TDLR Health Monitor - Vol. 3

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Vol. 3  |  JUNE 2018

Message from the Executive Director

Brian Francis color

Welcome to Volume Three of the TDLR Health Monitor! 

The agency recently completed our 2018 Strategic Planning outreach efforts and I want to give you a brief update on our progress so far:

TDLR held five Strategic Planning Sessions in April 2018 in Arlington, Austin, El Paso, Houston and McAllen. During each session participants were asked to respond to the following questions about TDLR:

  • What are we doing well?
  • If you were king or queen for a day, what changes would you make to TDLR’s laws, rules, or processes?
  • During the next five years, what major changes do you expect in your profession or industry, and in the state of Texas?
  • What changes should we make to prepare for the next catastrophic event, such as Hurricane Harvey?

We asked these same questions in an online survey for people who could not attend an in-person session. Participants shared their thoughts about how we’re doing and how we can improve.

Ideas and suggestions from these strategic planning efforts make a difference. We make process improvement and rule changes based on your feedback, and we share your feedback with state lawmakers. Your ideas create real change for Texas.

We recorded every response we received at the strategic planning sessions and to the survey. You can review all the comments at the TDLR Strategic Planning webpage.

In the weeks and months to come, you will see some of these changes take effect at TDLR; others will require rule or statute changes, additional resources, or further research. Most of all, we value all the input we received, and we will strive to continue learning, improving, and excelling so that we can bring you the best possible customer experience. Serving you is our number one priority. 

Finally, I'd like to take a moment to welcome our newest medical and health professionals: Behavior Analysts, welcome to TDLR! We hope you will find the application process smooth and trouble-free, and the administrative rules clear, concise, and easy to understand. We look forward to getting you licensed as quickly as possible so you can continue with your important work helping Texas families. See the article below for important information about your program. 

Yours in Service,

Executive Director Brian Francis

Coming Soon: Behavior Analysts Program

Coming soon

License Applications Available June 15, 2018

TDLR is pleased to announce that the development of the new Behavior Analysts and Assistant Behavior Analysts licensing program is on schedule. We appreciate the hard work of the TDLR Behavior Analyst Advisory Board and all the feedback and suggestions we’ve received from stakeholders as we implement this new program.

New administrative rules were adopted by the Commission of Licensing and Regulation on March 27, 2018 and became effective on May 1, 2018. Based on a number of public comments received on the proposed rules, TDLR reduced the licensing fees to:

  • Behavior analyst initial license (two years)--$165
  • Behavior analyst renewal (two years)--$165
  • Assistant behavior analyst initial license (two years)--$110
  • Assistant behavior analyst renewal (two years)--$110

Application forms will be available on the TDLR website starting on June 15, 2018 and TDLR expects to receive more than 1,000 applications for licensure before September 1, 2018, the date that state licensure is required to practice behavior analysis in Texas. To be eligible for licensure or license renewal, an applicant must be currently certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

For more information, please visit the Behavior Analysts webpage.

Upcoming Changes to Massage Therapy Exam


The content of the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (known as the MBLEx) will change on July 1, 2018.  

The primary change is that applicants will no longer be tested on the history and culture of the profession.  The MBLEx is administered through the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).  A full list of all changes to the exam is available on the FSMTB Exam Content page. There are no changes to the testing process.

Education Sessions for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Applicants

texas road

TDLR’s philosophy embraces clear and simple communication to applicants and licensees as we conduct education and training sessions. In April, Katie Brice, Program Specialist for the Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists program, traveled across Texas to visit graduating students at universities with communicative science degree programs.  

Katie introduced the students to TDLR and explained the application process, the law and rules, and how to use the TDLR website to find important information about the program. Walking students through the steps in the application process puts our new applicants at ease as they begin their journey toward licensure.

TDLR visited Texas Tech University, West Texas A&M University, University of Texas at Dallas, University of North Texas, Texas A&M University at Kingsville, and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Our audience included:

  • students graduating with bachelor’s degrees, who will be pursuing their speech-language pathology or audiology assistant license, and
  • students graduating with master’s degrees, who will be pursuing their intern in speech-language pathology license. 

In total, over 300 students attended the presentations and actively participated in question-and-answer sessions. We welcome all new Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists licensees to TDLR and wish them all the best in their careers.

Medical & Health Rulemaking Update


Many of TDLR's medical and health professions programs recently proposed, adopted, or repealed administrative rules. These amendments and repeals are necessary to implement legislation, to improve readability, and to remove duplicate or obsolete rules.

The following programs have new or amended rules that took effect on May 1, 2018: 

The following programs had duplicate rules repealed on May 1, 2018: 

You can find additional information on the program web pages accessible through the TDLR website.

New Rule Amendments for Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists Program


New rule amendments went into effect May 1, 2018 for the Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists program. The new amendments:

  • implement changes to the law from House Bill 4007, 85th Legislature (2017);
  • make a number of clean-up changes; and
  • update and clarify the supervision requirements throughout the chapter. 

The purpose of the clean-up changes is to make the rules more user-friendly by reorganizing the rules into smaller, more distinct rule sections.  

Additionally, one amendment was a result of changes in regulation involving telepractice and telehealth, specifically related to in-person initial contact. 

Highlights of the new amendments:

  • Added and amended definitions and updated language throughout to be consistent;
  • Moved the internship, supervision, and practice/duties requirements into separate distinct rule sections; and
  • Eliminated the requirement that initial contact with a client must be in-person at the same physical location to determine the client’s candidacy for telehealth before any services can be provided by telehealth.

The adoption justification and a section-by-section summary of the rule changes may be found on the Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists webpage.

Inspections of Massage Therapy & Orthotic/Prosthetic Businesses


TDLR’s Field Inspections staff are currently performing routine, unannounced inspections of licensed massage therapy establishments and accredited orthotic/prosthetic facilities. TDLR inspections are performed in accordance with a reference guide specific to each profession. At the close of the inspection, a proof of inspection form is issued by the inspector. The form tells the business owner whether corrections are required to ensure compliance with the law and rules.

In the first quarter of 2018, inspectors performed 38 orthotic and prosthetic facility inspections and 15 massage therapy establishment inspections. This included 12 mock inspections of massage therapy establishments that were conducted for the purpose of training our inspectors. Field Inspections staff are currently performing mock massage school inspections to assist in development of the massage school reference guide.

For more information about licensed massage establishment inspections, see the Massage Establishment Inspections page. For more information about accredited orthotic/prosthetic facility inspections, see the Orthotists and Prosthetists program homepage.

Honorary Athletic Trainer License for Dustin Lira

In April, the Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers and TDLR staff presented an honorary Athletic Trainer license to the family of Dustin Lira. Dustin tragically died in a car accident in December 2017 before he could realize his dream of becoming a Licensed Athletic Trainer. 

The honorary license reads, “[TDLR] recognizes Dustin Lira for his role as a student at the University of Texas at Permian Basin as he worked towards his goal of becoming an Athletic Trainer. TDLR recognizes Dustin for his dedication, passion, and vibrant spirit as he worked with both faculty and student-athletes. He was an amazing young man, loved for his infectious beautiful smile, and never seemed to have a bad day. He will be greatly missed. For his commitment to the health and safety of athletes in the State of Texas, we therefore confer an Honorary Athletic Trainer license on this day, April 23, 2018.

In addition to his family, Dustin's teachers and fellow students attended the presentation. Dustin's father gave a heartfelt thanks to staff and the Board, saying it was “a tremendous honor for our family.”

You can watch the video of the presentation on TDLR's YouTube channel.

lira family
Dustin Lira's family, teachers, fellow students, and members of the Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers with Dustin's honorary Athletic Trainer license.

TDLR Website Improvements

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Updates to Program Webpages

You may have noticed recently that your TDLR program webpage looks slightly different. This is a result of our Web Content Initiative, which began in December 2017 and will continue throughout the year. Through this initiative, we are reorganizing information to make our website more straightforward and easier to navigate.

So far, we’ve completed work on the following program webpages:  

We've simplified the licensing process at TDLR by providing customers with web pages that identify all needed information, requirements, and fees to obtain or renew a license in an easy to follow, step-by-step format. Also, we’ve expanded the number of sidebar menus, so that finding the information you need is quicker and easier. Some menus have been renamed to make it clearer what lies within that menu item.

The goal of the Web Content Initiative is to compile our program information into a collection of easy-to-navigate pages. These pages will be prioritized at the top of each program website’s sidebar menu. While the layout of the website may be reorganized, the content itself has not changed. 

Make sure you check out the webpage for your profession to see its improved online presence.  


TDLR In the News

Also new to the website: be sure to check out our In the News section on the TDLR homepage. This section highlights media coverage about TDLR and the industries we regulate, including our 13 medical and health-related programs. 

You'll find recent TV news reports, newspaper articles, profiles, and stories we've found relating to TDLR licensees and their work. This section is updated weekly, so don't forget to check in and see the latest news. 

Consolidation, Efficiency, and Streamlined Service

In March, TDLR's Office of Strategic Communication released a report on Consolidation, Efficiency, and Streamlined Service, illustrating the benefits of the agency's program consolidation efforts since 2001. 

The report details the history of program consolidation and deregulation at TDLR, highlighting the recent efforts resulting from the transfer of 13 medical and health-related programs from Department of State Health Services. Detailed information can be found regarding fee reductions, streamlining of administrative rules, increases in employee efficiency, key statistics, and more.

View the report on the TDLR homepage

A Closer Look: Laser Hair Removal CE

closer look

This feature of the TDLR Health Monitor takes a closer look at a program-specific topic useful to that program’s licensees. We select this topic based on questions received by our customer service representatives or questions received by TDLR staff while conducting outreach activities. This edition focuses on laser hair removal continuing education requirements. 

Question:  Am I required to complete continuing education hours to renew my laser hair certificate of registration?

Answer: Yes. To renew a laser hair removal certificate of registration, a total of 8 hours of continuing education must be completed every two years. Acceptable continuing education topics are listed on the Laser Hair Removal Continuing Education page. Continuing education hours may be obtained through web-based online training, home-study training, workshops or other training opportunities. TDLR does not approve laser hair removal continuing education providers. If you are having difficulty finding continuing education courses, you may contact one of the TDLR-approved training programs for more information. Continuing education is not required for renewal of a laser hair removal facility registration.

Each TDLR licensing program has its own webpage, accessible from www.tdlr.texas.govFrom the program webpage, you can find valuable information on continuing education, forms, rules, frequently asked questions, and more. 

Do you have a question for the Laser Hair Removal program? Email us at:

Reporting Abuse or Neglect

Neglected boy

TDLR reminds all licensees to do their part to protect vulnerable populations by reporting abuse and neglect. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a central place to report:

  • Child abuse and neglect.
  • Abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation of the elderly or adults with disabilities living at home.
  • Abuse of children in child-care facilities or treatment centers.
  • Abuse of adults and children who live in state facilities or are being helped by programs for people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities.

Texas law says anyone who thinks a child, or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report it to DFPS.

A person who reports abuse in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability. DFPS keeps the name of the person making the report confidential. Anyone who fails to report suspected abuse can be held liable for a misdemeanor or felony.

Reporting suspected abuse makes it possible for a family or individual to get the help they need. To make a report, please go to or call the Texas Abuse Hotline at (800) 252-5400.

Reminder: How to File a Complaint


You can file a complaint online for most TDLR programs at the following link:

You will be asked to choose whether you are filing a complaint against a licensed or an unlicensed person or business. If you are unsure about whether the person or business holds a TDLR license, use the unlicensed link.

Some medical or health-related programs require you to submit a complaint form by fax or mail, due to the risk of transmitting confidential health information electronically. The online system will direct you to print out a complaint form in .pdf format if one is required.

If your complaint does not allege a violation of the law or rules, or does not include sufficient information for TDLR to investigate the allegations, TDLR will not open a complaint.

Read more about TDLR's complaint investigation and resolution process.

Outreach Activities & Upcoming Conferences

conference audience

During the last month, TDLR Medical and Health Professions staff were present at six conferences attended by more than 3,000 regulated professionals. This gave us a great opportunity to share licensing information and answer questions from the professions we serve.

This summer, TDLR staff will be available at several conferences and meetings across Texas to provide licensing and program information to attendees. 

We hope to see you at one of these upcoming events!

TDLR is available to provide informational presentations and/or staff booths at your next conference or meeting. If you would like a TDLR representative at your next conference or meeting, contact us at:

Advisory Board Meeting Calendar


Unless otherwise noted, TDLR Commission meetings and all advisory board meetings are held at TDLR's North Campus in the 1st Floor Public Meeting Room. TDLR public meetings are broadcast live and archived on TDLR's YouTube channel. Meeting notices, agendas, and staff reports are posted on the TDLR Meetings page.