§ 2-3A-01. Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact
West's Annotated Code of MarylandHealth OccupationsEffective: October 1, 2021
Effective: October 1, 2021
MD Code, Health Occupations, § 2-3A-01
§ 2-3A-01. Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact
The Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact is enacted into law and entered into with all other states legally joining in it in the form substantially as it appears in this section as follows:
SECTION 1. PURPOSE
The purpose of this Compact is to facilitate interstate practice of audiology and speech-language pathology with the goal of improving public access to audiology and speech-language pathology services. The practice of audiology and speech-language pathology occurs in the state where the patient is located at the time of the patient encounter. The Compact preserves the regulatory authority of states to protect public health and safety through the current system of state licensure. This Compact is designed to achieve the following objectives:
SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS
As used in this Compact, and except as otherwise provided, the following definitions shall apply:
(b) “Adverse action” means any administrative, civil, equitable, or criminal action authorized by a state's laws that is imposed by a licensing board or other authority against an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist, including actions against an individual's license or privilege to practice such as revocation, suspension, probation, monitoring of the licensee, or restriction on the licensee's practice.
(h) “Compact privilege” means the authorization granted by a remote state to allow a licensee from another member state to practice as an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist in the remote state under its laws and rules. The practice of audiology or speech-language pathology occurs in the member state where the patient is located at the time of the patient encounter.
(i) “Current significant investigative information” means investigative information that a licensing board, after an inquiry or investigation that includes notification and an opportunity for the audiologist or speech-language pathologist to respond, if required by state law, has reason to believe is not groundless and, if proved true, would indicate more than a minor infraction.
SECTION 3. STATE PARTICIPATION IN THE COMPACT
(a) A license issued to an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist by a home state to a resident in that state shall be recognized by each member state as authorizing an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist to practice audiology or speech-language pathology, under a privilege to practice, in each member state where the licensee obtains such a privilege.
(b)(1) A state must implement or use procedures for considering the criminal history records of applicants for initial privilege to practice. These procedures shall include the submission of fingerprints or other biometric-based information by applicants for the purpose of obtaining an applicant's criminal history record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the agency responsible for retaining that state's criminal records.
(3) Communication between a member state and the Commission, and among member states regarding the verification of eligibility for licensure through the Compact may not include any information received from the Federal Bureau of Investigation relating to a federal criminal records check performed by a member state under Public Law 92-544.
(c) On application for a privilege to practice, the licensing board in the issuing remote state shall ascertain, through the data system, whether the applicant has ever held, or is the holder of, a license issued by any other state, whether there are any encumbrances on any license or privilege to practice held by the applicant, and whether any adverse action has been taken against any license or privilege to practice held by the applicant.
(i) On or before December 31, 2007, have graduated with a master's degree or doctorate in audiology, or equivalent degree regardless of degree name, from a program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or its successor, or by the United States Department of Education and operated by a college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by a state licensing board;
(ii) On or after January 1, 2008, have graduated with a doctoral degree in audiology, or equivalent degree, regardless of degree name, from a program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or its successor, or by the United States Department of Education and operated by a college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by a state licensing board; or
(i) Have graduated with a master's degree from a speech-language pathology program that is accredited by an organization recognized by the United States Department of Education and operated by a college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by a licensing board; or
(h) An audiologist or a speech-language pathologist practicing in a member state must comply with the state practice laws of the state in which the patient is located at the time service is provided. The practice of audiology and speech-language pathology shall include all audiology and speech-language pathology practice as defined by the state practice laws of the member state in which the patient is located. The practice of audiology and speech-language pathology in a member state under a privilege to practice shall subject an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist to the jurisdiction of the licensing board, the courts, and the laws of the member state in which the patient is located at the time service is provided.
(i) Individuals not residing in a member state shall continue to be able to apply for a member state's single-state license as provided under the laws of each member state. However, the single-state license granted to these individuals may not be recognized as granting the privilege to practice audiology or speech-language pathology in any other member state. Nothing in this Compact shall affect the requirements established by a member state for the issuance of a single-state license.
SECTION 4. COMPACT PRIVILEGE
(c) Except as provided in Section 6, if an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist changes primary state of residence by moving between two member states, the audiologist or speech-language pathologist must apply for licensure in the new home state, and the license issued by the prior home state shall be deactivated in accordance with applicable rules adopted by the Commission.
(f) If an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist changes primary state of residence by moving from a member state to a nonmember state, the license issued by the prior home state shall convert to a single-state license, valid only in the former home state, and the Compact privilege in any member state is deactivated in accordance with rules adopted by the Commission.
(i) A licensee providing audiology or speech-language pathology services in a remote state is subject to the regulatory authority of that state. A remote state may, in accordance with due process and the laws of that state, remove a licensee's Compact privilege in the remote state for a specific period of time, impose fines, or take any other necessary actions to protect the health and safety of its citizens.
SECTION 5. COMPACT PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE TELEHEALTH
(a) Member states shall recognize the right of an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist, licensed by a home state in accordance with Section 3 and under rules promulgated by the Commission, to practice audiology or speech-language pathology in any member state via telehealth under a privilege to practice as provided in the Compact and rules promulgated by the Commission.
SECTION 6. ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL OR THEIR SPOUSES
Active duty military personnel, or their spouses, shall designate a home state where the individual has a current license in good standing. The individual may retain the home state designation during the period the service member is on active duty. Subsequent to designating a home state, the individual shall change the home state of the individual only through application for licensure in the new state.
SECTION 7. ADVERSE ACTIONS
(2) Subpoenas issued by a licensing board in a member state for the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of evidence from another member state shall be enforced in the latter state by any court of competent jurisdiction, according to the practice and procedure of that court applicable to subpoenas issued in proceedings pending before it. The issuing authority shall pay any witness fees, travel expenses, mileage, and other fees required by the service statutes of the state in which the witnesses or evidence are located.
(b) For purposes of taking adverse action, the home state shall give the same priority and effect to reported conduct received from a member state as it would if the conduct had occurred within the home state. In so doing, the home state shall apply its own state laws to determine appropriate action.
(c) The home state shall complete any pending investigations of an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist who changes primary state of residence during the course of the investigations. The home state shall also have the authority to take appropriate action and shall promptly report the conclusions of the investigations to the administrator of the data system. The administrator of the data system shall promptly notify the new home state of any adverse actions.
(g) If adverse action is taken by the home state against an audiologist's or a speech-language pathologist's license, the audiologist's or speech-language pathologist's privilege to practice in all other member states shall be deactivated until all encumbrances have been removed from the state license. All home state disciplinary orders that impose adverse action against an audiologist's or a speech-language pathologist's license shall include a statement that the audiologist's or speech-language pathologist's privilege to practice is deactivated in all member states during the pendency of the order.
(h) If a member state takes adverse action against a licensee, it shall promptly notify the administrator of the data system. The administrator of the data system shall promptly notify the home state, and any remote state in which the licensee has a privilege to practice, of any adverse actions by the home state or remote states.
SECTION 8. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY COMPACT COMMISSION
(3) Venue is proper and judicial proceedings by or against the Commission shall be brought solely and exclusively in a court of competent jurisdiction where the principal office of the Commission is located. The Commission may waive venue and jurisdictional defenses to the extent it adopts or consents to participate in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
(10) Hire employees, elect or appoint officers, fix compensation, define duties, grant individuals appropriate authority to carry out the purposes of the Compact, and establish the Commission's personnel policies and programs relating to conflicts of interest, qualifications of personnel, and other related personnel matters;
(7) The Commission shall keep minutes that fully and clearly describe all matters discussed in a meeting and shall provide a full and accurate summary of actions taken, and the reasons therefore, including a description of the views expressed. All documents considered in connection with an action shall be identified in minutes. All minutes and documents of a closed meeting shall remain under seal, subject to release by a majority vote of the Commission or order of a court of competent jurisdiction. All minutes and documents of meetings other than a closed meeting shall be made available to members of the public upon request at the requesting person's expense.
(iii) The Commission may levy on and collect an annual assessment from each member state or impose fees on other parties to cover the cost of the operations and activities of the Commission and its staff, which must be in a total amount sufficient to cover its annual budget as approved each year for which revenue is not provided by other sources. The aggregate annual assessment amount shall be allocated based on a formula to be determined by the Commission, which shall promulgate a rule binding on all member states.
(10) The Commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the Commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the Commission shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant, and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the Commission.
(g)(1) The members, officers, executive director, employees, and representatives of the Commission shall be immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for any claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or other civil liability caused by or arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to protect any person from suit or liability for any damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional or willful or wanton misconduct of that person.
(2) The Commission shall defend any member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the Commission in any civil action seeking to impose liability arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit that person from retaining his or her own counsel, and provided further, that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from that person's intentional or willful or wanton misconduct.
(3) The Commission shall indemnify and hold harmless any member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the Commission for the amount of any settlement or judgment obtained against that person arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from the intentional or willful or wanton misconduct of that person.
SECTION 9. DATA SYSTEM
SECTION 10. RULEMAKING
(l) On determination that an emergency exists, the Commission may consider and adopt an emergency rule without prior notice, opportunity for comment, or hearing, provided that the usual rulemaking procedures provided in the Compact and in this section shall be retroactively applied to the rule as soon as reasonably possible, in no event later than 90 days after the effective date of the rule. For the purposes of this provision, an emergency rule is one that must be adopted immediately in order to:
(m) The Commission or an authorized committee of the Commission may direct revisions to a previously adopted rule or amendment for purposes of correcting typographical errors, errors in format, errors in consistency, or grammatical errors. Public notice of any revisions shall be posted on the website of the Commission. The revision shall be subject to challenge by any person for a period of 30 days after posting. The revision may be challenged only on grounds that the revision results in a material change to a rule. A challenge shall be made in writing and delivered to the chair of the Commission prior to the end of the notice period. If no challenge is made, the revision shall take effect without further action. If the revision is challenged, the revision may not take effect without the approval of the Commission.
SECTION 11. OVERSIGHT, DISPUTE RESOLUTION, AND ENFORCEMENT
(2) By majority vote, the Commission may initiate legal action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or the federal district where the Commission has its principal offices against a member state in default to enforce compliance with the provisions of the Compact and its promulgated rules and bylaws. The relief sought may include both injunctive relief and damages. In the event judicial enforcement is necessary, the prevailing member shall be awarded all costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees.
SECTION 12. DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY INTERSTATE COMPACT AND ASSOCIATED RULES, WITHDRAWAL, AND AMENDMENT
(a) The Compact shall come into effect on the date on which the Compact statute is enacted into law in the 10th member state. The provisions, which become effective at that time, shall be limited to the powers granted to the Commission relating to assembly and the promulgation of rules. Thereafter, the Commission shall meet and exercise rulemaking powers necessary to the implementation and administration of the Compact.
(b) Any state that joins the Compact subsequent to the initial adoption of the rules by the Commission shall be subject to the rules as they exist on the date on which the Compact becomes law in that state. Any rule that has been previously adopted by the Commission shall have the full force and effect of law on the day the Compact becomes law in that state.
SECTION 13. CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY
This Compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this Compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of this Compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any member state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this Compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this Compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any member state, the Compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining member states and in full force and effect as to the member state affected as to all severable matters.
SECTION 14. BINDING EFFECT OF COMPACT AND OTHER LAWS
Added by Acts 2021, c. 158, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2021. Amended by Acts 2022, c. 135, § 5.
MD Code, Health Occupations, § 2-3A-01, MD HEALTH OCCUP § 2-3A-01
Current through all legislation from the 2022 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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