2023 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representative Roberson
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-58-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THE DEFINITION OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE; TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST; TO EXTEND THE DATE OF REPEAL ON THE SECTION; TO AMEND SECTION 41-58-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXTEND THE DATE OF REPEAL ON THE SECTION; TO AMEND SECTION 41-58-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXTEND THE DATE OF REPEAL ON THE SECTION; TO ENACT INTO LAW THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY LICENSURE COMPACT AND PROVIDE THAT THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI ENTERS THE COMPACT WITH OTHER STATES THAT JOIN IN THE COMPACT; TO AMEND SECTIONS 73-24-3, 73-24-7, 73-24-9, 73-24-15, 73-24-17, 73-24-19, 73-24-23, 73-24-24, 73-24-25, 73-24-27 AND 73-24-29, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 41-58-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-58-1. As used in this chapter:
(a) "Department" means the Mississippi State Department of Health.
(b) "Licensed practitioner" means a person licensed or otherwise authorized by law to practice medicine, dentistry, chiropractic, osteopathy or podiatry, or a licensed nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
(c) "Ionizing radiation" means x-rays and gamma rays, alpha and beta particles, high-speed electrons, neutrons and other nuclear particles.
(d) "X-radiation" means penetrating electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths shorter than ten (10) nanometers produced by bombarding a metallic target with fast electrons in a vacuum.
(e) "Supervision" means responsibility for, and control of, quality radiation safety and protection, and technical aspects of the application of ionizing radiation to human beings for diagnostic and/or therapeutic purposes.
(f) "Medical radiation technology" means the science and art of applying ionizing radiation to human beings for diagnostic and/or therapeutic purposes. The four (4) specialized disciplines of medical radiation technology are diagnostic radiologic technology, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy and limited x-ray machine operator.
(g) "Radiologic technologist" means a person other than a licensed practitioner who has passed a national certification examination recognized by the department such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists examination or its equivalent, who applies x-radiation or ionizing radiation to any part of the human body for diagnostic purposes and includes the administration of parenteral and enteral contrast media and administration of other medications or procedures incidental to radiologic examinations.
(h) "Nuclear medicine" means the discipline of performing in vivo imaging and measurement procedures and in vitro nonimaging laboratory studies, preparing radiopharmaceuticals and administering diagnostic/therapeutic doses of radiopharmaceuticals and other medications or procedures incidental for nuclear medicine exams to human beings while under the supervision of a licensed practitioner who is authorized to use radioactive material.
( * * *
i) "Nuclear medicine technologist"
means a person other than a licensed practitioner who has passed a national
certification examination recognized by the department such as the American
Registry of Radiologic Technologists examination * * * , the Nuclear Medicine Technology
Certification Board examination or * * * their equivalent, * * * and who has registered with
the department to perform nuclear medicine. A * * * registered nuclear medicine
technologist * * *
may perform * * * computed
tomography or magnetic resonance imaging only for the purposes of anatomical location
and attenuation correction, provided that this limitation does not apply to persons
registered by the department to perform nuclear medicine * * * who are also certified
in radiography, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging by the
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, the Nuclear Medicine Technology
Certification Board, or * * * other CT certifying body their equivalent. * * *
( * * *
j) "Radiation therapist"
means a person other than a licensed practitioner who has passed a national
certification examination recognized by the department such as the American
Registry of Radiologic Technologists examination or its equivalent, who applies
x-radiation and the ionizing radiation emitted from particle accelerators,
cobalt sixty (60) units and sealed sources of radioactive material to human
beings for therapeutic purposes while under the supervision of a licensed
radiation oncologist or a board-certified radiologist who is licensed to
possess and use radioactive material.
( * * *
k) "Limited x-ray machine operator"
means a person other than a licensed practitioner or radiologic technologist
who is issued a permit by the State Board of Medical Licensure to perform
medical radiation technology limited to specific radiographic procedures on
certain parts of the human anatomy, specifically the chest, abdomen and skeletal
structures, and excluding fluoroscopic, both stationary and mobile (C-arm), and
contrast studies, computed tomography, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy
studies and mammography.
( * * *
l) "Council" means the
Medical Radiation Advisory Council created under Section 41-58-3.
This section shall stand
repealed on July 1, * * *
SECTION 2. Section 41-58-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-58-3. (1) The department shall have full authority to adopt such rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of this state as may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of this chapter, and may amend or repeal the same as may be necessary for such purposes.
(2) There shall be established a Medical Radiation Advisory Council to be appointed as provided in this section. The council shall consist of ten (10) members as follows:
(a) One (1) radiologist who is an active practitioner and member of the Mississippi Radiological Society;
(b) One (1) licensed family physician;
(c) One (1) licensed practitioner;
(d) Two (2) registered radiologic technologists;
(e) One (1) nuclear medicine technologist;
(f) One (1) radiation therapist;
(g) One (1) radiation physicist;
(h) One (1) hospital administrator; and
(i) The State Health Officer, or his designee, who shall serve as ex officio chairman with no voting authority.
(3) The department shall, following the recommendations from the appropriate professional state societies and organizations, including the Mississippi Radiological Society, the Mississippi Society of Radiologic Technologists, and the Mississippi State Nuclear Medicine Society, and other nominations that may be received from whatever source, appoint the members of the council as soon as possible after April 13, 1996. Any person serving on the council who is a practitioner of a profession or occupation required to be licensed, credentialed or certified in the state shall be a holder of an appropriate license, credential or certificate issued by the state. All members of the council shall be residents of the State of Mississippi. The council shall promulgate such rules and regulations by which it shall conduct its business. Members of the council shall receive no salary for services performed on the council but may be reimbursed for their reasonable and necessary actual expenses incurred in the performance of the same, from funds provided for such purpose. The council shall assist and advise the department in the development of regulations and standards to effectuate the provisions of this chapter.
(4) A radiologic technologist, nuclear medicine technologist or radiation therapist shall not apply ionizing or x-radiation or administer radiopharmaceuticals to a human being or otherwise engage in the practice of medical radiation technology unless the person possesses a valid registration issued by the department under the provisions of this chapter.
(5) The department may issue a temporary registration to practice a specialty of medical radiation technology to any applicant who has completed an approved program, who has complied with the provisions of this chapter, and is awaiting examination for that specialty. This registration shall convey the same rights as the registration for which the applicant is awaiting examination and shall be valid for one (1) six-month period.
(6) The department may charge a registration fee of not more than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) biennially to each person to whom it issues a registration under the provisions of this chapter. Any increase in the fee charged by the department under this subsection shall be in accordance with the provisions of Section 41-3-65.
(7) Registration with the department is not required for:
(a) A student enrolled in and participating in an accredited course of study approved by the department for diagnostic radiologic technology, nuclear medicine technology or radiation therapy, who as a part of his clinical course of study applies ionizing radiation to a human being while under the supervision of a licensed practitioner, registered radiologic technologist, registered nuclear medicine technologist or registered radiation therapist;
(b) Laboratory personnel who use radiopharmaceuticals for in vitro studies;
(c) A dental hygienist or a dental assistant who is not a radiologic technologist, nuclear medicine technologist or radiation therapist, who possesses a radiology permit issued by the Board of Dental Examiners and applies ionizing radiation under the specific direction of a licensed dentist;
(d) A chiropractic assistant who is not a radiologic technologist, nuclear medicine technologist or radiation therapist, who possesses a radiology permit issued by the Board of Chiropractic Examiners and applies ionizing radiation under the specific direction of a licensed chiropractor;
(e) An individual who is permitted as a limited x-ray machine operator by the State Board of Medical Licensure and applies ionizing radiation in a physician's office, radiology clinic or a licensed hospital in Mississippi under the specific direction of a licensed practitioner; and
(f) A student enrolled in and participating in an accredited course of study for diagnostic radiologic technology, nuclear medicine technology or radiation therapy and is employed by a physician's office, radiology clinic or a licensed hospital in Mississippi and applies ionizing radiation under the specific direction of a licensed practitioner.
(8) Nothing in this chapter is intended to limit, preclude, or otherwise interfere with the practices of a licensed practitioner who is duly licensed or registered by the appropriate agency of the State of Mississippi, provided that the agency specifically recognizes that the procedures covered by this chapter are within the scope of practice of the licensee or registrant.
(9) (a) If any radiologic technologist, nuclear medicine technologist or radiation therapist violates any provision of this chapter or the regulations adopted by the department, the department shall suspend or revoke the registration and practice privileges of the person or issue other disciplinary actions in accordance with statutory procedures and rules and regulations of the department.
(b) If any person violates any provision of this chapter, the department shall issue a written warning to the licensed practitioner or medical institution that employs the person; and if that person violates any provision of this chapter again within three (3) years after the first violation, the department may suspend or revoke the permit or registration for the x-radiation and ionizing equipment of the licensed practitioner or medical institution that employs the person, in accordance with statutory procedures and rules and regulations of the department regarding suspension and revocation of those permits or registrations.
(10) This section shall
stand repealed on July 1, * * *
SECTION 3. Section 41-58-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-58-5. (1) Each registered radiologic technologist, registered nuclear medicine technologist and registered radiation therapist shall submit evidence to the department of completing twenty-four (24) hours of continuing education in a two-year period as described in the rules and regulations of the department.
(2) Each limited x-ray machine operator who is first employed to apply ionizing radiation in the State of Mississippi shall complete twelve (12) hours of education in radiologic technology, with six (6) of those hours specifically in radiation protection, not later than twelve (12) months after the date of his or her employment to apply ionizing radiation, and shall thereafter submit evidence to the State Board of Medical Licensure of completing twelve (12) hours of continuing education in a two-year period as described in the rules and regulations of the State Board of Medical Licensure. Six (6) of the continuing education hours must be in radiation protection.
(3) Each individual who is exempt from registration under paragraph (d) of Section 41-58-3(7) shall complete twelve (12) hours of continuing education in a two-year period as described in the rules and regulations of the department. Six (6) of the continuing education hours must be in radiation protection.
(4) Each individual who is exempt from registration under paragraph (d) of Section 41-58-3(7) and who is first employed to apply ionizing radiation in the State of Mississippi shall complete twelve (12) hours of education in radiologic technology, with six (6) of those hours specifically in radiation protection, not later than twelve (12) months after the date of his or her employment to apply ionizing radiation.
(5) The department shall approve training sessions that will provide the continuing education required under this section in each of the junior/community college districts in the state, with at least one (1) training session being held during each quarter of the year.
(6) The Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the State Board of Medical Licensure may charge a fee of not more than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) biennially to each individual whom the board certifies as having completed the continuing education requirements of this section.
(7) This section shall
stand repealed on July 1, * * *
SECTION 4. The Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact is enacted into law and entered into by this state with any and all states legally joining in the Compact in accordance with its terms, in the form substantially as follows:
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY LICENSURE COMPACT
The purpose of this Compact is to facilitate interstate practice of occupational therapy with the goal of improving public access to occupational therapy services. The practice of occupational therapy occurs in the state where the patient/client is located at the time of the patient/client 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:
1. Increase public access to occupational therapy services by providing for the mutual recognition of other member state licenses;
2. Enhance the states' ability to protect the public's health and safety;
3. Encourage the cooperation of member states in regulating multi-state occupational therapy practice;
4. Support spouses of relocating military members;
5. Enhance the exchange of licensure, investigative, and disciplinary information between member states;
6. Allow a remote state to hold a provider of services with a compact privilege in that state accountable to that state's practice standards; and
7. Facilitate the use of telehealth technology in order to increase access to occupational therapy services.
As used in this Compact, and except as otherwise provided, the following definitions shall apply:
1. "Active duty military" means full-time duty status in the active uniformed service of the United States, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders pursuant to 10 USC Chapter 1209 and 10 USC Chapter 1211.
2. "Adverse action" means any administrative, civil, equitable, or criminal action permitted by a state's laws which is imposed by a licensing board or other authority against an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, including actions against an individual's license or compact privilege such as censure, revocation, suspension, probation, monitoring of the licensee, or restriction on the licensee's practice.
3. "Alternative program" means a non-disciplinary monitoring process approved by an occupational therapy licensing board.
4. "Compact privilege" means the authorization, which is equivalent to a license, granted by a remote state to allow a licensee from another member state to practice as an occupational therapist or practice as an occupational therapy assistant in the remote state under its laws and rules. The practice of occupational therapy occurs in the member state where the patient/client is located at the time of the patient/client encounter.
5. "Continuing competence/education" means a requirement, as a condition of license renewal, to provide evidence of participation in, and/or completion of, educational and professional activities relevant to practice or area of work.
6. "Current significant investigative information" means investigative information that a licensing board, after an inquiry or investigation that includes notification and an opportunity for the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant 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.
7. "Data system" means a repository of information about licensees, including, but not limited to, license status, investigative information, compact privileges, and adverse actions.
8. "Encumbered license" means a license in which an adverse action restricts the practice of occupational therapy by the licensee or the adverse action has been reported to the National Practitioners Data Bank (NPDB).
9. "Executive Committee" means a group of directors elected or appointed to act on behalf of, and within the powers granted to them by, the Commission.
10. "Home state" means the member state that is the licensee's primary state of residence.
11. "Impaired practitioner" means individuals whose professional practice is adversely affected by substance abuse, addiction, or other health-related conditions.
12. "Investigative information" means information, records, and/or documents received or generated by an occupational therapy licensing board pursuant to an investigation.
13. "Jurisprudence requirement" means the assessment of an individual's knowledge of the laws and rules governing the practice of occupational therapy in a state.
14. "Licensee" means an individual who currently holds an authorization from the state to practice as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant.
15. "Member state" means a state that has enacted the Compact.
16. "Occupational therapist" means an individual who is licensed by a state to practice occupational therapy.
17. "Occupational therapy assistant" means an individual who is licensed by a state to assist in the practice of occupational therapy.
18. "Occupational therapy," "occupational therapy practice," and the "practice of occupational therapy" mean the care and services provided by an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant as set forth in the member state's statutes and regulations.
19. "Occupational Therapy Compact Commission" or "Commission" means the national administrative body whose membership consists of all states that have enacted the Compact.
20. "Occupational therapy licensing board" or "licensing board" means the agency of a state that is authorized to license and regulate occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.
21. "Primary state of residence" means the state (also known as the home state) in which an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who is not active duty military declares a primary residence for legal purposes as verified by: driver's license, federal income tax return, lease, deed, mortgage or voter registration or other verifying documentation as further defined by Commission Rules.
22. "Remote state" means a member state other than the home state, where a licensee is exercising or seeking to exercise the compact privilege.
23. "Rule" means a regulation promulgated by the Commission that has the force of law.
24. "State" means any state, commonwealth, district, or territory of the United States of America that regulates the practice of occupational therapy.
25. "Single-state license" means an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant license issued by a member state that authorizes practice only within the issuing state and does not include a compact privilege in any other member state.
26. "Telehealth" means the application of telecommunication technology to deliver occupational therapy services for assessment, intervention and/or consultation.
STATE PARTICIPATION IN THE COMPACT
A. To participate in the Compact, a member state shall:
1. License occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants;
2. Participate fully in the Commission's data system, including, but not limited to, using the Commission's unique identifier as defined in rules of the Commission;
3. Have a mechanism in place for receiving and investigating complaints about licensees;
4. Notify the Commission, in compliance with the terms of the Compact and rules, of any adverse action or the availability of investigative information regarding a licensee;
5. Implement or use procedures for considering the criminal history records of applicants for an initial compact privilege. 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;
a. A member state shall, within a time frame established by the Commission, require a criminal background check for a licensee seeking/applying for a compact privilege whose primary state of residence is that member state, by receiving the results of the Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal record search, and shall use the results in making licensure decisions.
b. Communication between a member state, the Commission and among member states regarding the verification of eligibility for licensure through the Compact shall 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.
6. Comply with the rules of the Commission;
7. Use only a recognized national examination as a requirement for licensure pursuant to the rules of the Commission; and
8. Have continuing competence/education requirements as a condition for license renewal.
B. A member state shall grant the compact privilege to a licensee holding a valid unencumbered license in another member state in accordance with the terms of the Compact and rules.
C. Member states may charge a fee for granting a compact privilege.
D. A member state shall provide for the state's delegate to attend all Occupational Therapy Compact Commission meetings.
E. 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 shall not be recognized as granting the compact privilege in any other member state.
F. Nothing in this Compact shall affect the requirements established by a member state for the issuance of a single-state license.
A. To exercise the compact privilege under the terms and provisions of the Compact, the licensee shall:
1. Hold a license in the home state;
2. Have a valid United States Social Security Number or National Practitioner Identification number;
3. Have no encumbrance on any state license;
4. Be eligible for a compact privilege in any member state in accordance with subsections D, F, G, and H of this section;
5. Have paid all fines and completed all requirements resulting from any adverse action against any license or compact privilege, and two (2) years have elapsed from the date of such completion;
6. Notify the Commission that the licensee is seeking the compact privilege within a remote state(s);
7. Pay any applicable fees, including any state fee, for the compact privilege;
8. Complete a criminal background check in accordance with subsection A.5 of Section 3 of this Compact;
a. The licensee shall be responsible for the payment of any fee associated with the completion of a criminal background check.
9. Meet any jurisprudence requirements established by the remote state(s) in which the licensee is seeking a compact privilege; and
10. Report to the Commission adverse action taken by any non-member state within thirty (30) days from the date the adverse action is taken.
B. The compact privilege is valid until the expiration date of the home state license. The licensee must comply with the requirements of subsection A of this section to maintain the compact privilege in the remote state.
C. A licensee providing occupational therapy in a remote state under the compact privilege shall function within the laws and regulations of the remote state.
D. Occupational therapy assistants practicing in a remote state shall be supervised by an occupational therapist licensed or holding a compact privilege in that remote state.
E. A licensee providing occupational therapy in a remote state is subject to that state's regulatory authority. A remote state may, in accordance with due process and that state's laws, remove a licensee's compact privilege in the remote state for a specific period of time, impose fines, and/or take any other necessary actions to protect the health and safety of its citizens. The licensee may be ineligible for a compact privilege in any state until the specific time for removal has passed and all fines are paid.
F. If a home state license is encumbered, the licensee shall lose the compact privilege in any remote state until the following occur:
1. The home state license is no longer encumbered; and
2. Two (2) years have elapsed from the date on which the home state license is no longer encumbered in accordance with paragraph 1 of this subsection F.
G. Once an encumbered license in the home state is restored to good standing, the licensee must meet the requirements of subsection A of this section to obtain a compact privilege in any remote state.
H. If a licensee's compact privilege in any remote state is removed, the individual may lose the compact privilege in any other remote state until the following occur:
1. The specific period of time for which the compact privilege was removed has ended;
2. All fines have been paid and all conditions have been met;
3. Two (2) years have elapsed from the date of completing requirements for paragraphs 1 and 2 of this subsection H; and
4. The compact privileges are reinstated by the Commission, and the compact data system is updated to reflect reinstatement.
I. If a licensee's compact privilege in any remote state is removed due to an erroneous charge, privileges shall be restored through the compact data system.
J. Once the requirements of subsection H of this section have been met, the licensee must meet the requirements in subsection A of this section to obtain a compact privilege in a remote state.
OBTAINING A NEW HOME STATE LICENSE
BY VIRTUE OF COMPACT PRIVILEGE
A. An occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant may hold a home state license, which allows for compact privileges in member states, in only one (1) member state at a time.
B. If an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant changes primary state of residence by moving between two (2) member states:
1. The occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant shall file an application for obtaining a new home state license by virtue of a compact privilege, pay all applicable fees, and notify the current and new home state in accordance with applicable rules adopted by the Commission.
2. Upon receipt of an application for obtaining a new home state license by virtue of compact privilege, the new home state shall verify that the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant meets the pertinent criteria outlined in Section 4 of this Compact via the data system, without need for primary source verification except for:
a. An FBI fingerprint based criminal background check if not previously performed or updated pursuant to applicable rules adopted by the Commission in accordance with Public Law 92-544;
b. Other criminal background check as required by the new home state; and
c. Submission of any requisite Jurisprudence Requirements of the new home state.
3. The former home state shall convert the former home state license into a compact privilege once the new home state has activated the new home state license in accordance with applicable rules adopted by the Commission.
4. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Compact, if the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant cannot meet the criteria in Section 4 of this Compact, the new home state shall apply its requirements for issuing a new single-state license.
5. The occupational therapist or the occupational therapy assistant shall pay all applicable fees to the new home state in order to be issued a new home state license.
C. If an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant changes primary state of residence by moving from a member state to a non-member state, or from a non-member state to a member state, the state criteria shall apply for issuance of a single-state license in the new state.
D. Nothing in this Compact shall interfere with a licensee's ability to hold a single-state license in multiple states; however, for the purposes of this Compact, a licensee shall have only one home state license.
E. Nothing in this Compact shall affect the requirements established by a member state for the issuance of a single-state license.
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 only change their home state through application for licensure in the new state or through the process described in Section 5 of this Compact.
A. A home state shall have exclusive power to impose adverse action against an occupational therapist's or occupational therapy assistant's license issued by the home state.
B. In addition to the other powers conferred by state law, a remote state shall have the authority, in accordance with existing state due process law, to:
1. Take adverse action against an occupational therapist's or occupational therapy assistant's compact privilege within that member state.
2. Issue subpoenas for both hearings and investigations that require the attendance and testimony of witnesses as well as the production of evidence. 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.
C. 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.
D. The home state shall complete any pending investigations of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who changes primary state of residence during the course of the investigations. The home state, where the investigations were initiated, shall also have the authority to take appropriate action(s) and shall promptly report the conclusions of the investigations to the compact data system. The administrator of the data system shall promptly notify the new home state of any adverse actions.
E. A member state, if otherwise permitted by state law, may recover from the affected occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant the costs of investigations and disposition of cases resulting from any adverse action taken against that occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
F. A member state may take adverse action based on the factual findings of the remote state, provided that the member state follows its own procedures for taking the adverse action.
G. Joint investigations.
1. In addition to the authority granted to a member state by its respective state occupational therapy laws and regulations or other applicable state law, any member state may participate with other member states in joint investigations of licensees.
2. Member states shall share any investigative, litigation, or compliance materials in furtherance of any joint or individual investigation initiated under the Compact.
H. If an adverse action is taken by the home state against an occupational therapist's or occupational therapy assistant's license, the occupational therapist's or occupational therapy assistant's compact privilege 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 occupational therapist's or occupational therapy assistant's license shall include a statement that the occupational therapist's or occupational therapy assistant's compact privilege is deactivated in all member states during the pendency of the order.
I. If a member state takes adverse action, it shall promptly notify the administrator of the data system. The administrator of the data system shall promptly notify the home state of any adverse actions by remote states.
J. Nothing in this Compact shall override a member state's decision that participation in an alternative program may be used in lieu of adverse action.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
A. The compact member states hereby create and establish a joint public agency known as the Occupational Therapy Compact Commission:
1. The Commission is an instrumentality of the compact member states.
2. 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.
3. Nothing in this Compact shall be construed to be a waiver of sovereign immunity.
B. Membership, voting, and meetings.
1. Each member state shall have and be limited to one (1) delegate selected by that member state's licensing board.
2. The delegate shall be either:
a. A current member of the licensing board, who is an occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistant, or public member; or
b. An administrator of the licensing board.
3. Any delegate may be removed or suspended from office as provided by the law of the state from which the delegate is appointed.
4. The member state board shall fill any vacancy occurring in the Commission within ninety (90) days.
5. Each delegate shall be entitled to one (1) vote with regard to the promulgation of rules and creation of bylaws and shall otherwise have an opportunity to participate in the business and affairs of the Commission. A delegate shall vote in person or by such other means as provided in the bylaws. The bylaws may provide for delegates' participation in meetings by telephone or other means of communication.
6. The Commission shall meet at least once during each calendar year. Additional meetings shall be held as set forth in the bylaws.
7. The Commission shall establish by rule a term of office for delegates.
C. The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
1. Establish a Code of Ethics for the Commission;
2. Establish the fiscal year of the Commission;
3. Establish bylaws;
4. Maintain its financial records in accordance with the bylaws;
5. Meet and take such actions as are consistent with the provisions of this Compact and the bylaws;
6. Promulgate uniform rules to facilitate and coordinate implementation and administration of this Compact. The rules shall have the force and effect of law and shall be binding in all member states;
7. Bring and prosecute legal proceedings or actions in the name of the Commission, provided that the standing of any state occupational therapy licensing board to sue or be sued under applicable law shall not be affected;
8. Purchase and maintain insurance and bonds;
9. Borrow, accept, or contract for services of personnel, including, but not limited to, employees of a member state;
10. Hire employees, elect or appoint officers, fix compensation, define duties, grant such 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;
11. Accept any and all appropriate donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services, and receive, use and dispose of the same; provided that at all times the Commission shall avoid any appearance of impropriety and/or conflict of interest;
12. Lease, purchase, accept appropriate gifts or donations of, or otherwise own, hold, improve or use, any property, real, personal or mixed; provided that at all times the Commission shall avoid any appearance of impropriety;
13. Sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property real, personal, or mixed;
14. Establish a budget and make expenditures;
15. Borrow money;
16. Appoint committees, including standing committees composed of members, state regulators, state legislators or their representatives, and consumer representatives, and such other interested persons as may be designated in this Compact and the bylaws;
17. Provide and receive information from, and cooperate with, law enforcement agencies;
18. Establish and elect an Executive Committee; and
19. Perform such other functions as may be necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this Compact consistent with the state regulation of occupational therapy licensure and practice.
D. The Executive Committee.
1. The Executive Committee shall have the power to act on behalf of the Commission according to the terms of this Compact.
2. The Executive Committee shall be composed of nine (9) members:
a. Seven (7) voting members who are elected by the Commission from the current membership of the Commission;
b. One (1) ex-officio, nonvoting member from a recognized national occupational therapy professional association; and
c. One (1) ex-officio, nonvoting member from a recognized national occupational therapy certification organization.
3. The ex-officio members will be selected by their respective organizations.
4. The Commission may remove any member of the Executive Committee as provided in bylaws.
5. The Executive Committee shall meet at least annually.
6. The Executive Committee shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
a. Recommend to the entire Commission changes to the rules or bylaws, changes to this Compact legislation, fees paid by compact member states such as annual dues, and any Commission Compact fee charged to licensees for the compact privilege;
b. Ensure compact administration services are appropriately provided, contractual or otherwise;
c. Prepare and recommend the budget;
d. Maintain financial records on behalf of the Commission;
e. Monitor compact compliance of member states and provide compliance reports to the Commission;
f. Establish additional committees as necessary; and
g. Perform other duties as provided in rules or bylaws.
E. Meetings of the Commission.
1. All meetings shall be open to the public, and public notice of meetings shall be given in the same manner as required under the rulemaking provisions in Section 10 of this Compact.
2. The Commission or the Executive Committee or other committees of the Commission may convene in a closed, non-public meeting if the Commission or Executive Committee or other committees of the Commission must discuss:
a. Non-compliance of a member state with its obligations under the Compact;
b. The employment, compensation, discipline or other matters, practices or procedures related to specific employees or other matters related to the Commission's internal personnel practices and procedures;
c. Current, threatened, or reasonably anticipated litigation;
d. Negotiation of contracts for the purchase, lease, or sale of goods, services, or real estate;
e. Accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any person;
f. Disclosure of trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential;
g. Disclosure of information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
h. Disclosure of investigative records compiled for law enforcement purposes;
i. Disclosure of information related to any investigative reports prepared by or on behalf of or for use of the Commission or other committee charged with responsibility of investigation or determination of compliance issues pursuant to the Compact; or
j. Matters specifically exempted from disclosure by federal or member state statute.
3. If a meeting, or portion of a meeting, is closed pursuant to this provision, the Commission's legal counsel or designee shall certify that the meeting may be closed and shall reference each relevant exempting provision.
4. 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 such 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.
F. Financing of the Commission.
1. The Commission shall pay, or provide for the payment of, the reasonable expenses of its establishment, organization, and ongoing activities.
2. The Commission may accept any and all appropriate revenue sources, donations, and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services.
3. 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 by the Commission each year for which revenue is not provided by other sources. The aggregate annual assessment amount shall be allocated based upon a formula to be determined by the Commission, which shall promulgate a rule binding upon all member states.
4. The Commission shall not incur obligations of any kind prior to securing the funds adequate to meet the same; nor shall the Commission pledge the credit of any of the member states, except by and with the authority of the member state.
5. 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. Qualified immunity, defense, and indemnification.
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 such person from suit and/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 such 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.
A. The Commission shall provide for the development, maintenance, and utilization of a coordinated database and reporting system containing licensure, adverse action, and investigative information on all licensed individuals in member states.
B. A member state shall submit a uniform data set to the data system on all individuals to whom this Compact is applicable (utilizing a unique identifier) as required by the rules of the Commission, including:
1. Identifying information;
2. Licensure data;
3. Adverse actions against a license or compact privilege;
4. Non-confidential information related to alternative program participation;
5. Any denial of application for licensure, and the reason(s) for such denial;
6. Other information that may facilitate the administration of this Compact, as determined by the rules of the Commission; and
7. Current significant investigative information.
C. Current significant investigative information and other investigative information pertaining to a licensee in any member state will only be available to other member states.
D. The Commission shall promptly notify all member states of any adverse action taken against a licensee or an individual applying for a license. Adverse action information pertaining to a licensee in any member state will be available to any other member state.
E. Member states contributing information to the data system may designate information that may not be shared with the public without the express permission of the contributing state.
F. Any information submitted to the data system that is subsequently required to be expunged by the laws of the member state contributing the information shall be removed from the data system.
A. The Commission shall exercise its rulemaking powers pursuant to the criteria set forth in this section and the rules adopted under this section. Rules and amendments shall become binding as of the date specified in each rule or amendment.
B. The Commission shall promulgate reasonable rules in order to effectively and efficiently achieve the purposes of the Compact. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Commission exercises its rulemaking authority in a manner that is beyond the scope of the purposes of the Compact, or the powers granted under the Compact, then such an action by the Commission shall be invalid and have no force and effect.
C. If a majority of the legislatures of the member states rejects a rule, by enactment of a statute or resolution in the same manner used to adopt the Compact within four (4) years of the date of adoption of the rule, then such rule shall have no further force and effect in any member state.
D. Rules or amendments to the rules shall be adopted at a regular or special meeting of the Commission.
E. Prior to promulgation and adoption of a final rule or rules by the Commission, and at least thirty (30) days in advance of the meeting at which the rule will be considered and voted upon, the Commission shall file a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:
1. On the website of the Commission or other publicly accessible platform; and
2. On the website of each member state occupational therapy licensing board or other publicly accessible platform or the publication in which each state would otherwise publish proposed rules.
F. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking shall include:
1. The proposed time, date, and location of the meeting in which the rule will be considered and voted upon;
2. The text of the proposed rule or amendment and the reason for the proposed rule;
3. A request for comments on the proposed rule from any interested person; and
4. The manner in which interested persons may submit notice to the Commission of their intention to attend the public hearing and any written comments.
G. Prior to adoption of a proposed rule, the Commission shall allow persons to submit written data, facts, opinions, and arguments, which shall be made available to the public.
H. The Commission shall grant an opportunity for a public hearing before it adopts a rule or amendment if a hearing is requested by:
1. At least twenty-five (25) persons;
2. A state or federal governmental subdivision or agency; or
3. An association or organization having at least twenty-five (25) members.
I. If a hearing is held on the proposed rule or amendment, the Commission shall publish the place, time, and date of the scheduled public hearing. If the hearing is held via electronic means, the Commission shall publish the mechanism for access to the electronic hearing.
1. All persons wishing to be heard at the hearing shall notify the executive director of the Commission or other designated member in writing of their desire to appear and testify at the hearing not less than five (5) business days before the scheduled date of the hearing.
2. Hearings shall be conducted in a manner providing each person who wishes to comment a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment orally or in writing.
3. All hearings will be recorded. A copy of the recording will be made available on request.
4. Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring a separate hearing on each rule. Rules may be grouped for the convenience of the Commission at hearings required by this section.
J. Following the scheduled hearing date, or by the close of business on the scheduled hearing date if the hearing was not held, the Commission shall consider all written and oral comments received.
K. If no written notice of intent to attend the public hearing by interested parties is received, the Commission may proceed with promulgation of the proposed rule without a public hearing.
L. The Commission shall, by majority vote of all members, take final action on the proposed rule and shall determine the effective date of the rule, if any, based on the rulemaking record and the full text of the rule.
M. Upon 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 ninety (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:
1. Meet an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare;
2. Prevent a loss of commission or member state funds;
3. Meet a deadline for the promulgation of an administrative rule that is established by federal law or rule; or
4. Protect public health and safety.
N. 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 thirty (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 will take effect without further action. If the revision is challenged, the revision may not take effect without the approval of the Commission.
OVERSIGHT, DISPUTE RESOLUTION, AND ENFORCEMENT
1. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government in each member state shall enforce this Compact and take all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate the Compact's purposes and intent. The provisions of this Compact and the rules promulgated under this Compact shall have standing as statutory law.
2. All courts shall take judicial notice of the Compact and the rules in any judicial or administrative proceeding in a member state pertaining to the subject matter of this Compact which may affect the powers, responsibilities, or actions of the Commission.
3. The Commission shall be entitled to receive service of process in any such proceeding, and shall have standing to intervene in such a proceeding for all purposes. Failure to provide service of process to the Commission shall render a judgment or order void as to the Commission, this Compact, or promulgated rules.
B. Default, technical assistance, and termination.
1. If the Commission determines that a member state has defaulted in the performance of its obligations or responsibilities under this Compact or the promulgated rules, the Commission shall:
a. Provide written notice to the defaulting state and other member states of the nature of the default, the proposed means of curing the default and/or any other action to be taken by the Commission; and
b. Provide remedial training and specific technical assistance regarding the default.
2. If a state in default fails to cure the default, the defaulting state may be terminated from the Compact upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the member states, and all rights, privileges and benefits conferred by this Compact may be terminated on the effective date of termination. A cure of the default does not relieve the offending state of obligations or liabilities incurred during the period of default.
3. Termination of membership in the Compact shall be imposed only after all other means of securing compliance have been exhausted. Notice of intent to suspend or terminate shall be given by the Commission to the governor, the majority and minority leaders of the defaulting state's legislature, and each of the member states.
4. A state that has been terminated is responsible for all assessments, obligations, and liabilities incurred through the effective date of termination, including obligations that extend beyond the effective date of termination.
5. The Commission shall not bear any costs related to a state that is found to be in default or that has been terminated from the Compact, unless agreed upon in writing between the Commission and the defaulting state.
6. The defaulting state may appeal the action of the Commission by petitioning the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or the federal district where the Commission has its principal offices. The prevailing member shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees.
C. Dispute resolution.
1. Upon request by a member state, the Commission shall attempt to resolve disputes related to the Compact that arise among member states and between member and non-member states.
2. The Commission shall promulgate a rule providing for both mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes as appropriate.
1. The Commission, in the reasonable exercise of its discretion, shall enforce the provisions and rules of this Compact.
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. If judicial enforcement is necessary, the prevailing member shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees.
3. The remedies herein shall not be the exclusive remedies of the Commission. The Commission may pursue any other remedies available under federal or state law.
DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PRACTICE 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 tenth 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 Commission's initial adoption of the rules 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.
C. Any member state may withdraw from this Compact by enacting a statute repealing the same.
1. A member state's withdrawal shall not take effect until six (6) months after enactment of the repealing statute.
2. Withdrawal shall not affect the continuing requirement of the withdrawing state's occupational therapy licensing board to comply with the investigative and adverse action reporting requirements of this act prior to the effective date of withdrawal.
D. Nothing contained in this Compact shall be construed to invalidate or prevent any occupational therapy licensure agreement or other cooperative arrangement between a member state and a non-member state that does not conflict with the provisions of this Compact.
E. This Compact may be amended by the member states. No amendment to this Compact shall become effective and binding upon any member state until it is enacted into the laws of all member states.
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.
BINDING EFFECT OF COMPACT AND OTHER LAWS
A. A licensee providing occupational therapy in a remote state under the compact privilege shall function within the laws and regulations of the remote state.
B. Nothing in this Compact prevents the enforcement of any other law of a member state that is not inconsistent with the Compact.
C. Any laws in a member state in conflict with the Compact are superseded to the extent of the conflict.
D. Any lawful actions of the Commission, including all rules and bylaws promulgated by the Commission, are binding upon the member states.
E. All agreements between the Commission and the member states are binding in accordance with their terms.
F. If any provision of the Compact exceeds the constitutional limits imposed on the legislature of any member state, the provision shall be ineffective to the extent of the conflict with the constitutional provision in question in that member state.
SECTION 5. Section 73-24-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-3. The following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, unless the context requires otherwise:
(a) "Association" shall mean the Mississippi Occupational Therapy Association.
(b) "Board" shall mean the Mississippi State Board of Health.
(c) "Occupational therapy" means the therapeutic use of purposeful and meaningful (goal-directed) activities and/or exercises to evaluate and treat an individual who has, or is at risk for, a disease or disorder, impairment, activity limitation or participation restriction which interferes with his or her ability to function independently in daily life roles and to promote health and wellness across his or her lifespan.
(d) "Occupational therapy intervention" includes:
(i) Remediation or restoration of performance abilities that are limited due to impairment in biological, physiological, psychological or neurological processes;
(ii) Adaptation of task, process or the environment, or the teaching of compensatory techniques in order to enhance functional performance;
(iii) Disability prevention methods and techniques which facilitate the development or safe application of functional performance skills; or
(iv) Health promotion strategies and practices which enhance functional performance abilities.
(e) "Occupational therapy service" includes, but is not limited to:
(i) Evaluating, developing, improving, sustaining or restoring skill in activities of daily living (ADLS), work or productive activities, including instrumental activities of daily living (IADLS), play and leisure activities;
(ii) Evaluating, developing, remediating or restoring physical, sensorimotor, cognitive or psychosocial components of performance;
(iii) Designing, fabricating, applying or training in the use of assistive technology or orthotic devices, and training in the use of prosthetic devices;
(iv) Adaptation of environments and processes, including the application of ergonomic principles, to enhance functional performance and safety in daily life roles;
(v) Application of physical agent modalities as an adjunct to or in preparation for engagement in an occupation or functional activity;
(vi) Evaluating and providing intervention in collaboration with the client, family, caregiver or other person responsible for the client;
(vii) Educating the client, family, caregiver or others in carrying out appropriate nonskilled interventions;
(viii) Consulting with groups, programs, organizations or communities to provide population-based services; or
(ix) Participation in administration, education and research, including both clinical and academic environments.
(f) "Occupational therapist" means a person who is licensed or holds a compact privilege to practice occupational therapy as defined in this chapter, and whose license or compact privilege is in good standing.
(g) "Occupational therapy assistant" means a person who is licensed or holds a compact privilege to assist in the practice of occupational therapy under the supervision of or with the consultation of the licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapist who holds a compact privilege, and whose license or compact privilege is in good standing.
(h) "Occupational therapy aide" means a person not licensed in the field of occupational therapy who assists occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in the practice of occupational therapy, is under the direct supervision of the licensed occupational therapist or licensed occupational therapy assistant or occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who holds a compact privilege, and whose activities require an understanding of occupational therapy.
(i) "Person" means any individual, partnership, unincorporated organization or corporate body, except that only an individual may be licensed or hold a compact privilege under this chapter.
(j) "Council" means the Mississippi Advisory Council in Occupational Therapy.
(k) "Compact privilege" means the authorization to practice as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant under the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact provided for in Section 1 of this act.
(l) "Licensee" means a person who has been issued a license to practice as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant in this state, or a person who holds a compact privilege to practice as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant in this state.
SECTION 6. Section 73-24-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-7. (1) It is unlawful for any person who is not licensed or does not hold a compact privilege under this chapter as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant, or whose license or compact privilege has been suspended or revoked, to:
(a) In any manner represent himself or herself as someone who provides occupational therapy services, or use in connection with his or her name or place of business the words "occupational therapist," "licensed occupational therapy assistant" or the letters "O.T.," "L.O.T.," "O.T.L.," "O.T.A." or "O.T.A.L." or any other words, letters, abbreviations or insignia indicating or implying that he or she is an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant or that he or she provides occupational therapy services; or
(b) To show in any way, orally, in writing, in print or by sign, directly or by implication, or to represent himself or herself as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant or someone who provides occupational therapy services.
(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for each violation.
(3) Any person who knowingly shall make a material false statement in his or her application for a license or compact privilege under this chapter or in response to any inquiry by the department or the board shall be fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or imprisoned for not less than ten (10) days nor more than sixty (60) days, or both such fine and imprisonment.
SECTION 7. Section 73-24-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-9. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as preventing or restricting the practice, services or activities of:
(a) Any person, licensed in this state by any other law, from engaging in the profession or occupation for which he or she is licensed;
(b) Any person who is employed as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant by the United States Armed Services, the United States Public Health Service, the Veteran's Administration or other federal agencies, if such person provides occupational therapy solely under the direction or control of the organization by which he or she is employed;
(c) Any person pursuing a course of study leading to a degree or certificate in occupational therapy in an accredited, recognized or approved educational program, or advanced training in a specialty area, if such activities and services constitute a part of the supervised course of study, and if such person is designated by a title which clearly indicates his or her status as a trainee or student;
(d) Any person fulfilling the supervised fieldwork experience requirements of Section 73-24-19, if such activities and services constitute a part of the experience necessary to meet the requirements of that section;
(e) Any person employed as an occupational therapy aide or who works under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapist who holds a compact privilege;
(f) Any person performing occupational therapy services in the state, if these services are performed for no more than thirty (30) days in a calendar year under the supervision of an occupational therapist who is licensed or holds a compact privilege under this chapter, if:
(i) The person is licensed under the law of another state which has licensure requirements at least as stringent as the requirements of this chapter, or
(ii) The person is certified as an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) or a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), established by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT), or its successor organization; or
(g) Any person certified by the American Board of Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics as a Certified Orthotist, C.O., Certified Prosthetist, C.P., Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist, C.P.O., or anyone working under their direct supervision.
SECTION 8. Section 73-24-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-15. (1) The administration of the provisions of this chapter shall be financed from income accruing from fees, licenses, compact privileges and charges assessed and collected by the board and from such other funds available to the board. In addition, the board shall receive and account for all funds received and shall keep such funds in a separate fund which is hereby created within the State Treasury. Funds collected under the provisions of this chapter shall be used solely for the expenses incurred in the administration of the provisions of this chapter, which may include full or partial financing of continuing professional education programs promulgated by the council under Section 73-24-29. Such funds shall be subject to audit by the State Auditor.
(2) Members of the council shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for their expenses actually incurred in the execution of their powers and duties, including mileage, as provided in Section 25-3-41 * * *.
SECTION 9. Section 73-24-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-17. (1) The board shall issue licenses and compact privileges and notices of renewal, revocation, suspension or reinstatement, and shall publish annually the names of persons who are licensed or hold a compact privilege under this chapter and the names of the persons whose licenses or compact privileges have been subjected to disciplinary action under this chapter.
(2) The board shall publish and disseminate to all licensees, in an appropriate manner, the license standards prescribed by this chapter, any amendments thereto, and such rules and regulations as the board may adopt under the authority of Section 73-24-13 within sixty (60) days of their adoption.
(3) The board shall administer the compact privilege in accordance with the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact provided for in Section 1 of this act.
SECTION 10. Section 73-24-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-19. (1) An applicant applying for a license as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant shall file a written application on forms provided by the board, showing to the satisfaction of the board that he or she meets the following requirements:
(a) Is of good moral character;
(b) Has been awarded a degree from an education program in occupational therapy recognized by the board, with a concentration of instruction in basic human sciences, the human development process, occupational tasks and activities, the health-illness-health continuum, and occupational therapy theory and practice:
(i) For an occupational therapist, such program shall be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association or the board-recognized accrediting body;
(ii) For an occupational therapy assistant, such a program shall be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association or the board-recognized accrediting body;
(c) Has successfully completed a period of supervised fieldwork experience at a recognized educational institution or a training program approved by the educational institution where he or she met the academic requirements:
(i) For an occupational therapist, the required supervised fieldwork experience shall meet current national standards that are published annually by the board;
(ii) For an occupational therapy assistant, the required supervised fieldwork experience shall meet national standards that are published annually by the board.
(2) The board shall approve an examination for occupational therapists and an examination for occupational therapy assistants that will be used as the examination for licensure.
(3) Any person applying for licensure shall, in addition to demonstrating his or her eligibility in accordance with the requirements of this section, make application to the board for review of proof of his or her eligibility for certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT), or its successor organization, on a form and in such a manner as the board shall prescribe. The application shall be accompanied by the fee fixed in accordance with the provisions of Section 73-24-29. The board shall establish standards for acceptable performance on the examination. A person who fails an examination may apply for reexamination upon payment of the prescribed fee.
(4) Applicants for licensure shall be examined at a time and place and under such supervision as the board may require. The board shall give reasonable public notice of these examinations in accordance with its rules and regulations.
(5) An applicant may be licensed as an occupational therapist if he or she: (a) has practiced as an occupational therapy assistant for four (4) years, (b) has completed the requirements of a period of six (6) months of supervised fieldwork experience at a recognized educational institution or a training program approved by a recognized accredited educational institution before January 1, 1988, and (c) has passed the examination for occupational therapists.
(6) An applicant applying for a compact privilege to practice as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant must meet the requirements set out in the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact provided for in Section 1 of this act.
( * * *
7) Each application or filing made
under this section shall include the social security number(s) of the applicant
in accordance with Section 93-11-64 * * * .
SECTION 11. Section 73-24-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-23. (1) The board shall issue a license or a compact privilege to any person who meets the requirements of this chapter and upon payment of the license fee.
(2) The board shall issue a limited permit to persons who have completed the education and experience requirements of this chapter upon payment of the limited permit fee. This permit shall allow the person to practice occupational therapy or assist in the practice of occupational therapy, as the case may be, under the supervision of an occupational therapist who holds a current license in this state and shall be valid until the date on which the results of the next qualifying examination have been made public. The limited permit can be renewed one (1) time if the applicant has failed the examination.
(3) Any person who is issued a license as an occupational therapist under this chapter may use the words "licensed occupational therapist," "occupational therapist licensed," "occupational therapist," or he or she may use the letters "L.O.T.," "O.T.L." or "O.T." in connection with his or her name or place of business to denote licensure under this chapter.
(4) Any person who is issued a license as an occupational therapy assistant under this chapter may use the words "occupational therapy assistant," "licensed occupational therapy assistant" or "occupational therapy assistant licensed," or may use the letters "O.T.A.," "L.O.T.A." or "O.T.A.L.," in connection with his or her name or place of business to denote licensure under this chapter.
SECTION 12. Section 73-24-24, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-24. (1) Licensees subject to this chapter shall conduct their activities, services and practice in accordance with this chapter and any rules promulgated pursuant hereto. Licenses and compact privileges may be subject to the exercise of the disciplinary sanction enumerated in Section 73-24-25 if the board finds that a licensee is guilty of any of the following:
(a) Negligence in the practice or performance of professional services or activities;
(b) Engaging in dishonorable, unethical or unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public in the course of professional services or activities;
(c) Perpetrating or cooperating in fraud or material deception in obtaining or renewing a license or compact privilege or attempting the same;
(d) Being convicted of any crime which has a substantial relationship to the licensee's activities and services or an essential element of which is misstatement, fraud or dishonesty;
(e) Being convicted of any crime which is a felony under the laws of this state or the United States;
(f) Engaging in or permitting the performance of unacceptable services personally or by others working under the licensee's supervision due to the licensee's deliberate or negligent act or acts or failure to act, regardless of whether actual damage or damages to the public is established;
(g) Continued practice although the licensee has become unfit to practice as an occupational therapist or occupational therapist assistant due to: (i) failure to keep abreast of current professional theory or practice; or (ii) physical or mental disability; the entry of an order or judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction that a licensee is in need of mental treatment or is incompetent shall constitute mental disability; or (iii) addiction or severe dependency upon alcohol or other drugs which may endanger the public by impairing the licensee's ability to practice;
(h) Having disciplinary action taken against the licensee's license or compact privilege in another state;
(i) Making differential, detrimental treatment against any person because of race, color, creed, sex, religion or national origin;
(j) Engaging in lewd conduct in connection with professional services or activities;
(k) Engaging in false or misleading advertising;
(l) Contracting, assisting or permitting unlicensed persons to perform services for which a license or compact privilege is required under this chapter;
(m) Violation of any probation requirements placed on a license or compact privilege by the board;
(n) Revealing confidential information except as may be required by law;
(o) Failing to inform clients of the fact that the client no longer needs the services or professional assistance of the licensee;
(p) Charging excessive or unreasonable fees or engaging in unreasonable collection practices;
(q) For treating or attempting to treat ailments or other health conditions of human beings other than by occupational therapy as authorized by this chapter;
(r) For practice or activities considered to be unprofessional conduct as defined by the rules and regulations;
(s) Violations of the current codes of conduct for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants adopted by the American Occupational Therapy Association;
(t) Violations of any rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter.
(2) The board may order a licensee to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if the licensee's physical or mental capacity to practice safely is at issue in a disciplinary proceeding.
(3) Failure to comply with a board order to submit to a physical or mental examination shall render a licensee subject to the summary suspension procedures described in Section 73-24-25.
SECTION 13. Section 73-24-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-25. (1) Any person whose application for a license or compact privilege is denied shall be entitled to a hearing before the board if he or she submits a written request to the board. Such hearing shall be conducted at the earliest possible date. A subcommittee of the council shall attend and may offer relevant evidence at any such hearing. The board shall fix a time and place for the hearing and shall cause a written copy of the reason for denial of the license or compact privilege, together with a notice of the time and place fixed for the hearing, to be served on the applicant requesting the hearing and shall serve notice of such hearing on the council. Service of and notice of the hearing may be given by United States certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the licensee or applicant. For purposes of the hearing, the board, acting by and through the Executive Director of the State Board of Health, shall have the power to subpoena persons and compel the production of records, papers and other documents.
(2) (a) All complaints concerning a licensee's business or professional practice shall be received by the board. Each complaint received shall be registered, recording at a minimum the following information: (i) licensee's name; (ii) name of the complaining party, if known; (iii) date of complaint; (iv) brief statement of complaint; and (v) disposition.
(b) Following the investigative process, the board may file formal charges against the licensee. Such formal complaint, at a minimum, shall inform the licensee of the facts which are the basis of the charge and which are specific enough to enable the licensee to defend against the charges.
(c) Each licensee whose conduct is the subject of a formal charge which seeks to impose disciplinary action against the licensee shall be served notice of the formal charge at least thirty (30) days before the date of the hearing, which hearing shall be presided over by the board or the board's designee. Service shall be considered to have been given if the notice was personally received by the licensee or if the notice was sent by United States certified mail, return receipt requested, to the licensee at the licensee's last known address as listed with the state agency.
(d) The notice of the formal charge shall consist, at a minimum, of the following information:
(i) The time, place and date of the hearing;
(ii) Notification that the licensee shall appear personally at the hearing and may be represented by counsel;
(iii) Notification that the licensee shall have the right to produce witnesses and evidence in his or her behalf and shall have the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses and evidence;
(iv) Notification that the hearing could result in disciplinary action being taken against the licensee;
(v) Notification that rules for the conduct of the hearing exist, and it may be in the licensee's best interest to obtain a copy;
(vi) Notification that the board or its designee shall preside at the hearing, and following the conclusion of the hearing, shall make findings of facts, conclusions of law and recommendations, separately stated, to the board as to what disciplinary action, if any, should be imposed on the licensee;
(vii) The board or its designee shall hear evidence produced in support of the formal charges and contrary evidence produced by the licensee. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board shall issue an order; and
(viii) All proceedings under this section are matters of public record and shall be preserved in accordance with state law.
(3) In addition to other remedies provided by law or in equity, any applicant or licensee aggrieved by any action of the board may appeal the action of the board to the chancery court of the county of his or her residence if he or she be a resident of this state, or to the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, if he or she be a nonresident of this state. An appeal shall be filed within thirty (30) days immediately following the mailing or delivery to the applicant or licensee of a copy of the order of judgment of the board, unless the court, for good cause shown, extends the time. The court after a hearing may modify, affirm or reverse the judgment of the board or may remand the case to the board for further proceedings. An appeal from the chancery court may be had to the Supreme Court of the State of Mississippi as provided by law for any final judgment of the chancery court. If the board appeals a judgment of the chancery court, no bond shall be required of it in order to perfect its appeal.
(4) The board may impose any of the following sanctions, singly or in combination, when it finds that a licensee is guilty of any such offense:
(a) Revoke the license or compact privilege;
(b) Suspend the license or compact privilege, for any period of time;
(c) Censure the licensee;
(d) Impose a monetary penalty of not more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00);
(e) Place a licensee on probationary status and requiring the licensee to submit to any of the following: (i) report regularly to the board, or its designee, upon matters which are the basis of probation; (ii) continue to renew professional education until a satisfactory degree of skill has been attained in those areas which are the basis of probation; or (iii) such other reasonable requirement or restrictions as the board deems proper;
(f) Refuse to renew a license or compact privilege; or
(g) Revoke probation which has been granted and impose any other disciplinary action under this subsection when the requirements of probation have not been fulfilled or have been violated.
(5) The board summarily may suspend a license or compact privilege under this chapter without the filing of a formal complaint, notice or a hearing, if the board finds that the continued practice in the profession by the licensee would constitute an immediate danger to the public. If the board summarily suspends a license or compact privilege under the provisions of this subsection a hearing must be held within twenty (20) days after suspension begins, unless the hearing date is continued at the request of the licensee.
(6) Disposition of any formal complaint may be made by consent order or stipulation between the board and the licensee.
(7) The board may reinstate any licensee to good standing under this chapter if, after hearing, the board is satisfied that the applicant's renewed practice is in the public interest.
(8) The board may seek the counsel of the Occupational Therapy Advisory Council regarding disciplinary actions.
(9) The board shall seek to achieve consistency in the application of the foregoing sanctions, and significant departure from prior decisions involving similar conduct shall be explained by the board.
(10) In addition, the board shall be authorized to suspend the license of any licensee for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153. The procedure for suspension of a license for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be. If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this chapter, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.
SECTION 14. Section 73-24-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-27. (1) Except as provided in Section 33-1-39, any license issued under this chapter shall be subject to renewal and shall expire unless renewed in the manner prescribed by the rules and regulations of the board, upon the payment of a renewal fee and demonstration of completion of continuing professional education. A person's compact privilege in this state shall be valid until the expiration date of that person's home state license. The board may provide for the late renewal of a license or compact privilege upon the payment of a late fee in accordance with its rules and regulations, but no late renewal of a license or compact privilege may be granted more than two (2) years after its expiration.
(2) Upon request and payment of the license fee required, the board shall grant inactive status to a licensee who: (a) does not practice as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant, (b) does not hold himself or herself out as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant, and (c) does not maintain any continuing education requirements.
(3) A suspended license is subject to expiration and may be renewed as provided in this section, but such renewal shall not entitle the suspended licensee to engage in the licensed activity or in any other conduct or activity in violation of the order of judgment by which the license or compact privilege was suspended. If a license or compact privilege revoked on disciplinary grounds is reinstated, the licensee, as a condition of reinstatement, shall pay the renewal fee and any late fee that may be applicable. The procedure for the reinstatement of a license that is suspended for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be.
SECTION 15. Section 73-24-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-29. (1) The board is empowered to prescribe and publish reasonable fees for the following purposes:
(a) Application fee which is nonrefundable;
(b) Initial license or compact privilege fee;
(c) Renewal of license or compact privilege fee;
(d) Late renewal fee;
(e) Limited permit fee;
(f) Reinstatement of license or compact privilege fee;
(g) Inactive license fee.
(2) Such fees shall be commensurate to the extent feasible with the cost of fulfilling the duties of the board and council as defined by this chapter; however, no individual fee shall exceed One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00).
(3) Any increase in the fees charged by the board under this section shall be in accordance with the provisions of Section 41-3-65.
SECTION 16. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2023.