Utah Administrative Code
The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).
NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since October 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.
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R539. Human Services, Services for People with Disabilities.
Rule R539-4. Behavior Interventions.
As in effect on October 1, 2019
Table of Contents
- R539-4-1. Purpose.
- R539-4-2. Authority.
- R539-4-3. Definitions.
- R539-4-4. Levels of Behavior Interventions.
- R539-4-5. Review and Approval Process.
- R539-4-6. Emergency Behavior Interventions.
- Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment
- Notice of Continuation
- Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law
(1) The purpose of this rule is to define and establish standards for Behavior Interventions, to protect Persons' rights, and prevent abuse and neglect.
(1) This rule establishes procedures and standards for Persons' constitutional liberty interests as required by Subsection 62A-5-103.
(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 62A-5-101 and R539-1-3.
(2) In addition:
(a) "Behavior Intervention" means a specific technique designed to teach the Person skills and address their problems. Techniques are based on principles from the fields of Positive Behavior Supports and applied behavior analysis.
(b) "Behavior Peer Review Committee" means a group consisting of at least three specialists with experience in the fields of Positive Behavior Supports and applied behavior analysis. One of the three members must be outside the Provider agency. The Committee is primarily responsible for evaluating the quality, effectiveness, and least intrusiveness of the Person's Behavior Support Plan.
(c) "Behavior Support Plan" means a written document used by Provider staff and others, designed to address the Person's specific problems.
(d) "Contingent Rights Restrictions" means a Level III Intervention resulting in the temporary loss of rights based upon the occurrence of a previously identified problem.
(e) "Emergency Behavior Intervention" means the use of Level II Interventions not outlined in the Behavior Support Plan, but used in Emergency Situations.
(f) "Emergency Rights Restriction" means a Level II Intervention temporarily denying or restricting access to personal property, privacy, or travel in order to prevent imminent injury to the Person, others, or property. Rights are reinstated when immediate danger is resolved.
(g) "Emergency Situations" means one or more of the following:
(i) Danger to others: physical violence toward others with sufficient force to cause bodily harm.
(ii) Danger to self: abuse of self with sufficient force to cause bodily harm.
(iii) Danger to property: physical abuse or destruction of property.
(iv) Threatened abuse toward others, self, or property which, with an evidence of past threats, result in any of the items listed above.
(h) "Enforced Compliance" means a Level II Intervention in which a Person is physically guided through completion of a request or command that the Person is resisting.
(i) "Exclusionary Time-out" means a Level II Intervention removing the Person from a specific setting that exceeds 10 minutes or requires Enforced Compliance to move the Person to or prevent from leaving a designated area.
(j) "Extinction" means a Level I Intervention that withholds reinforcement from a previously reinforced behavior.
(k) "Functional Behavior Assessment" means a written document prepared by the Provider behavior specialist to determine why problems occur and develop effective interventions. The results of the assessment are a clear description of the problem, situations that predict when the problem will occur, consequences that maintain the problem, and a summary statement or hypothesis.
(l) "Highly Noxious Stimuli" means a Level III Intervention applying an extremely undesirable, but not harmful, sensory event that exceeds the criteria of Mildly Noxious Stimuli.
(m) "Level I Intervention" means positive, unregulated procedures such as prevention strategies, reinforcement strategies, positive teaching and training strategies, redirecting, verbal instruction, withholding reinforcement, Extinction, Non-exclusionary Time-out/Contingent Observation, and simple correction.
(n) "Level II Intervention" means intrusive procedures that may be used in pre-approved Behavior Support Plans or as Emergency Behavior Interventions. Approved interventions include Enforced Compliance, Manual Restraint, Exclusionary Time-out, Mildly Noxious Stimuli, and Emergency Rights Restrictions.
(o) "Level III Intervention" means intrusive procedures that are only used in pre-approved Behavior Support Plans. Approved interventions include Time-out rooms, Mechanical Restraint, Highly Noxious Stimuli, overcorrection, Contingent Rights Restrictions, Response Cost, and Satiation.
(p) "Manual Restraint" means a Level II Intervention using physical force in order to hold a Person to prevent or limit movement.
(q) "Mechanical Restraint" means a Level III Intervention that is any device attached or adjacent to the Person's body that cannot easily be removed by the Person and restricts freedom of movement. Mechanical restraint devices may include, but are not limited to, gloves, mittens, helmets, splints, and wrist and ankle restraints. For purposes of this Rule, Mechanical Restraints do not include:
(i) Safety devices used in typical situations such as seatbelts or sporting equipment.
(ii) Medically prescribed equipment used as positioning devices, during medical procedures, to promote healing, or to prevent injury related to a health condition (i.e. helmets used for Persons with severe seizures).
(r) "Mildly Noxious Stimuli" means a Level II Intervention applying a slightly undesirable sensory event such as a verbal startle or loud hand clap.
(s) "Non-exclusionary Time-out/Contingent Observation" means a Level I Intervention in which a Person voluntarily moves to a designated area for less than ten minutes for the purpose of regaining self-control or observing others demonstrating appropriate actions.
(t) "Positive Behavior Supports" means the use of Behavior Interventions that achieve socially important behavior change. The supports address the functionality of the problem and result in outcomes that are acceptable to the Person, the family, and the community. Supports focus on prevention and teaching replacement behavior.
(u) "Overcorrection" means a Level III Intervention requiring a Person to repeatedly restore an environment to its original condition or repeating an alternate behavior.
(v) "Reinforcer" means anything that occurs following a behavior that increases or strengthens that behavior.
(w) "Response Cost" means a Level III Intervention removing previously obtained rewards, such as tokens, points, or activities, upon the occurrence of a problem. Removal of personal property is not approved.
(x) "Satiation" means a Level III Intervention that presents an overabundance of a reinforcer to promote a reduction in the occurrence of the problem. Satiation is not used with Enforced Compliance.
(y) "State Behavior Review Committee" means a group of professionals with training and experience in Positive Behavior Supports and applied behavior analysis. The committee reviews and approves Behavior Support Plans to ensure the least intrusive and most effective interventions are used.
(z) "Time-out Room" means a Level III Intervention placing a Person in a specifically designed, unlocked room. The Person is prevented from leaving the room until pre-determined time or behavior criteria are met.
(1) The remainder of this rule applies to all Division staff and Providers, but does not apply to employees hired for Self-Administered Services.
(2) All Behavior Support Plans shall be implemented only after the Person or Guardian gives consent and the Behavior Support Plan is approved by the Team.
(3) All Behavior Support Plans shall incorporate Positive Behavior Supports with the least intrusive, effective treatment designed to assist the Person in acquiring and maintaining skills, and preventing problems.
(4) Behavior Support Plans must:
(a) Be based on a Functional Behavior Assessment.
(b) Focus on prevention and teach replacement behaviors.
(c) Include planned responses to problems.
(d) Outline a data collection system for evaluating the effectiveness of the plan.
(5) All Provider staff involved in implementing procedures outlined in the Behavior Support Plan shall be trained and demonstrate competency prior to implementing the plan.
(a) Completion of training shall be documented by the Provider.
(b) The Behavior Support Plan shall be available to all staff involved in implementing or supervising the plan.
(6) Level I interventions may be used informally, in written support strategies, or in Behavior Support Plans without approval.
(7) Behavior Support Plans that only include Level I Interventions do not require approval or review by the Behavior Peer Review Committee or Provider Human Rights Committee.
(8) Level II Interventions may be used in pre-approved Behavior Support Plans or emergency situations.
(9) Level III Interventions may only be used in pre-approved Behavior Support Plans.
(10) Behavior Support Plans that utilize Level II or Level III Interventions shall be implemented only after Positive Behavior Supports, including Level I Interventions, are fully implemented and shown to be ineffective. A rationale on the necessity for the use of intrusive procedures shall be included in the Behavior Support Plan.
(11) Time-out Rooms shall be designed to protect Persons from hazardous conditions, including sharp corners and objects, uncovered light fixtures, and unprotected electrical outlets. The rooms shall have adequate lighting and ventilation.
(a) Doors to the Time-out Room may be held shut by Provider staff, but not locked at any time.
(b) Persons shall remain in Time-out Rooms no more than 2 hours per occurrence.
(c) Provider staff shall monitor Persons in a Time-out Room visually and auditorially on a continual basis. Staff shall document ongoing observation of the Person while in the Time-out Room at least every fifteen minutes.
(12) Time-out Rooms shall be used only upon the occurrence of problems previously identified in the Behavior Support Plan.
(a) Persons shall be placed in the Time-out Room immediately following a previously identified problem. Time delays are not allowed.
(b) Persons shall not be transported to another location for placement in a Time-out Room.
(c) Behavior Support Plans must outline specific release criteria that may include time and behavior components. Time asleep must count toward time-release criteria.
(13) Mechanical restraints shall ensure the Person's safety in breathing, circulation, and prevent skin irritation.
(a) Persons shall be placed in Mechanical Restraints immediately following the identified problem. Time delays are not allowed.
(b) Persons shall not be transported to another location for Mechanical Restraints.
(14) Mechanical Restraints shall be used only upon the occurrence of problems previously identified in the Behavior Support Plan.
(a) Behavior Support Plans must outline specific release criteria that may include time and behavior components. Time asleep must count toward time-release criteria. The plan shall also specify maximum time limits for single application and multiple use.
(b) Behavior Support Plans shall include specific requirements for monitoring the Person, before, during, and after application of the restraint to ensure health and safety.
(c) Provider staff shall document their observation of the Person as specified in the Behavior Support Plan.
(15) Manual restraints shall ensure the Person's safety in breathing and circulation. Manual restraint procedures are limited to the Mandt System (Mandt), the Professional Assault Response Training (PART), or Supports Options and Actions for Respect (SOAR) training programs. Procedures not outlined in the programs listed above may only be used if pre-approved by the State Behavior Review Committee.
(16) Behavior Support Plans that include Manual Restraints shall provide information on the method of restraint, release criteria, and time limitations on use.
(1) The Behavior Peer Review Committee shall review and approve the Behavior Support Plan annually. The plan may be implemented prior to the Behavior Peer Review Committee's review; however the review and approval must be completed within 60 calendar days of implementation.
(2) The Behavior Peer Review Committee's review and approval process shall include the following:
(a) A confirmation that appropriate Positive Behavior Supports, including Level I Interventions, were fully implemented and revised as needed prior to the implementation of Level II or Level III Interventions.
(b) Ensure the technical adequacy of the Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Support Plan based on principles from the fields of Positive Behavior Supports and applied behavior analysis.
(c) Ensure plans are in place to attempt reducing the use of intrusive interventions.
(d) Ensure that staff training and plan implementation are adequate.
(3) The Provider Human Rights Committee shall approve Behavior Support Plans with Level II and Level III Interventions annually. Review and approval shall focus on rights issues, including consent and justification for the use of intrusive interventions.
(4) The State Behavior Review Committee must consist of at least three members, including representatives from the Division, Provider, and an independent professional having a recognized expertise in Positive Behavior Supports. The Committee shall review and approve the following:
(a) Behavior Support Plans that include Time-out Rooms, Mechanical Restraints or Highly Noxious Stimuli.
(b) Behavior Support Plans that include forms of Manual Restraint or Exclusionary Time-out used for long-term behavior change and not used in response to an emergency situation.
(c) Behavior Support Plans that include manual restraint not outlined in Mandt, PART, SOAR, Safety Care, or CPI training programs.
(5) The Committee shall determine the time-frame for follow-up review.
(6) Behavior Support Plans shall be submitted to the Division's state office for temporary approval prior to implementation pending the State Behavior Review Committee's review of the plan.
(7) Families participating in Self-Administered Services may seek State Behavior Review Committee recommendations, if desired.
(1) Emergency Behavior Interventions may be necessary to prevent clear and imminent threat of injury or property destruction during emergency situations.
(2) Level I Interventions shall be used first in emergency situations, if possible.
(3) The least intrusive Level II Interventions shall be used in emergency situations. The length of time in which the intervention is implemented shall be limited to the minimum amount of time required to resolve the immediate emergency situation.
(4) Each use of Emergency Behavior Interventions and a complete Emergency Behavior Intervention Review shall be documented by the Provider on Division Form 1-8 and forwarded to the Division, as outlined in the Provider's Service Contract with the Division.
(a) The Emergency Behavior Intervention Review shall be conducted by the Provider supervisor or specialist and staff involved with the Emergency Behavior Intervention. The review shall include the following:
(i) The circumstances leading up to and following the problem.
(ii) If the Emergency Behavior Intervention was justified.
(iii) Recommendations for how to prevent future occurrences, if applicable.
(5) The Person's Support Coordinator shall review Form 1-8 received from Providers and document the follow-up action.
(6) If Emergency Behavior Interventions are used three times, or for a total of 25 minutes, within 30 calendar days, the Team shall meet within ten business days of the date the above criteria are met to review the interventions and determine if:
(a) A Behavior Support Plan is needed;
(b) Level II or III Interventions are required in the Behavior Support Plan;
(c) Technical assistance is needed;
(d) Arrangements should be made with other agencies to prevent or respond to future crisis situations; or
(e) Other solutions can be identified to prevent future use of Emergency Behavior Interventions.
(7) The Provider's Human Rights Committee shall review each use of Emergency Behavior Interventions.
people with disabilities, behavior
December 30, 2013
July 15, 2019
For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R539, please contact the promulgating agency (Human Services, Services for People with Disabilities). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.