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    Subdivision 1. Investigations of complaints. The commissioner or advisory council may
initiate an investigation upon receiving a signed complaint or other signed written communication
that alleges or implies that an individual has violated sections 148.511 to 148.5198. According to
section 214.13, subdivision 6, in the receipt, investigation, and hearing of a complaint that alleges
or implies an individual has violated sections 148.511 to 148.5198, the commissioner shall follow
the procedures in section 214.10.
    Subd. 2. Rights of applicants and licensees. The rights of an applicant denied licensure
are stated in section 148.519, subdivision 2, paragraph (d). A licensee shall not be subjected to
disciplinary action under this section without first having an opportunity for a contested case
hearing under chapter 14.
    Subd. 3. Grounds for disciplinary action by commissioner. The commissioner may take
any of the disciplinary actions listed in subdivision 4 on proof that the individual has:
(1) intentionally submitted false or misleading information to the commissioner or the
advisory council;
(2) failed, within 30 days, to provide information in response to a written request, via
certified mail, by the commissioner or advisory council;
(3) performed services of a speech-language pathologist or audiologist in an incompetent
or negligent manner;
(4) violated sections 148.511 to 148.5198;
(5) failed to perform services with reasonable judgment, skill, or safety due to the use of
alcohol or drugs, or other physical or mental impairment;
(6) violated any state or federal law, rule, or regulation, and the violation is a felony or
misdemeanor, an essential element of which is dishonesty, or which relates directly or indirectly
to the practice of speech-language pathology or audiology. Conviction for violating any state or
federal law which relates to speech-language pathology or audiology is necessarily considered to
constitute a violation, except as provided in chapter 364;
(7) aided or abetted another person in violating any provision of sections 148.511 to
(8) been or is being disciplined by another jurisdiction, if any of the grounds for the discipline
is the same or substantially equivalent to those under sections 148.511 to 148.5198;
(9) not cooperated with the commissioner or advisory council in an investigation conducted
according to subdivision 1;
(10) advertised in a manner that is false or misleading;
(11) engaged in conduct likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public; or demonstrated a
willful or careless disregard for the health, welfare, or safety of a client;
(12) failed to disclose to the consumer any fee splitting or any promise to pay a portion of a
fee to any other professional other than a fee for services rendered by the other professional to
the client;
(13) engaged in abusive or fraudulent billing practices, including violations of federal
Medicare and Medicaid laws, Food and Drug Administration regulations, or state medical
assistance laws;
(14) obtained money, property, or services from a consumer through the use of undue
influence, high pressure sales tactics, harassment, duress, deception, or fraud;
(15) performed services for a client who had no possibility of benefiting from the services;
(16) failed to refer a client for medical evaluation or to other health care professionals
when appropriate or when a client indicated symptoms associated with diseases that could be
medically or surgically treated;
(17) had the certification required by chapter 153A denied, suspended, or revoked according
to chapter 153A;
(18) used the term doctor of audiology, doctor of speech-language pathology, AuD, or SLPD
without having obtained the degree from an institution accredited by the North Central Association
of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and
Speech-Language Pathology, the United States Department of Education, or an equivalent;
(19) failed to comply with the requirements of section 148.5192 regarding supervision
of speech-language pathology assistants; or
(20) if the individual is an audiologist or certified hearing aid dispenser:
(i) prescribed or otherwise recommended to a consumer or potential consumer the use of a
hearing aid, unless the prescription from a physician or recommendation from an audiologist or
certified dispenser is in writing, is based on an audiogram that is delivered to the consumer or
potential consumer when the prescription or recommendation is made, and bears the following
information in all capital letters of 12-point or larger boldface type: "THIS PRESCRIPTION OR
(ii) failed to give a copy of the audiogram, upon which the prescription or recommendation
is based, to the consumer when the consumer requests a copy;
(iii) failed to provide the consumer rights brochure required by section 148.5197, subdivision
(iv) failed to comply with restrictions on sales of hearing aids in sections 148.5197,
subdivision 3
, and 148.5198;
(v) failed to return a consumer's hearing aid used as a trade-in or for a discount in the price of
a new hearing aid when requested by the consumer upon cancellation of the purchase agreement;
(vi) failed to follow Food and Drug Administration or Federal Trade Commission regulations
relating to dispensing hearing aids;
(vii) failed to dispense a hearing aid in a competent manner or without appropriate training;
(viii) delegated hearing instrument dispensing authority to a person not authorized to
dispense a hearing instrument under this chapter or chapter 153A;
(ix) failed to comply with the requirements of an employer or supervisor of a hearing aid
dispenser trainee; or
(x) violated a state or federal court order or judgment, including a conciliation court
judgment, relating to the activities of the individual's hearing aid dispensing.
    Subd. 4. Disciplinary actions. If the commissioner finds that an individual should be
disciplined according to subdivision 3, the commissioner may take any one or more of the
following actions:
(1) refuse to grant or renew licensure;
(2) suspend licensure for a period not exceeding one year;
(3) revoke licensure;
(4) take any reasonable lesser action against an individual upon proof that the individual
has violated sections 148.511 to 148.5198; or
(5) impose, for each violation, a civil penalty not exceeding $10,000 that deprives the
licensee of any economic advantage gained by the violation and that reimburses the Department
of Health for costs of the investigation and proceedings resulting in disciplinary action, including
the amount paid for services of the administrative hearings, the amount paid for services of the
Office of the Attorney General, attorney fees, court reporters, witnesses, reproduction of records,
advisory council members' per diem compensation, department staff time, and expenses incurred
by advisory council members and department staff.
    Subd. 5. Consequences of disciplinary actions. Upon the suspension or revocation of
licensure, the speech-language pathologist or audiologist shall cease to practice speech-language
pathology or audiology, to use titles protected under sections 148.511 to 148.5198, and to represent
to the public that the speech-language pathologist or audiologist is licensed by the commissioner.
    Subd. 6. Reinstatement requirements after disciplinary action. A speech-language
pathologist or audiologist who has had licensure suspended may petition on forms provided
by the commissioner for reinstatement following the period of suspension specified by the
commissioner. The requirements of section 148.5191 for renewing licensure must be met before
licensure may be reinstated.
    Subd. 7. Authority to contract. The commissioner shall contract with the health
professionals services program as authorized by sections 214.31 to 214.37 to provide these
services to practitioners under this chapter. The health professionals services program does not
affect the commissioner's authority to discipline violations of sections 148.511 to 148.5198.
History: 1996 c 363 s 13; 1998 c 317 s 9; 2003 c 87 s 41-45; 2004 c 279 art 1 s 17; 2005 c
147 art 7 s 7,19; 2006 c 267 art 2 s 9

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes