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Chapter 360-31 ORTHOTISTS AND PROSTHETISTS

Rule 360-31-.01 Applications

(1) The application form shall be completed according to the instructions provided in the application.
(2) Reference forms shall be valid for up to six (6) months from the date of signature.

If the application is not approved during the six-month period, the Board may require a new and more current reference.

(3) Applications must be complete, including all required documentation, signatures and seals. Application files are not considered completed until all required information, documentation and fees have been received by the Board. No application will be considered by the Board until the application is complete.
(4) Applicants shall inform the Board in writing within 10 days of a change of address while an application is pending.
(5) Application fees are nonrefundable.
(6) Deposit of an application fee by the Board does not indicate acceptance of the application or that any other licensing requirements have been fulfilled.
(7) Incomplete applications that have been on file with the Board for more than one year shall be deemed invalid. No further action will take place on applications that have been incomplete for more than a year until a new application is received in accordance with the provisions of this chapter with the appropriate application fee.

Rule 360-31-.02 Licensure Qualifications

(1) To qualify for a license to practice orthotics and/or prosthetics, a person must complete an application, pay an application fee, and meet the qualifications listed below:
(a) An applicant must meet one of the following education and experience requirements:
1. Possess a baccalaureate or higher degree from a college or university; have completed a nationally accredited program in orthotics, prosthetics, or orthotics and prosthetics that meets or exceeds the requirements, including clinical practice, of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs ("CAAHEP"); and have completed a clinical residency in the professional area for which the license is sought in according with the standards, guidelines or procedures for residencies inside or outside this state approved by the Board
(a) The majority of the training in the clinical residency must have been under the supervision of a person licensed in orthotics or prosthetics, or if the training was prior to July 1, 2005, it must have been under the supervision of a person certified as an orthotist, prosthetist, or prothestist and orthotist or
2. Possess an associate or higher degree from a college or university with successful completion of courses in human anatomy, physiology, physics, chemistry; and have completed at least five (5) years of continued work experience in the discipline for which the license is sought under the supervision of a practitioner licensed in such discipline or certified in such discipline by an agency accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.
(b) An applicant must obtain a passing score on the examination given by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics Incorporated ("ABC") or its successor or other examination as approved by the Board for certification in the discipline for which the license is sought.
(2) Nothing in this rule shall be construed to prevent the Board from denying or conditionally granting an application for licensure.

Rule 360-31-.03 Reciprocal Licensure Requirements

The Board may, at its discretion, waive the examination requirements for an applicant who is an orthotist and prosthetist and is:

(a) Is licensed under the laws of another state, territory or country, if the requirements for licensure at the date of his or her licensure were equal to or more stringent than the requirements in force in the State of Georgia; or
(b) Is certified as an orthotist or prosthetist by a national certifying organization that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, and has educational and testing standards equal to or more stringent than the licensing requirements of the State of Georgia.

Rule 360-31-.04 Change of Name or Address

(1) A licensee shall notify the Board in writing within 30 days after the licensee's name is legally changed. At the time of notification, the licensee shall submit a certified copy of the official document evidencing the name change. If the name change occurred during naturalization, the application must also include the naturalization number, the name and address of the court, the date of naturalization, and the name change. After receipt of the required notification and documentation, the Board will issue a duplicate license in the new name.
(2) A licensee shall notify the Board in writing within 30 days after a change in the licensee's address of record. Failure to so notify the Board of an address change is a violation of this rule and grounds for disciplinary action.
(3) A licensee who utilizes a post office box as the address of record shall also provide a street address where the Board may contact the licensee.

Rule 360-31-.05 Duplicate Licenses

(1) Duplicate licenses may be issued upon approval by the Board if the original license is lost, stolen, or destroyed, or if the licensee has had a legal change of name.
(2) To request a duplicate license, the licensee must submit a notarized application stating the reason the duplicate license is requested. If the application is based on a name change, the licensee must provide the documentation required by Rule 360-31-.04
(3) All applications must include the duplicate license fee. The duplicate license fee shall be designated in the fee schedule.

Rule 360-31-.06 Renewal

(1) All active licenses must be renewed on a biennial basis. Orthotist and/or Prosthetist licenses will expire on the last day of the month in which the applicant's birthday falls.
(2) Approximately 60 days prior to the expiration date, the Board may as a courtesy, mail a notice for license renewal to the last address on file in the Board's records to every person holding a current license. Failure to receive such notification shall not relieve the licensee of the obligation to renew and pay the required fee prior to the expiration date of the license. Deposit of the renewal fee by the Board does not indicate acceptance of the renewal application or that any licensing requirements have been fulfilled.
(3) To be eligible for renewal, licensees must answer questions on their biennial renewal form which establish satisfaction of Board approved continuing education requirements or eligibility for waiver or variance pursuant to Rule 360-31-.07. Failure to meet the continuing education requirements is a basis for nonrenewal.
(4) Failure to renew a license by the expiration date shall result in a restoration fee for late renewal as required by the Board. Licenses that have expired less than two years may be renewed by submitting a renewal application, establishing compliance with the continuing professional education requirements prescribed by the Board, and paying the restoration fee prescribed by the Board.
(5) Licenses not renewed for a period greater than two years may be restored by,
(a) fulfilling the requirements of 360-31-.06 (4) and,
(b) filing proof acceptable to the Board of his or her fitness to have his or her license restored by either completing a period of evaluated clinical experience and successful completion of an examination approved by the Board or by other method as approved by the Board.
(6) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (4) and (5) of this rule, a person whose license expired while he or she was in active duty with the regular or reserve component of the United States armed forces, the United States Coast Guard, the Georgia National Guard, or the Georgia Air National Guard on ordered federal duty for a period of ninety (90) days or longer, whose license expired while serving on active duty outside the state shall be permitted to practice in accordance with the expired license and shall not be charged with a violation relating to such practice on an expired license for a period of six (6) months from the date of his or her discharge from active duty or reassignment to a location within the state.
(7) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (5) of this rule, a person whose license expired while he or she was:
(a) in federal service on active duty with the armed forces of the United States or with the state militia and called into service or training;
(b) in training or education under the supervision of the United States preliminary to induction into military service. May have his or her license renewed or restored without paying a lapsed renewal fee if, within two (2) years after termination from the service or training, except under conditions other than honorable, he or she furnishes the Board with satisfactory evidence that he or she has been so engaged and that his or her service, training or education has been terminated.
(8) Except as provided in paragraph (6) of this rule, a person with an expired orthotist and/or prosthetist license shall not engage in the practice of orthotics and/or prosthetics and hold himself or herself out as being able to practice such professions until such time as the Board has approved his or her application for renewal or reinstatement.

Rule 360-31-.07 Continuing Education Requirements

(1) To be eligible to renew a license, each licensee must complete thirty (30) hours of Board approved continuing education during the two years preceding license renewal. An applicant for renewal of an individual license to practice orthotics or prosthetics who has been initially licensed by the Board for less than two years shall not be required to complete the continuing education hours in order to renew for the first biennium.
(a) the Board is authorized to waive the continuing education required for renewal in cases of hardship, disability, illness, service in the United States Congress or Georgia General Assembly, military service or other circumstances as the Board deems appropriate if supported by adequate documentation acceptable to the Board.
1. Applicant seeking such an exemption must submit a written request and documentation to support their eligibility for such an exemption.
2. Said request for an exemption shall be submitted to the Board not less than 60 days prior to the expiration of the license to receive a determination from the Board as to whether an exemption would be granted.
(2) Each licensee shall be required to answer questions on their biennial renewal application form that establish compliance with Board approved continuing education requirements. Licensees will not be required to send documentation of compliance with continuing education requirements for renewal, unless requested by the Board pursuant to Rule 360-31-.07(4). False statements regarding satisfaction of continuing education on the renewal form or any other document connected with the practice of orthotics and/or prosthetics may subject the licensee to disciplinary action by the Board.
(3) Each licensee who must meet the requirements of this chapter must maintain a record of attendance and supporting documents for Board approved continuing education for a period of five (5) years from the date of attendance. At a minimum, the following information must be kept:
(a) name of provider;
(b) name of program;
(c) hours of continuing education units completed; and
(d) date of completion.
(4) The Board will audit a fixed percentage of randomly selected renewal applications to monitor compliance with the continuing education requirements. Any licensee so audited shall be required to furnish documentation of compliance including name of provider, name of program, hours/continuing education units completed and date of completion. Any licensee so audited that has been found to be out of compliance with the Board's continuing education requirements may be subject to disciplinary action.
(5) Continuing education hours that are used to satisfy a deficiency may not be used for purposes of renewal of the applicant's license for the next biennium.
(6) Any applicant seeking renewal of a license without having fully complied with the Board's continuing education requirement who wishes to seek a waiver or variance of this rule shall file with the Board.
(a) a renewal application and fee and
(b) a statement that complies with the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 50-13-9.1 setting forth the specific facts of substantial hardship which would justify a variance or waiver, including the alternative standards which the person seeking a waiver or variance agrees to meet and a showing that such alternative standards will afford adequate protection for the public health, safety and welfare; and the reason why the variance would serve the purpose of the underlying statute.
(7) All renewal applicants must provide an affidavit and a secure and verifiable document in accordance with O.C.G.A. 50-36-1(f). If the applicant has previously provided a secure and verifiable document and affidavit of United States citizenship, no additional documentation of citizenship is required for renewal. If the applicant for renewal is not a United States citizen, he/she must submit documentation that will determine his/her qualified alien status. The Board participates in the DHS-USCIS SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements or "SAVE") program for purpose of verifying citizenship and immigration status information of non-U.S. citizens. If the applicant for renewal is a qualified alien or non-immigrant under the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act, he/she must provide the alien number issued by the Department of Homeland Security or other federal agency.

Rule 360-31-.08 Inactive Status

(1) A licensee who does not intend to practice orthotics and/or prosthetics may apply to the Board for inactive status by submitting an application and the fee. An individual with an inactive license shall not practice prosthetics or orthotics in this State.
(2) In order to restore a license to practice orthotics and/or prosthetics, an applicant must complete an application and pay the current renewal fee and file proof acceptable to the Board of his or her fitness to have his or her license restored as provided in Rule 360-31-.06.

Rule 360-31-.09 Unlicensed Practice

(1) No person shall practice orthotics or prosthetics in this state and hold himself or herself out as being able to practice such or engage or offer to engage in such professions unless he or she is licensed pursuant to the Orthotics and Prosthetics Practice Act or is exempt from such licensing pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 43-34-193.
(2) The Board may refuse to grant the license of any applicant who has engaged in the unlicensed practice of orthotics or prosthetics or administer other discipline pursuant to O.C.G.A. §§ 43-34-8 or 43-34-196 upon the issuance of a license to an applicant who has engaged in the unlicensed practice of orthotics or prosthetics.

Rule 360-31-.10 Assistants and Technicians

(1) No person shall work as an assistant to an orthotist, prosthetist or prosthetist orthotist and provide patient care services of fabrication of an orthosis or prosthesis, unless he or she is doing the work under the supervision of a licensed orthotist, prosthetist or prosthetist orthotist.
(a) Patient Care Services is the assessment, measuring, molding, casting, fitting, or delivering a prosthesis or orthoses.
(b) Supervision means the supervising licensed orthotist, prosthetist or prosthetist orthotist is physically present in the same building and available to lend assistance if needed.
(2) No person shall work as a technician unless the work is performed under the supervision of a person licensed under this article.
(a) Supervision of a technician means the licensed practitioner will give direction and instruction to the technician as to how the device is to be fabricated. The technician will build the device according to the given specifications. The technician will not provide direct patient care services. The licensed practitioner is responsible for the quality of the fabrication of the device that is delivered to the patient.

Rule 360-31-.11 Prerequisite to Providing Care or Services

A licensed orthotist or a licensed prosthetist may provide care or services only if the care or services are provided pursuant to an order from a licensed physician or podiatrist.

Rule 360-31-.12 Repealed

Rule 360-31-.13 Composition and Responsibilities of the Orthotist and Prosthetist Advisory Committee

(1) The intention and policy of the Board is to reflect the cultural diversity of the citizens of Georgia in the composition of the Orthotist and Prosthetist Advisory Committee ("Advisory Committee"). The Advisory Committee shall be comprised as follows:
(a) At least four (4) appointees, who are licensed orthotists and/or prosthetists and representative of such professions, and such other individuals as the Board, in its discretion, may determine.
(b) All appointees to the Advisory Committee shall have on file with the Executive Director of the Board, or his/her designee, a resume and three (3) letters of recommendation, one of which may be from a physician familiar with the appointee's practice of orthotics or prosthetics.
(c) In order to preserve continuity on the Advisory Committee, two appointees shall serve a two-year term and two appointees shall serve a one-year term which will be considered a partial term. At the time of the appointment, each appointee will be notified in writing by the Executive Director of the Board as to the beginning and ending dates of his or her respective appointment terms. Each may reapply to the full Board to serve additional terms.
(d) In the event an Advisory Committee member is replaced during a term, the replacement member will serve the remaining time of that term as a partial term. An Advisory Committee member who serves a partial term, after the completion of the partial term, is eligible to serve subsequent two-year terms.
(e) Appointees shall serve without compensation from the State of Georgia for their time and expenses.
(2) The Advisory Committee shall advise the Board on matters pertaining to the appointment of the Advisory Committee members and matters within the purview of the Orthotics and Prosthetics Practice Act. The Board, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, shall:
(a) Determine the qualifications and fitness of applicants for licensure and renewal of licensure;
(b) Adopt and revise rules consistent with the laws of the State of Georgia that are necessary to conduct its duties and administer the Act; and
(c) Examine for, approve, issue, deny revoke, suspend and renew the license of applicants and licensees and conduct hearings in connection with all duties to be performed pursuant to the Act.
(3) Advisory Committee members, who are not members of the Board, must be available to meet on an as needed basis and may not miss more than three (3) consecutive meetings of the Advisory Committee, or four (4) meetings in a calendar year, without an excused absence from either the Executive Director of the Board or the Board Chairperson.
(a) The Advisory Committee may recommend to the Board the removal of a member for violation of the attendance rule. Such a recommendation shall be by majority vote of the Advisory Committee.
(b) Upon receipt of such recommendation for removal, the Board may remove a member of the Advisory Committee by a majority vote.
(4) Advisory Committee vacancies may be filled by the Board upon recommendation from the Advisory Committee. All applicants must meet any deadline set by the Board and shall have on file with the Executive Director of the Board, or with his/her designee, a resume and three (3) letters of recommendation, one of which may be from a physician familiar with the applicant's practice of orthotics or prosthetics.

Rule 360-31-.14 Repealed

Rule 360-31-.15 Repealed