Texas Medical Board Implements Requirements for Human Trafficking Prevention Continuing Education Training for Health Professionals.

Yes, it is true. If you heard any rumors, you are among the few. Most health professionals have not heard anything.

The 86th Texas Legislature passed H.B. 2059 on 5/10/19. The vote was 134 yes, 7 no, 2 present, not voting.  It became effective on 9/1/19 and compliance began on 9/1/20.

H.B. 2059 – An act relating to human trafficking prevention training as a condition of registration permit or license renewal for certain health care practitioners.

Who does this new law affect?

  • Physicians who apply for renewal of a registration permit must complete course and it can be a part of the required ethics or professional responsibility continuing medical education.
  • Health professionals housed under the Texas Medical Board:
    • Medical Radiologic Technologists
    • Respiratory Care Practitioners
    • Physicians Assistants
    • Perfusionists
    • Acupuncturists
  • Texas Nurses (Board Rule 216.3(i))

The most recent Texas Medical Board Bulletin announces these rules changes on page 7 of a 14-page document. It is not exactly up at the front of the Bulletin. The Bulletin reports that the course hours will be part of the course hours required for each biennial registration period. But, everyone knows it will probably be an extra hour as it would not be approved for national certification unless submitted for approval through an RCEEM for radiologic technology, or other approval bodies for other disciplines. “Carry forward hours will not apply to the new course requirement” is a statement in the description referring to the part of the rule that allows a maximum of 48 hours to be carried from one biennium to the next. This requirement applies to radiologist assistants, medical radiologic technologists, and non-certified technicians. For radiologist assistants, the human trafficking prevention course is required in addition to the formal course hours.

There is a listing of the approved courses on the website, but significant attention must be paid to the approval bodies if content is to be applied to other than the TMB renewal. Texas is not the only state that has mandated such training and utilization of the credit hour must follow the guidelines from the other states or national registries.

For radiology professionals reporting under the Texas Medical Board, none of the approved courses listed will allow utilization of the contact hour to be applied to your national certification The ARRT specifically mentions non-acceptance of physician Category 1 credit or credit and approval by any of the nursing organizations.

In fact, for radiology certificate holders, if you check the CE requirements accepted by the MRT Rules as listed on the TMB website, you will find that they are not current with requirements for the ARRT.  Under alternative continuing education, it lists basic and advanced CPR accepted for credit. ARRT now only accepts Advanced CPR (ACLS or PALS). TMB accepts up to 6 hours of attendance and participation in tumor conference, in-service education and training sponsored by TJC accredited or Medicare Certified hospitals relating to radiologic technology. ARRT specifies that in-service must be approved by RCEEM or state licensing agency.  Tumor boards or chart rounds must be RCEEM approved to count as CE credit.

Although application training at a facility can still receive a maximum or 8 category A credits per biennium, this option is expiring in 2 years. However, in-service presentations that are specific to the facility do not meet the criteria for continuing education. In other words, if the in-service session is training on how radiographic procedures are completed from the Emergency Department, it will not qualify for credit.

The acceptance of Category P credit for radiology assistants will disappear next year. Category P credits are those approved by physician or nurse approval groups.

In the ARRT Continuing Education Requirements, it states “The state regulatory agency responsible for licensure in Texas is the Texas Medical Board and their approval to evaluate and award CE based on ARRT criteria will expire on August 31, 2020.”

MRT’s are currently submitting renewals in February.  Texas MRT’s usually submit in February and August. MRT’s received a post card announcing their renewal and instructions. There was no mention of the required human trafficking prevention Continuing Education Requirements within the renewal notifications. We recently reached out to the TMB for comment, and the registration department had this to say:

“I do know it has been flagged to be updated on the website any day now. Hoping for this week. We have followed up with our manager as of this morning [2/3]. But they have not rolled out any further details at this time. [You] can always reach out to Registrations@tmb.state.tx.us, with the subject line ATTN: CEUs for Human Trafficking.”

AHEC is staying ahead of the requirements and has a course that will be submitted this week for approval both at the Texas level and for RCEEM approval. It should be available about mid-March after it has cleared all the approval hurdles.  AHEC CE clients will receive emails about receiving the instruction for their records.

AHEC will also award physician Category 1 approval to the course and it will be approved for nurses through the AHEC nurse accreditation body.

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