10.41.04.02

.02 Definitions.

A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) "Administrative law judge" means the hearing officer assigned to preside over a hearing in a case the Board has delegated to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

(2) "Administrative Procedure Act" means State Government Article, Title 10, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland, which governs contested cases arising from charges brought by the Board.

(3) "Administrative prosecutor" means the attorney assigned by the Office of the Attorney General to prosecute disciplinary charges for the Board.

(4) "Board" means the State Board of Examiners for Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists.

(5) "Case resolution conference" means an informal, confidential meeting between the parties to a contested case and the Board's case resolution conference committee to discuss possible settlement of a disciplinary matter pending before the Board.

(6) "Case resolution conference committee" means a committee composed of one or more members of the Board that makes recommendations to the Board regarding settlement of disciplinary matters.

(7) "Cease and desist letter" means an informal action consisting of a nonpublic letter issued by the Board ordering:

(a) A licensee to cease a specified activity; or

(b) An unlicensed individual to cease the unauthorized practice of audiology, hearing aid dispensing, or speech-language pathology.

(8) "Charging document" means a nonpublic document issued by the Board which:

(a) Alleges conduct by a licensee which the Board believes constitutes a violation under the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act;

(b) Sets forth provisions of the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act that the Board believes were violated; and

(c) Provides notice to the licensee of disciplinary proceedings before the Board.

(9) "Complaint" means a written allegation or other information received by the Board that a licensee may have violated the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act and which may be grounds for an investigation or disciplinary action by the Board.

(10) "Consent order" means a public record issued by the Board that is a final order of the Board that has been negotiated and agreed to by both the licensee and the Board to resolve a disciplinary matter.

(11) "Contested case" means a proceeding conducted under the Administrative Procedure Act.

(12) "Disposition agreement" means a formal nonpublic agreement, entered into with an impaired licensee instead of formal disciplinary action, in which the licensee agrees to comply with certain conditions.

(13) "Final order" means a public record issued by the Board resolving a contested case either by consent or after an adjudication, which includes findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a disposition which:

(a) Denies a license;

(b) Sanctions by reprimand, probation, fine, or suspension or revocation of a license;

(c) Summarily suspends a license;

(d) Dismisses charges;

(e) Surrenders a license; or

(f) Takes any other action that the Board may do by law.

(14) "Imperatively requires emergency action" means a finding by the Board that an emergency action be taken against a licensee under State Government Article, §10-226(c)(2), Annotated Code of Maryland, based on investigative facts that raise a substantial likelihood of risk of harm to the public health, safety, or welfare before a full evidentiary hearing can be held.

(15) "Informal action" means that the Board closes a case without taking formal disciplinary action or without issuing a final order, by imposing a disciplinary sanction consisting of a:

(a) Letter of education;

(b) Letter of admonishment;

(c) Cease and desist letter; or

(d) Consent agreement.

(16) "Investigation" means the gathering of information to assist the Board in determining if there is reasonable cause to charge a licensee with a violation of the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act.

(17) Letter of Admonishment.

(a) "Letter of admonishment" means informal action consisting of a nonpublic letter issued by the Board closing a case, if the Board believes a licensee has engaged in conduct that violates the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act, admonishing the licensee not to repeat the conduct.

(b) "Letter of admonishment" may include an agreement that licensee perform certain conditions instead of the Board taking formal disciplinary action.

(18) "Letter of education" means informal action consisting of a nonpublic letter to a licensee:

(a) Issued by the Board if the Board does not believe that conduct rose to the level of a violation of the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act; and

(b) In which the Board educates the licensee concerning the laws and standards of the practice of audiology, hearing aid dispensing, or speech-language pathology.

(19) Letter of Surrender.

(a) "Letter of surrender" means a public letter accepted by the Board in which the licensee agrees to surrender the license to practice audiology, hearing aid dispensing, or speech-language pathology.

(b) "Letter of surrender" may include conditions for the Board's acceptance of the surrender as a resolution of the case.

(20) "Licensure" means permission to engage in the practice of audiology, hearing aid dispensing, or speech-language pathology which is evidenced by a license issued by the Board.

(21) "Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech Language Pathologists Act" means Health Occupations Article, Title 2, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(22) "Notice of initial denial" means a nonpublic document issued by the Board by which an applicant or licensee is notified that the Board intends to deny a license, a change in licensure status, or some other benefit sought by the licensee.

(23) "Postdeprivation hearing" means a show cause hearing scheduled by the Board after the Board has issued an order for summary suspension under State Government Article, §10-226(c)(2), Annotated Code of Maryland, in which the licensee may challenge the Board's basis for issuing the order for summary suspension.

(24) "Predeprivation hearing" means a nonevidentiary, show cause hearing held before the Board at which the licensee has an opportunity to demonstrate to the Board why the Board should not:

(a) Issue an order for summary suspension under State Government Article, §10-226(c)(2), Annotated Code of Maryland; or

(b) Take some other action that the Board may take by law.

(25) "Preliminary investigation" means the gathering of information to be used by the Board to determine if the Board should dismiss a complaint or conduct further investigation to determine if there is reasonable cause to charge a licensee with a violation of the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act.

(26) "Probation" means a sanction imposed by the Board in a public final order in which the licensee is:

(a) Monitored by the Board for a period of time; and

(b) Required to comply with certain conditions to avoid further disciplinary action.

(27) "Prohibited act" means conduct specified in the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act which may result in sanctions or penalties.

(28) "Public record" means a document that the Board is permitted or required to disclose to the public under State Government Article, Title 10, Subtitle 6, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(29) "Recommended decision" means a nonpublic document issued to the Board by an administrative law judge that sets out proposed findings of fact, proposed conclusions of law, proposed sanction, or any combination of them.

(30) "Recusal" means the disqualification of a member of the Board to participate in a proceeding because of interest, bias, or some other reason that may interfere with the Board member's participation in a case.

(31) "Respondent" means a licensee, subject to the jurisdiction of the Board, that has been:

(a) Given notice to answer allegations concerning violations of the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act;

(b) Notified as to a potential emergency suspension under State Government Article, §10-226(c), Annotated Code of Maryland; or

(c) Notified as to a potential violation of Health Occupations Article, §2-401, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(32) "Revocation" means the removal of an audiologist's, hearing aid dispenser's, or speech-language pathologist's license to practice audiology, hearing aid dispensing, or speech-language pathology.

(33) "Sanction" means an action by the Board, including a:

(a) Reprimand;

(b) Placement on probation;

(c) Fine; or

(d) Suspension or revocation of a license.

(34) "Show cause hearing" means a nonevidentiary hearing before the Board in which the licensee has the opportunity to demonstrate to the Board why the Board should not issue a proposed order or take an action that the Board may take.

(35) "Stay" means the withholding of an action ordered by the Board which may be subject to certain conditions.

(36) "Summary suspension" means the indefinite suspension of a license under State Government Article, §10-226(c)(2), Annotated Code of Maryland, taken if the Board believes the action is necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare.

(37) "Surrender" means the voluntary relinquishing of a license to practice audiology, hearing aid dispensing, or speech-language pathology that may be subject to certain conditions set by the Board.

(38) "Suspension" means a temporary denial of the right to use a license and is usually defined by:

(a) A specific period of time;

(b) Specific dates; or

(c) Specific conditions.

(39) "Violation" means an act or omission prohibited under Health Occupations Article, §2-314, Annotated Code of Maryland.