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Can Athletic Trainers in Texas Face Penalties and Sanctions?

Texas professional license defense attorneyAthletic Trainers in Texas must be licensed by the Texas Department of License and Regulation (TDLR). In Fiscal Year 2018, there were 3,915 Athletic Trainers licensed in Texas. There were 17 cases opened against Athletic Trainers alleging code of ethics violations, sexual contact/behavior violations, criminal history, and other allegations.

Can Athletic Trainers in Texas Face Penalties and Sanctions?

Yes, a licensed athletic trainer in Texas can be subject to penalties and/or sanctions by the TDLR.

"If a person or entity violates any provision of Texas Occupations Code ... or any rule or order of the executive director or commission, proceedings may be institutes to impose administrative penalties, administrative sanctions, or both in accordance with the provisions of Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and any associated rules." 16 Tex. Admin. Code §110.90.

Tex. Occ. Code, Chapter 51 provides for the regulation of athletic trainers and mandates that the TDLR Commission adopt rules "regarding the general investigative, enforcement, or disciplinary procedures of the department" as applied to TDLR licensed athletic trainers. Tex. Occ. Code §51.2031.

Athletic Trainers Penalties and Sanctions

Disciplinary actions range from less serious Class A violations to move serious Class D violations.

Class A Violations

  • Penalty: Fine between $100 – $200
  • Administrative Violations
    • Licensee failed to provide, upon request, a plain statement of charges previously made on a bill or statement for athletic training service. 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(r).
    • Licensee failed to notify the Department of change in name or address within 30 days of change. 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(w).
  • License Violations
    • Failed to display current license at primary office or place of employment and/or failed to carry current license when required 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(t).
    • Displayed or carried a photocopy of original license 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(u).

Class B Violations

  • Penalty: Fine between $150 – $350 and/or up-to 1-year full suspension
  • Unprofessional or Unethical Conduct
    • Offered professional services to a person who was receiving the same/similar services from another individual without the knowledge of the other individual 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(o).
    • Billed for unreasonable or medically unnecessary services 16 Texas Admin. Code §110. 70(s).
    • Failed to report violation of Department rules to Department 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(g).
  • License Violations
    • Provided athletic training services after license had expired 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.24(c).
    • Held self out as an athletic trainer after license had expired 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.24(c).

Class C Violations

  • Penalty: Fine between $300 – $500 and/or up to revocation.
  • Unprofessional or Unethical Conduct
    • Failed to work under direction of a qualified, licensed health professional, authorized to refer for health care services, while performing Athletic Training. 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(a).

 

  • Misrepresented professional qualifications or credentials 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(b).
  • Aided or abetted an unlicensed person in the practice of athletic training 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(i).
  • Gave or received commission, rebate, or other form of remuneration for referral of athlete for professional services 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(l).
  • Promoted or endorsed products in a false or misleading manner 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(d).
  • Violated law relating to confidential medical communications/records 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(n).
  • Used advertising that was false, misleading, deceptive or not readily subject to verification 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(q).
  • Conspired to violate any provision of athletic trainer statutes or rules Occupations Code 451.251(a)(3); 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(x).
  • Standard of Care
    • Provided health care services outside the scope of practice or not within the definition of athletic training Occupations Code 451.251(a)(4); 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.12(d); 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(k).
    • Made false or misleading claims about the effectiveness of athletic training care 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(c).
    • Violated Texas Controlled Substances or Texas Dangerous Drugs acts or associated regulations 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(f).

Class D Violations

  • Penalty: Fine of $500 and/or revocation.
  • Administrative Violations
    • Failed to comply with an order of the executive director or commission 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(j); Occupations Code 51.353(a).
  • License Violations
    • Obtained or attempted to obtain an athletic trainer license by fraud or deceit Occupations Code 451.251(a)(2); 16 Texas Admin. Code §60.23(a)(1).
    • Performed the duties of an athletic trainer without holding an athletic trainer license. (Includes never held a license, had a license revoked, or had a license that expired more than three years ago.) Occupations Code 451.151; 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(y).

 

  • Held self out as an athletic trainer without holding an athletic trainer license. (Includes never held a license, had a license revoked, or had a license that expired more than three years ago.) Occupations Code 451.151; 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(y).
  • Provided false information to Department on application or other document or in investigation or disciplinary proceeding 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(h); 16 Texas Admin. Code §60.23(a)(1).
  • Altered license certificate or identification card issued by the Department 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(v).
  • Standard of Care
    • Engaged in alcohol or drug abuse that affected athletic training care provided to a client 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(e).
  • Unprofessional or Unethical Conduct
    • Discriminated in the provision of athletic training services based on race, creed, sex, religion, national origin or age 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(m).
    • Engaged in sexual contact or sexually exploitative behavior with a person receiving athletic training services from the licensee 16 Texas Admin. Code §110.70(p).


Complaints Filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

As you can see there are numerous actions for which an Athletic Trainer can be subject to disciplinary action by the TDLR. Penalties range from a fine as low as $100 for a Class A violation up to $500 for a Class D violation. Sanctions range from a fine only up to license suspension or revocation.

If a complaint is filed against your Athletic Trainer license, or other professional license issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, you have the right to defend yourself and the right to an attorney. Hiring an attorney to help you mount a strong defense serves to protect your license, reputation, fiscal interests, and your career; it does not make you look guilty.

Our firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.

Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.

If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with a licensing board, agency, or commission in Texas, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the complaint process against any professional, medical, or vocational license. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your license.

Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.

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Attorney Tony R. Bertolino is the Managing Partner with Bertolino LLP. Our law firm has been able to help people across the state of Texas. If you need an experienced lawyer to represent you, contact Bertolino LLP today.

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