DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Division of Professional Regulation

3700 Board of Examiners of Speech/Language Pathologists, Audiologists & Hearing Aid Dispensers

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 24 DELAWARE CODE, SECTION 3706(A)(1) (24 DEL.C. §3706(A)(1))

24 DE ADMIN. CODE 3700

PROPOSED

PUBLIC NOTICE

The Delaware Board of Speech/Language Pathologists, Audiologists, and Hearing Aid Dispensers, in accordance with 24 Del.C. §3706(a)(1) has proposed changes to its rules and regulations. Rule 9.3.1.8 is modified to require disclaimers or limitations in advertising to be clear and conspicuous and at least one half the type size used in the offer.

A public hearing will be held at 2:00 p.m. on January 11, 2006 in the second floor conference room B of the Cannon Building, 861 Silver Lake Boulevard, Dover, Delaware where members of the public can offer comments. Anyone wishing to receive a copy of the proposed rules and regulations may obtain a copy from the Delaware Board of Speech/Language Pathologists, Audiologists, and Hearing Aid Dispensers, 861 Silver Lake Blvd, Cannon Building, Suite 203, Dover DE 19904. Persons wishing to submit written comments may forward these to the Board at the above address. The final date to receive written comments will be at the public hearing.

The Board will consider promulgating the proposed regulations at its regularly scheduled meeting following the public hearing.

9.0 Code of Ethics for Speech-Language Pathologists, Audiologists, and Hearing Aid Dispensers

9.1 PREAMBLE. The preservation of the highest standards of conduct and integrity is vital to achieving the statutory declaration of objectives in 24 Del.C. §3701. Adopting a code of ethics by regulation puts licensees on notice of the kinds of activity that violate the level of care and protection to which the clients are entitled. The provisions are not intended to be all-inclusive but rather they should serve as examples of obligations that must be satisfied to maintain minimum standards.

9.2 Standards of Professional Conduct

9.2.1 A licensee who violates the following Standards of Professional Conduct may be guilty of illegal, negligent, or incompetent practice and disciplined pursuant to 24 Del.C. §3715(a)(2).

9.2.1.1 Licensees shall provide all services competently. Competent service refers to the use of reasonable care and diligence ordinarily employed by similarly licensed individuals.

9.2.1.2 Licensees shall use every resource, including referral, to provide quality service.

9.2.1.3 Licensees shall maintain reasonable documentation of professional services rendered.

9.2.1.4 Licensees shall not evaluate or treat a client with speech, language, or hearing disorders solely by correspondence. Correspondence includes telecommunication.

9.2.1.5 Licensees shall delegate responsibility only to qualified individuals as permitted by law with appropriate supervision.

9.2.1.6 Licensees who have evidence that a practitioner has violated the Code of Ethics or other law or regulation shall present that information by complaint to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation.

9.3 Standards of Professional Integrity.

9.3.1 A licensee who violates the following Standards of Professional Integrity may be guilty of consumer fraud, deception, restraint of competition, or price-fixing and disciplined pursuant to 24 Del.C. §3715(a)(6).

9.3.1.1 Licensees shall not charge for services not rendered nor misrepresent the services or products dispensed.

9.3.1.2 Licensees shall inform clients of the nature and possible effects of services. Care must be taken to speak to a client in lay terms that he or she can understand.

9.3.1.3 Licensees may use clients in research or as subjects of teaching demonstrations only with their informed consent. An informed consent must be explained and written in lay terms.

9.3.1.4 Licensees shall inform clients in any matter where there is or may be a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest may be found when a client is steered to a particular provider by one with an expectation of financial gain (kickbacks) or a provider is involved in double dipping by providing services in a private practice that he or she is obligated to provide though public employment (double-dipping).

9.3.1.5 Licensees shall make no guarantees of the results of any product or procedure but may make a reasonable statement of prognosis.

9.3.1.6 Licensees shall provide services or dispense products only when benefits can reasonably be expected.

9.3.1.7 Licensees shall not engage in misrepresentation, dishonesty, fraud, or deceit. Misrepresentation includes statements likely to mislead or an omission of material information.

9.3.1.8 Licensees who advertise shall provide information in a truthful manner that is direct and not likely to mislead the public. Any written disclaimer or condition that limits or modifies an offer of services or merchandise must be provided in a clear and conspicuous manner in a type size that is at least one-half the size of the type used in making the offer of services or merchandise

9.3.2 A licensee who violates the following Standards of Professional Integrity may be guilty of misrepresentation, impersonation, or facilitating unlawful practice and disciplined pursuant to 24 Del.C. §3715(a)(1).

9.3.2.1 Licensees shall accurately represent any credentials, education, and experience to the public.

9.3.2.2 A licensee who has evidence that an individual is practicing the profession without a license in violation of 24 Del.C. §3707 has a duty to report that information to the Division of Professional Regulation.

9.4 Miscellaneous Professional Standards

9.4.1 A licensee who violates the following Professional Standards may be subject to disciplinary action under 24 Del.C. §3715(a)(7)

9.4.1.1 Licensees shall respect the privacy of clients and not reveal, written authorization, any professional or personal information unless required by law.

9.4.1.2 Licensees shall not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

9.4.1.3 Licensees shall offer services and products on their merits and should refrain from making disparaging comments about competing practitioners or their services and products.

8 DE Reg. 1106 (2/1/05)

*Please Note: As the rest of the sections were not amended they are not being published. A complete set of the rules and regulations for the Board of Speech/Language Pathologists, Audiologists, and Hearing Aid Dispensers is available at:

http://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/speechaudio/index.shtml

9 DE Reg. 964 (12/01/05)