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Chapter 609-4 PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

Rule 609-4-.01 Principles and Standards of Conduct

Applicability. For the purpose of the chapter,"licensees" shall mean those persons who hold a license to practice speech-language pathology and audiology and speech-language pathologists and audiologists who hold a provisional license for the purpose of completing a paid clinical experience or required professional experience under Section 43-44-8 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.

Rule 609-4-.02 Professional Competence

(1) Licensees shall provide services and supervision of services only for which they have been properly prepared and shall permit their staff to provide services only for which they are properly prepared.
(2) Licensees shall maintain accurate and complete records of professional services rendered, including but not limited to:
(a) records of tests and procedures used in the evaluation of speech, language and hearing disorders, and for determination of the need for any products dispensed or services delivered;
(b) records of products dispensed, such as hearing aids, augmentative communication devices, alaryngeal devices, etc., which describe the product including serial number when applicable, document any applicable warranties or guarantees accompanying the product, state whether the product is new or used and the price of the product, if sold, and the name and address of both the licensee and the intended user of the product;
(c) for the audiologist dispensing hearing aids, evidence of having met all requirements promulgated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services applicable to the dispensing of hearing aids.
(d) for audiometers used in service provision, calibration reports containing as a minimum:
1. audiometer identification including make, model, and serial number,
2. calibrator's identification including company name and location and name of individual performing the calibration,
3. date of calibration, and
4. post-calibration readings for all signal outputs, signal leakage and attenuation linearity.
(3) Licensees shall identify and use qualified referral sources for persons served professionally.
(4) Licensed speech-language pathologists and audiologists, excluding those holding a provisional license, shall delegate only those portions of their practice which do not require the professional competence of a licensed speech-language pathologist or audiologist, and that have been approved by the Board.
(5) Licensees shall provide supervision of and assume full responsibility for clinical services offered by supportive personnel.
(6) Licensees shall not require anyone under their supervision to engage in any practice that is a violation of the Rules of the Georgia Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
(7) Licensees shall use calibrated equipment in the delivery of professional services and shall maintain any calibration reports for at least 36 months. Appropriate equipment shall be calibrated in accordance with manufacturer's specifications, or for audiometers at least annually, and the post-calibration readings shall meet or exceed applicable ANSI standards.
(8) Licensees shall inform the Board when they have reason to believe that a licensee has violated the Rules of the Board and shall cooperate fully with the Board concerning matters of professional conduct.
(9) Licensees shall inform he Board when they have reason to believe that individuals are holding themselves out to the public to be Speech-Language Pathologists or Audiologists (SLPs/Auds.) or to practice SLP/Aud. without a license, except as provided by O.C.G.A. 43-44-7.

Rule 609-4-.03 Welfare of Clients

(1) Licensees shall hold paramount the welfare of persons served professionally.
(2) Licensees shall fully inform persons served of the nature and possible effects of the services.
(3) Licensees shall take all reasonable precautions to avoid injuring persons in the delivery of professional services.
(4) Licensees shall charge only for services rendered and shall provide itemized statements for charges for goods dispensed and services provided to the consumer. Nothing in this Rule shall preclude requests to the consumer for prepayment of fees for service as long as fees are refunded for services not rendered. This Rule shall also not preclude requests for appointment deposit charges when the consumer has received prior notification of this charge policy.
(5) Licensees shall fully inform subjects participating in research or teaching activities of the nature and possible effects of these activities.
(6) Licensees shall afford persons used in teaching or research free choice to participate and shall protect their privacy.
(7) Licensees shall evaluate services rendered and products dispensed to determine effectiveness based on recognized standards of practice.
(8) Licensees shall accept persons for treatment for whom reasonable benefit can be expected.
(9) Licensees shall continue treatment to clients as long as reasonable benefit is demonstrated.
(10) Licensees shall provide reasonable statements of prognosis to clients without guaranteeing the results of any therapeutic procedures, directly or by implication.
(11) Licensees shall evaluate or treat speech, language or hearing disorders exclusively within the confines of a professional relationship.
(12) Licensees shall avoid evaluating or treating speech, language or hearing disorders solely by correspondence. This does not preclude follow-up correspondence with persons previously seen, nor providing them with general information of an educational nature.
(13) Licensees shall not discriminate in the delivery of professional services on any basis that is unjustifiable or irrelevant to the need for the potential benefit from such services, such as race, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or handicapping condition.
(14) Licensees shall avoid participation in activities that constitute a conflict of professional interest.
(15) Licensees shall reveal professional or personal information obtained from the person served professionally only a) if authorized by the person served, b) if required by law or, c) to protect the welfare of the person or the community.
(16) Licensees shall provide to clients information relating to products dispensed, including but not limited to any applicable warranties or guarantees, whether the product is new or used, and, if the product is sold or leased, a receipt indicating the price of the product and the amount paid or terms and conditions of payment.

Rule 609-4-.04 Public Statements

(1) Licensees shall accurately represent their training or competence in both written and verbal statements made to persons served professionally and to the public.
(2) Licensees shall accurately represent the professional services and products they offer and shall not present claims that are false, deceptive or misleading.
(3) Licensees shall disclose accurate and complete price information about professional services rendered and products dispensed.
(4) Licensees shall not engage in misleading or deceptive advertising.
(5) Licensees shall assign credit to those who have contributed to a publication.

Rule 609-4-.05 Assessment Practices

(1) Licensees shall make every effort to select and use assessment instruments, techniques or procedures that are valid, reliable and appropriate for the individual client.
(2) Licensees shall provide the client with an orientation to the purpose of assessment or to the proposed use of assessment results prior to administration of assessment instruments, techniques or procedures.
(3) Licensees shall administer assessment instruments, including technology based assessment instruments, which are within the licensee's competence for scoring and interpretation.
(a) Speech-Language Pathologist.
1. A Speech-Language Pathologist who is not licensed in Audiology may perform nondiagnostic hearing screenings for the purposes of either performing a speech and language evaluation or for the initial identification of individuals with other communication disorders. A non-diagnostic hearing screening shall be defined as a pure tone air conduction procedure which is conducted in a manner such that the results can only be reported on a pass/fail basis. A report of the screening results may include ear specific information regarding frequencies tested and intensity criteria (screening levels).
2. Other audiological screenings may be performed only when monitored by a licensed Audiologist. These audiological screenings must be conducted in a manner such that the results can only be reported on a pass/fail basis. The licensed audiologist is ultimately liable for the quality of such services and any complaints against the speech-language pathologist regarding these services shall be viewed by the Board as a complaint against the licensed audiologist.
(b) Audiologist.
1. An audiologist who is not licensed as a speech-language pathologist may perform a non-diagnostic speech and language screening for the purposes of performing either an audiological evaluation or for the initial identification of individuals with other communicative disorders. A non-diagnostic speech and language screening is a procedure conducted in a manner such that the results can only be reported on a pass/fail basis.
2. Other speech and language screenings may be performed only when monitored by a licensed speech-language pathologist. These speech and language screenings must be conducted in a manner such that the results can only be reported on a pass/fail basis. The licensed speech-language pathologist is ultimately liable for the quality of such services and any complaints against the audiologist regarding these services shall be viewed by the Board as a complaint against the licensed speech-language pathologist.
3. Licensees shall perform a visual inspection of the ear and ear canal prior to any audiological testing.
(4) Licensees shall record results accurately and in language which is clear and understandable.
(5) Licensees shall make available to the client, upon request, copies of any assessment results in the possession of the licensee which have been prepared for and paid for by the client.
(6) Licensees shall use only reliable assessment data to select or recommend specific products to be dispensed or services to be rendered.
(a) Test data used for the selection of a hearing aid shall not be more than six months old. This shall not apply for the replacement of a hearing aid with a hearing aid of the same make and model unless new testing is required by the consumer's age, history or condition.
(b) Audiometric testing must be performed using a wide range audiometer which meets the specifications of the American National Standards Institute (s3.6-1996 or current American National Standard Institute standard) for diagnostic audiometers.
(7) A hearing aid is defined as a wearable sound-amplifying device that is intended to compensate for impaired hearing As such, any device marketed, labeled or otherwise stated or claims to improve impaired hearing is by definition a hearing aid, whether the claim was overt or implied. Further, any wearable device which claims to have characteristics or features that would only be necessary to improve impaired hearing (i.e. noise reduction, multiple bands or channels, noise cancellation, feedback reduction, etc.) would be considered a hearing aid. This definition of hearing aid shall not apply to cochlear implants, active middle ear implants, auditory brainstem implants and osseointegrated implants.