TDLR Health Monitor: June 2019

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Vol. 7   |  JUNE 2019

Welcome from the Executive Director

Brian Francis color

Welcome to Volume Seven of your TDLR Health Monitor! For those of you new to TDLR, I’m Brian Francis, Executive Director.

I would like to start off by introducing you to someone you may already know: our new Deputy Executive Director, Mike Arismendez. Mike joined the agency on March 26, 2019 and is now an integral part of our executive leadership team, along with his fellow deputy executive director, Carla James.

Prior to working at TDLR, Mike served as City Manager and Mayor of the City of Shallowater, but many of you may know him from his service on the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation. Mike was appointed to the Commission by Governor Perry in 2005, and appointed Chairman in 2014. His previous experience also includes serving as legislative director for State Representative Carl H. Isett.

Mike Arismendez

Because of this depth of experience and knowledge of the agency and state government, Mike has proven to be a valuable asset from day one on the job. He came in during the peak of the 86th Legislative Session and I threw him right into the deep end: attending hearings on behalf of the agency, meeting with legislators and stakeholders, and helping to shape TDLR’s strategic initiatives for the session. We are lucky to have such a talented and sharp leader helping us to guide the agency into the future, and I feel confident that we now have a leadership team that is second to none in Texas state government.

Brian at Higher Ed

Speaking of the session: the 86th Texas Legislature drew to a close at the end of May. I am pleased to report that the results of the session leave TDLR well-positioned for the future to serve you better. Most of our strategic initiatives and funding requests were successful, including many which impact the medical and health professions. See our 86th Legislature article below for a full rundown on the impact of these new laws for your profession and industry. You can also visit our 86th Legislature webpage to see the complete list of all TDLR-related new laws for our current 39 programs.

I would like to take a moment to recognize my hardworking staff, who were put through their paces this session. Here’s just some of what they accomplished:

  • 17 TDLR team members from seven divisions attended 56 legislative hearings (31 house, 25 senate)
  • 11 team members from six divisions testified or served as resource witnesses at 52 hearings (28 house, 24 senate)
  • Our staff monitored 20 hearings online (14 house, 6 senate)
  • The Legislative Budget Board (LBB) assigned TDLR 203 cost estimates, and asked us to submit 114 cost estimates, leaving 89 cost estimates that were developed but not submitted.

Over the summer we’ll be working hard - with help from our advisory boards and stakeholders - to develop the necessary administrative rules to implement all of this legislation, as well as create or update forms, FAQs, web content, software programming, and much more.  

I think it’s safe to say that all of us at TDLR are expecting a busy and productive summer. I look forward to reporting back to you in the fall edition of TDLR Health Monitor with more information about our progress. In the meantime, we will continue to strive to deliver an exceptional customer service experience each and every day to you and your fellow medical and health professionals.

Thank you for all that you do to ensure the health and safety of our fellow Texans.

Yours in Service,

Brian E. Francis

86th Legislative Session Update

Texas capitol sunset

The 86th Session of the Texas Legislature came to a close on Monday, May 27, 2019. The Legislature passed many bills that will impact the agency and our regulated professions.

Below you will find a summary of bills that affect multiple TDLR programs, as well as bills that are specific to TDLR medical and health professions programs.

To see a full list of bills related to all TDLR programs, including medical and health professions, visit our 86th Texas Legislature page.

Click on the bill numbers below to view the bill text and history.

Bills Impacting Multiple Programs

  • Senate Bill (SB) 37 removes authority for a licensing agency to take disciplinary action against an applicant or licensee, including refusal to issue or renew an occupational license, based on the person’s default on a student loan or breach of a student loan repayment contract or scholarship contract. The bill went into effect on June 7, 2019.
  • SB 1217 clarifies that a regulatory agency may not consider an arrest that did not result in the person’s conviction or placement on deferred adjudication community supervision when determining a person’s eligibility for licensure. The bill took effect on June 14, 2019.
  • House Bill (HB) 696 directs the Texas Workforce Commission to establish Operation Welcome Home, a program to help expedite the entry of service members and veterans into the state’s workforce. The bill also establishes the Texas Veterans Leadership Program which will serve as a resource and referral network for veterans. The bill went into effect on June 10, 2019.
  • HB 2059 requires certain health care practitioners to complete a Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) approved human trafficking prevention training course to renew their license. The bill also requires HHSC to post a list of approved courses on their website. Licensees are required to comply with the training requirements after September 1, 2020.
  • HB 2452 allows TDLR to contract with third-party experts when investigating complaints and provides immunity to those experts unless they engage in fraudulent behavior. The bill also allows TDLR to accept anonymous complaints. The bill went into effect on May 29, 2019.
  • HB 2847 allows the commission to determine the length of a license (up to two years), establish licensing fees, and set continuing education requirements. The bill also adds and amends complaint confidentiality provisions for certain programs and allows TDLR to contract with third-party experts on complaint investigation and review. The bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.

Code Enforcement Officers

  • HB 2584 allows a code enforcement officer who is performing official duties to possess or carry an instrument used for deterring an animal bite and requires specific training. The bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.


  • HB 2847, Article 12, standardizes commission and department powers and duties for the Dietitians program. It also removes the requirement for TDLR to adopt an official seal for the program. This bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.


  • HB 125 prohibits TDLR from publishing the home address of a licensed dyslexia therapist and licensed dyslexia practitioner in an online registry, roster, or database unless the license holder requests such inclusion. The bill does not exclude the addresses from being released under the Public Information Act. The bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.

Hearing Instruments Fitters and Dispensers

  • HB 2699 clarifies the meaning of tests and examinations, removes the unused oral examination authority, and allows for reexamination. The bill removes outdated requirements specifying exam frequency, and eliminates the requirement for the exam to be validated by an independent testing professional. The bill takes effect on September 1, 2019 and only impacts a person who applies to take an examination on or after that date.

Laser Hair Removal

  • HB 2847, Article 3, requires the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to establish continuing education requirements for renewal of a laser hair removal certificate. This bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.

Massage Therapy

  • HB 1865 removes the five-year license ineligibility provision for persons who have been convicted of, entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilt to, or received deferred adjudication for an offense under Chapter 20A or Subchapter A, Chapter 43 of the Penal Code. This part of the bill takes effect on September 1, 2019 and allows TDLR to assess each applicant’s fitness for licensure on a case-by-case basis. The bill requires persons who apply for an initial license on or after September 1, 2019 to submit fingerprints for the purposes of obtaining criminal history information. All licensees must comply with the fingerprint requirement no later than September 1, 2021. The bill requires students who are enrolled in a massage school on or after June 1, 2020 to hold a student permit. The bill also requires massage schools to maintain a monthly progress report regarding attendance for students and to notify TDLR when a student is eligible to take the examination. Massage school reporting requirements go into effect on July 1, 2020.
  • HB 2747 prohibits any individual, including a student, license holder, or employee, from residing on the premises of a massage establishment after September 1, 2019. The bill requires licensed massage therapists to attach their photograph to the front of their posted license no later than January 1, 2020. The bill also requires massage establishments and schools to display a sign concerning the services and assistance available to victims of human trafficking no later than April 1, 2020.


  • HB 2847, Article 9, removes the requirement that the presiding officer of the Midwives Advisory Board be a public member. This bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.

Orthotists and Prosthetists

  • HB 2847, Article 11, repeals TDLR’s authority to register orthotic/prosthetic technicians. All previously issued technician certificates expire when the bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.


  • HB 2847, Article 8, clarifies the delegative authority of a podiatrist. The bill also clarifies that a person is not required to hold a certificate issued by the Texas Medical Board to perform a radiologic procedure if they are under the supervision of a podiatrist. The bill authorizes TDLR to charge a fee to register persons performing podiatric radiologic procedures; establishes grounds for disciplining registrants; establishes training and supervision requirements; and allows TDLR to develop curricula and instructor standards. The bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.
  • HB 2174 clarifies that the Official Prescription Pad is used to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances. The bill sets opioid prescription limits for acute pain to a 10-day supply that may not be refilled. The bill also requires controlled substances to be prescribed electronically after January 1, 2021, unless otherwise provided under new Health and Safety Code, Section 481.0755. The bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.
  • HB 3284 delays the requirement for a practitioner to review the patient’s prescription history before prescribing a controlled substance until March 1, 2020.
  • HB 3285, Section 7, requires prescribers of opioids to annually take a one hour continuing medical education course on best practices, alternative treatment options, and multi-modal approaches to pain management. The bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.

Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

  • HB 2847, Article 10, requires a person who holds a license as an audiologist or audiologist intern to comply with the department’s rules rather than with the profession’s code of ethics; requires licensees to use a written contract that contains TDLR’s name, mailing address, telephone number and Internet website address; and removes the requirement to register with the department their intent to fit and dispense hearing instruments. This bill takes effect on September 1, 2019.

TDLR Mourns the Passing of a Legend

Paul Z

TDLR and the athletic training community are mourning the loss of Paul Zeek, who passed away June 11, 2019 at the age of 79.

Paul helped build the foundation for licensure of athletic trainers in Texas and was issued the first license to practice in the state. During his distinguished career, he received many awards and honors and mentored many student athletic trainers and athletes.

TDLR extends our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Phyllis, his family, friends and colleagues.

East Texas Athletic Trainer to be Honored as a Lifesaver


On a warm spring day in late March, a spectator at a UT-Tyler tennis match fell ill and became unresponsive. That is when UT-Tyler assistant athletic trainer Diana Mitchell Gallegos sprang into action.

Ms. Gallegos provided care to the spectator until EMS arrived. Thanks to Ms. Gallegos’ quick actions, the spectator made a full recovery. In recognition of her efforts, Ms. Gallegos will be honored by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) through their Lifesaver Recognition Program. The NATA Lifesaver Recognition program is open to any NATA member who is directly involved with a lifesaving event. Ms. Gallegos will receive a certificate of recognition from the NATA Executive Director and President and will be featured in an issue of the NATA newsletter and on their website.

TDLR congratulates Ms. Gallegos on receiving this prestigious award.

TDLR Midwives Educational Summit

Midwives summit logo

TDLR will host the next Midwives Educational Summit at the Hurst Conference Center in Hurst, Texas on Friday, July 26, 2019. There is no charge to attend the Midwives Educational Summit or to receive continuing education credit. Licensees who attend the full summit will earn six hours of continuing education.

The summit will cover a variety of topics, including:

  • caring for babies in the first six weeks of life;
  • panic responses;
  • postdate pregnancy care;
  • peer review guidelines;
  • relationship building between midwives and the medical community; and
  • TDLR enforcement updates.

If you plan to attend the TDLR Midwives Educational Summit, please pre-register by emailing your information to Licensed attendees who pre-register will receive their continuing education certificate as the summit concludes for the day. People who register onsite will be emailed their continuing education certificate after the summit.

Conference attendees can receive a discounted rate of $109 per night at the Hilton Garden Inn at the Hurst Conference Center. To receive the discounted rate, the reservation must be made before July 4, 2019.

Please check the Midwives Educational Summit page for more information. The webpage is updated as new information becomes available.

We hope to see you in Hurst!

Surety Bond Update for Hearing Instrument Fitters & Dispensers

hearing instrument fitters

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) recently updated the surety bond form used for the Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers program. While the form has been updated, the requirement to submit a surety bond with your application for a hearing instrument fitter and dispenser license is not new.

Please click here to see the revised surety bond.

Detailed requirements regarding the surety bond and other acceptable forms of financial security are found in Occupations Code §402.404, Surety Bonding and in 16 TAC §112.60, Filing Surety Bond or Other Form of Financial Security. The applicant’s employer (the entity engaged in the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments) may submit a surety bond or other acceptable form of financial security to TDLR directly or may provide the applicant with a surety bond or other acceptable form of financial security to be submitted with the license application.

More information about the surety bond may be found on the program's Frequently Asked Questions page.

On the Road with Katie

Texas state

This spring, Katie Brice, Medical and Health Professions Program Specialist in our Regulatory Program Management division, was busy traveling the state visiting universities with audiology and communicative disorders degree programs. 

Katie presented to over 500 students and held 16 sessions at 12 universities. Attendees included:

  • seniors who were graduating with a bachelor’s degree and applying for a speech-language pathology assistant license;
  • graduate students who were getting their master’s degree and applying for a speech-language pathology intern license; and
  • graduate students who were getting their doctoral degree in audiology and applying for an audiology intern license. 

Presentations focused on the application process, supervision requirements, and scope of practice.

New Newsletter for Code Enforcement Officers and Mold Assessors and Remediators Programs


We are excited to announce that TDLR is creating a new newsletter that will include content related to the following license programs:

  • Architectural Barriers
  • Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Contractors
  • Boiler Safety 
  • Code Enforcement Officers
  • Electricians
  • Elevators, Escalators & Related Equipment
  • Industrialized Housing & Buildings
  • Mold Assessors & Remediators

The first edition of the new newsletter is scheduled to be delivered this summer. The TDLR Health Monitor will no longer include program updates for the Code Enforcement Officers or Mold Assessors and Remediators programs.

To sign up to receive the newsletter, please update your email subscription preferences here by adding one of the professions listed above. If you are already receiving this newsletter and are included in one of the professions listed above, then you do not need to do anything.

Verify Your License Online


Do you need a verification of your license? You can do that online!

The link can be found on the right side of your profession’s program webpage, or you can go directly to  

You can also search for a license by name, profession, or license number. It’s quick, easy, and always available!

Meet TDLR at Upcoming Conferences


In the coming months, TDLR Medical and Health Professions staff will be available at a number of 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 & Commission Calendar

meeting mics

Unless otherwise noted, 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.