules and
22regulations requiring applicants to pass examinations
23relating to their qualifications as a prerequisite to the
24issuance of a license.

25(2)  To adopt and revise rules and regulations consistent
26with the law as may be necessary to implement the provisions
27of this act. [These rules and regulations shall include, but
28not be limited to, codes of ethics for speech-language
29pathologists, audiologists and teachers of the hearing
30impaired. The codes of ethics shall provide further that,

1whereas speech-language pathologists, audiologists and
2teachers of the hearing impaired provide nonmedical and
3nonsurgical services, medical diagnosis and medical treatment
4by these persons are specifically to be considered unethical
5and illegal.]

6(3)  To examine for, deny, approve, issue, revoke,
7suspend or renew the licenses of speech-language
8pathologist[, audiologist and teacher of the hearing
9impaired] and audiologist applicants, and provisional 
10licenses for audiologists.

11(4)  To conduct hearings upon complaints of violations of
12this act and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to
13this act, and to prosecute and enjoin all such violations.

14(5)  To spend funds necessary for the proper performance
15of its assigned duties in accordance with the fiscal and
16other laws of this Commonwealth and upon approval by the
17Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs.

18(6)  To waive examination and educational requirements
19and grant a license as provided in sections 6 and 7.

20(7)  To establish standards of eligibility for license
21renewal. These standards shall include, but not be limited
22to, the demonstration of satisfactory completion of 20 clock
23hours of continuing education related to the practice of
24speech-language pathology[, audiology or teaching the hearing
25impaired] and audiology in accordance with board regulations.
26No credit may be given for courses in office management or
27practice building. The board may waive all or part of the
28continuing education requirement to a licensee who shows to
29the satisfaction of the board that the licensee was unable to
30complete the requirement due to illness, emergency or

1hardship. The request for a waiver must be made in writing,
2with appropriate documentation, and must include a
3description of the circumstances sufficient to show why a
4licensee is unable to comply with the continuing education
5requirement. Waiver requests shall be evaluated by the board
6on a case-by-case basis. The board shall send the licensee
7written notification of its approval or denial of a waiver
8request. The requirement to demonstrate the satisfactory
9completion of continuing education shall begin with the
10biennial renewal period to be designated by regulation of the
11board and following written notice to licensees.

12(8)  To promulgate rules and regulations regarding
13persons functioning under the direction of audiologists[,] or
14speech-language pathologists [and teachers of the hearing
15impaired].

16(9)  To recognize national professional organizations in
17audiology that have established definitions of the practice
18of audiology. These organizations shall be the same as those
19recognized by the board under the provisions of section 7(b)
20(2). The board shall have the power to adopt those
21definitions to be the practical definitions of the practice
22of audiology for licensees under the board. If one or more of
23the recognized national professional organizations amends its
24definition, the amended definition cannot be added to the
25practice of audiology until it has been adopted by the board
26through regulation.

27(10)  To recognize national accrediting agencies which
28accredit programs of audiology as specified in section
297(a)(2).

30Section 3.  Sections 6, 7 and 8 of the act are amended to

1read:

2Section 6.  License required; persons and practices not
3affected; exclusions.

4(a)  Licenses.--Except as provided in subsection (b), no
5person may practice or hold himself out as being able to
6practice as an audiologist[,] or speech-language pathologist [or
7teacher of the hearing impaired] in this Commonwealth unless he
8holds a current, unsuspended, unrevoked license issued by the
9board. Licensure shall be granted separately in speech-language
10pathology[,] or audiology [and teaching of the hearing
11impaired].

12(b)  Exclusions.--Nothing in this act shall be construed as
13preventing or restricting:

14(1)  Any person licensed or registered in this
15Commonwealth from engaging in the profession or occupation
16for which he is licensed or registered, including:

17(i)  A physician or surgeon engaged in the practice
18of medicine.

19(ii)  A licensed physician or surgeon or a trained
20individual under the direction of a licensed physician
21doing hearing testing in the office or clinic of the
22physician.

23(iii)  A hearing aid fitter engaged in the business
24of selling and fitting hearing aids, and a hearing aid
25dealer engaged in the sale of hearing aids, as provided
26in the act of November 24, 1976 (P.L.1182, No.262), known
27as the Hearing Aid Sales Registration Law.

28(2)  A person who holds a valid credential issued by the
29Department of Education in the area of speech or hearing and
30who is employed in public or private elementary and secondary

1schools or institutions chartered by the Commonwealth, or a
2person who is employed by the Commonwealth or the Federal
3Government as a speech-language pathologist[,] or audiologist 
4[or teacher of the hearing impaired] from engaging in his
5profession or occupation, if the person performs his services
6solely within the scope of his employment, or a person
7performing hearing testing under section 1402 of the act of
8March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School
9Code of 1949.

10(3)  The activities of a student or trainee who is
11pursuing a program of study supervised by a person licensed
12under this act or otherwise exempt by this section which lead
13to a degree in audiology[, teaching the hearing impaired] or
14speech-language pathology [at] from an accredited college or
15university, if such individual is designated by a title
16clearly indicating his student or training status.

17(4)  The practice of speech-language pathology, audiology
18or teaching the hearing impaired in this Commonwealth by any
19person not a resident of this Commonwealth who is not
20licensed under this act if the person meets the
21qualifications and requirements for licensure described in
22section 7, or who is licensed under the law of another state
23having licensure requirements determined by the board to be
24at least equivalent to those established by section 7, and if
25the services are performed for no more than five days in any
26calendar year in cooperation with a speech-language 
27pathologist[,] or audiologist [or teacher of the hearing 
28impaired] licensed under this act.

29(5)  A corporation, partnership, trust, association,
30company or other similar form of organization from engaging

1in the practice of speech-language pathology[,] or audiology 
2[or teaching the hearing impaired] without a license if it
3employs licensed individuals in the direct practice of
4speech-language pathology[,] or audiology [or teaching the 
5hearing impaired].

6Section 7.  Requirements for licensure.

7(a)  In general.--Except as provided in subsections (b) and
8(c), to be eligible for licensure by the board as a speech-
9language pathologist, audiologist or teacher of the hearing
10impaired, an applicant shall pay a fee as established by the
11board in accordance with section 8(a), be of good moral
12character to the satisfaction of the board, pass an examination
13and:

14(1)  For the license in speech-language pathology,
15possess a master's degree in speech-language pathology or its
16equivalent from an accredited academic institution. In
17addition, the applicant must have at least one year of
18supervised professional experience in the field of speech-
19language pathology.

20(2)  For the license in audiology, possess a master's
21degree or doctoral degree in audiology [or its equivalent]
22from an [accredited academic institution. In addition, the
23applicant] academic program accredited by an accrediting 
24agency approved by the board and the United States Department 
25of Education or the Council for Higher Education 
26Accreditation under standards pursuant to this act. Master's 
27degree applicants must have at least [one year] nine months
28of supervised professional experience in the field of
29audiology. Beginning January 1, 2014, all new applicants must 
30possess a doctoral degree in audiology as determined by the 

1board.

2[(3) For licensure as a teacher of the hearing impaired,
3possess a master's degree in education of the hearing
4impaired or its equivalent from an accredited academic
5institution. In addition, the applicant must have at least
6one year of supervised professional experience in the field
7of teaching the hearing impaired.]

8(b)  Waivers.--The board may waive the examination and
9educational requirements for any of the following:

10(1)  Applicants who present proof of [current
11certification or licensure] a currently valid license to 
12practice audiology in a state which has standards determined
13by the board to be at least equal to those for licensure in
14this Commonwealth.

15(2)  Applicants who hold a currently valid and
16appropriate Certificate of Clinical Competence from the
17Council [of Professional Standards] for Clinical 
18Certification of the American [Speech-Language and Hearing]
19Speech-Language-Hearing Association or certification from a 
20national credentialing organization that is recognized by the 
21board from standards pursuant to this act. Notice of 
22standards shall be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

23[(3)  Applicants who hold a currently valid professional
24certificate issued by the Council on Education of the Deaf in
25compliance with its standards for the certification of
26teachers of the hearing impaired and who have completed an
27additional ten graduate academic credits established by the
28board to be appropriate for licensure as a teacher of the
29hearing impaired.]

30(c)  Requirements for current practitioners.--The board shall

1waive the examination and educational requirements for any
2applicant who, on the effective date of this act:

3(1)  has at least a bachelor's degree with a major in
4speech-language pathology[,] or a master's degree in
5audiology [or teaching the hearing impaired] from an
6accredited college or university, and who has been employed
7as a speech-language pathologist[,] or audiologist [or 
8teacher of the hearing impaired] for at least nine
9consecutive months within three years prior to the effective
10date of this act; and

11(2)  files an application with the board providing bona
12fide proof of the degree and employment together with the
13application fee prescribed in section 8.

14(d)  Provisional licenses.--

15(1)  The board may, in accordance with the provisions of 
16this section, issue a provisional license in audiology to 
17applicants who have met all of the requirements for licensure 
18under this act except for the completion of the clinical 
19fellowship necessary to receive either the Certificate of 
20Clinical Competence from the Council For Clinical 
21Certification of the American Speech-Language-Hearing 
22Association or certification from another national 
23credentialing organization as recognized by the board 
24pursuant to section 7(b)(2). In order to receive the license, 
25the applicant must submit an application for the provisional 
26license to the board on a form prescribed by the board. The 
27form must indicate the applicant's plans for completing the 
28clinical fellowship and must be accompanied by an application 
29fee determined by the board. A provisional license issued 
30under this section shall be valid for a maximum of 18 months 

1and may be renewed one time. The purpose of the provisional 
2license is solely to allow individuals to practice audiology 
3under appropriate supervision while completing the 
4postgraduate professional experience required for 
5certification under section 7(b)(2). A person holding a 
6provisional license is authorized to practice audiology only 
7while working under the supervision of a person fully 
8licensed in this Commonwealth in accordance with this act.

9(2)  Any person who is qualified by education, training
10and clinical experience by completing all educational
11requirements, including the externship of an Au.D. Program
12may hold a provisional license, provided that the provisional
13license shall only be valid for six months from the time of
14application for the permanent license.

15(3)  A person holding a valid license in another state to 
16practice audiology and who has applied for a license in this 
17Commonwealth under the provisions of this act may practice 
18audiology while working under the supervision of a person 
19fully licensed in this Commonwealth for not more than 90 days 
20while awaiting approval of the license application.

21Section 8.  Application and fees.

22(a)  Fee.--An application for [examination and] license shall
23be accompanied by a nonrefundable application [and examination]
24fee in an amount established by the board by regulation and
25shall be subject to review in accordance with the act of June
2625, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the Regulatory Review Act.
27If the revenues generated by fees, fines and civil penalties
28imposed in accordance with the provisions of this act are not
29sufficient to match expenditures over a two-year period, the
30board shall increase those fees by regulation, subject to review

1in accordance with the Regulatory Review Act, such that the
2projected revenues will meet or exceed projected expenditures.
3If the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs
4determines that fees established by the board are inadequate to
5meet the minimum enforcement efforts required, then the bureau,
6after consultation with the board, shall increase the fees by
7regulation, subject to review in accordance with the Regulatory
8Review Act, such that adequate revenues are raised to meet the
9required enforcement effort.

10(b)  Affidavit.--Each application shall be accompanied by an
11affidavit or affirmation of the applicant as to its verity. Any
12applicant who knowingly or willfully makes a false statement in
13his application shall be subject to prosecution for perjury.

14(c)  Examinations.--The board shall offer at least two
15examinations for licensure each year. Notice of examinations
16shall be given at least 60 days prior to their administration.

17(d)  Record of examination scores.--The board shall maintain
18a permanent record of all examination scores.

19(e)  Disposition and use of fees.--Fees shall be collected by
20the board through the Bureau of Professional and Occupational
21Affairs and shall be paid into the Professional Licensure
22Augmentation Account established pursuant to and for use in
23accordance with the act of July 1, 1978 (P.L.700, No.124), known
24as the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs Fee Act.

25Section 4.  Section 9 of the act is repealed:

26[Section 9.  Examinations.

27(a)  Preparation of examinations.--All written examinations
28shall be prepared and administered by a qualified professional
29testing organization under contract with the Bureau of
30Professional and Occupational Affairs and approved by the board,

1except that national uniform examinations or grading services or
2both shall be used if available. No board member shall have a
3financial interest in a professional testing organization. This
4section shall not apply to any oral, practical or other
5nonwritten examination which may be required by the board.

6(b)  Cost of examinations.--The purpose of the examination
7fee which is to be established in accordance with section 8(a)
8is to insure that the applicant's fees cover the entire cost of
9the examination and administration. Cost is all contractual
10charges relating to the preparing, administering, grading and
11recording of the examination.]

12Section 5.  Section 10 of the act is amended by adding a
13paragraph to read:

14Section 10.  Refusal to issue; revocation; etc.

15The board may refuse to issue and may suspend or revoke a
16license of any person or applicant by a vote of at least a
17majority of the members of the board for any of the following
18reasons:

19* * *

20(7)  The audiologist is unable to practice his profession 
21with reasonable skill and safety because of illness, 
22drunkenness, excessive use of controlled substances, 
23chemicals or other types of materials or as the result of a 
24mental or physical condition. In enforcing this paragraph, 
25the board shall, upon probable cause, have the authority to 
26compel a licensee to submit to a mental or physical 
27examination as designated by the board. After notice, 
28hearing, adjudication and appeal as provided for in section 
2911, failure of a licensee to submit to such examination when 
30directed shall constitute an admission of the allegations 

1against him unless failure is due to circumstances beyond his 
2control, consequent upon which a default and final order may 
3be entered without the taking of testimony or presentation of 
4evidence. A licensee affected under this paragraph shall at 
5reasonable intervals be afforded an opportunity to 
6demonstrate that he or she can resume a competent practice of 
7audiology with reasonable skill and safety to patients.

8Section 6.  Sections 12 and 14 of the act are amended to
9read:

10Section 12.  Requirement of a medical examination.

11[(a)  Medical examination.--Before an audiologist initiates
12aural rehabilitation for an individual, there shall be a medical
13examination verifying that there are no diseases of the ear
14requiring medical or surgical treatment.

15(b)  Waiver.--This section does not apply if an individual
16signs a written waiver as set forth in this section. The waiver
17must be read and explained in such a manner that the individual
18will be thoroughly aware of the consequences of signing the
19waiver. The waiver form shall read as follows:

20I have been advised by (audiologist's name) that the
21Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has determined that my best health
22interest would be served if I had a medical examination by a
23licensed physician before the initiation of aural
24rehabilitation. I do not wish a medical examination before the
25initiation of aural rehabilitation.

26______________________________

27Signature                 Date]

28An audiologist shall refer patients who present with 
29suspected medical conditions beyond the scope of practice under 
30this act for medical evaluation to an appropriate physician 

1within 30 days.

2Section 14.  [Limitation of renewal time; new license] Continued 
3competency.

4[Any person who fails to renew his license within five years
5after the date of its expiration may not renew it, and it may
6not be restored, reissued or reinstated thereafter, but the
7person may apply for and obtain a new license if he meets the
8requirements of this act] A renewal of a license shall not be 
9granted more than five years after its expiration. A license 
10shall be renewed after the five-year period only after a 
11licensee has assured continued competency to practice audiology 
12in accordance with regulations established by the board.

13Section 7.  The act is amended by adding a section to read:

14Section 16.1.  Title.

15A licensed audiologist who holds a doctoral degree in
16audiology or a related field may use the title "Doctor" or "Dr."
17on written materials only if the earned doctoral designation
18abbreviation accompanies the licensee's name. A licensee who is
19not also licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in this
20Commonwealth may not attach to his name or use as a title the
21words or abbreviations "Doctor" or "Dr." in contravention of
22this section, "M.D.," "physician," "surgeon," "D.O." or any word
23or abbreviation that suggests that the licensee practices
24medicine or osteopathy.

25Section 8.  Sections 18 and 19 of the act are amended to
26read:

27Section 18.  Penalties.

28(a)  Whoever violates any provision of this act is guilty of
29a misdemeanor, shall be prosecuted by the board or its agents
30and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not

1more than six months or to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor
2more than $1,000, or both. Each violation shall be deemed a
3separate offense. Fines collected under the provisions of this
4act shall be paid into the State Treasury for the use of the
5Commonwealth.

6(b)  In addition to any other civil remedy or criminal
7penalty provided for in this act, the board, by a vote of the
8majority of the maximum number of the authorized membership of
9the board as provided by law, may levy a civil penalty of up to
10$10,000 on any current licensee who violates any provision of
11this act, or on any person who practices as a speech-language
12pathologist or audiologist or holds himself forth as a speech-
13language pathologist or audiologist without being properly
14licensed to do so under this act. The board shall levy this
15penalty only after affording the accused party the opportunity
16for a hearing as provided in 2 Pa.C.S. (relating to
17administrative law and procedure).

18Section 19.  Injunction against unlawful practice.

19[After 12 months from the effective date of this act, it] It
20shall be unlawful for any person to practice or attempt to offer
21to practice audiology[,] or speech-language pathology [or
22teaching the hearing impaired] without holding a valid unrevoked
23and unsuspended license issued under this act. The unlawful
24practice of audiology[,] or speech-language pathology [or
25teaching the hearing impaired] may be enjoined by the courts on
26petition of the board or its agents. In any proceeding it shall
27not be necessary to show that any person is individually injured
28by the complained of actions. If the respondent is found guilty
29of the unlawful practice, the court shall enjoin him from
30practicing until he has been duly licensed. Procedure in these

1cases shall be the same as in any other injunction suit. The
2remedy by injunction is in addition to criminal prosecution and
3punishment.

4Section 9.  Section 20 of the act is repealed:

5[Section 20.  Appropriation.

6The sum of $75,000, or as much thereof as may be necessary,
7is hereby appropriated from the Professional Licensure
8Augmentation Account within the General Fund to the Bureau of
9Professional and Occupational Affairs in the Department of State
10for the establishment and operation of the State Board of
11Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing. The appropriation
12granted shall be repaid by the board within three years of the
13beginning of issuance of licenses by the board.]

14Section 10.  Within 30 days of the effective date of this
15section, the State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language
16Pathology and Audiology shall meet and reorganize in such a
17manner that the board position of teacher of the hearing
18impaired and the board position of physician who is not an 
19otolaryngologist are abolished.

20Section 11.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

 

See other bills
under the
same topic