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OHLA Licensing Line

February 15, 2013

OHLA Proposes Legislation to Streamline, Standardize, and More

The Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) is proposing legislation
that, among other things, would further streamline and standardize the agency's overarching requirements for the multiple health and related professions the agency oversees.

The Oregon State Legislature officially convened on Monday, February 4, and the session is usually open until June.

Following is a summary of OHLA's proposed legislation, which also proposes specific statutory changes to individual professions.  The agency's budget must also be ratified by the Oregon State Legislature and is highlighted below.

House Bill 2101: Streamline and Standardize OHLA Professions
Currently, OHLA oversees 11 individual volunteer citizen boards
representing 21 professions.  Each board has different statutory requirements for licensure, renewal, license status, license posting, terminology for license status and continuing education. 
The proposed provisions would standardize authorization status for all OHLA boards and define "authorization," applying it uniformly throughout agency statutes.  The proposed concept would consolidate all active, inactive, and expired renewals into OHLA's statutory definitions.  This will allow the agency to carry out each program renewal process uniformly.
The concept also consolidates program fees and continuing education provisions into OHLA statutes.   The proposed amendment will also allow the agency the option to issue provisional licenses for training and education.
House Bill 2102:  Board of Athletic Trainers
House Bill 2102 proposes the following changes to Board of Athletic Trainers statutes:
  • Removes obsolete references to National Athletic Trainers Association and replaces them with Board of Certification.  New provisions delete reference to National Athletic Trainers Association and replace with Board of Certification.
  • Revises requirements for reciprocal licensure. Current statutory language is permissive and allows the board to create reciprocal and equivelancy pathways for licensure, but does not direct such pathways. Clear language directing the board to establish reciprocal and equivelancy licensure pathways will ensure that athletic trainers who have met licensure requirements in other states will not be required to duplicate licensure requirements in Oregon.
  • Expands exemption for athletic trainers licensed in other states or countries to work in Oregon for a limited period of time. Current statutory language establishes an exemption for a person "performing athletic training services in this state for purposes of continuing education, consulting or training if the services are performed for no more than 60 days in any calendar year and are performed in association with a registered athletic trainer if the person is: (A) Registered or licensed and in good standing as athletic trainer in another state; or (B) Certified by and in good standing as an athletic trainer with the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification."

    The statute does not explicitly include those athletic trainers who accompany sports teams who travel to Oregon for competition or training. The current statute could be interpreted to require those out-of-state or out-of-country athletic trainers to obtain Oregon licensure before the athletic trainer could offer services to her/his team. With athletic events at all levels, both amateur and professional, occuring in Oregon, it is important to remove this potential obstacle. For example, Oregon hosted the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene.
  • Currently, elementary and secondary school teachers are not required to obtain Board of Athletic Trainer registration if they do not hold themselves out to be athletic trainers, even if the teacher has met Board of Certification requirements. New provisions clarify the statutory language to require elementary and secondary teachers who hold Board of Certification licensure, who also offer athletic training services, to be registered by the Board of Athletic Trainers.
Senate Bill 107:  OHLA-Regulated Professions

Senate Bill 107 proposes to make statutory changes to the following
OHLA boards or professions:

(1) Nursing Home Administrators:  Currently the statutes allow an individual licensed by endorsement to become licensed as a nursing home administrator in Oregon without taking a board-approved examination. The proposed amendment would eliminate the stipulation of "without examination" allowing the Nursing Home Administrators Board flexibility to determine if examination is necessary for individuals seeking licensure by endorsement as a nursing home administrator in Oregon to ensure they meet Oregon qualifications.


(2) Polysomnography: Currently the statutes for polysomnography licensure allow only for "education" as a pathway to licensure. The proposal would add training as a requirement to licensure in lieu of education if deemed appropriate by the Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board.


(3) Cosmetology: Currently Board of Cosmetology statutes define esthetics as full body skin care without explicitly defining services that may also be performed on the face, such as eyelash extensions.  The amendment adds “face” to the scope of practice of esthetics, allowing estheticians to perform services they have been trained to do, such as eyelash extensions.
(4) Body Art: Currently the statutes for the Board of Body Art Practitioners do not delineate a separate field of practice for earlobe piercing, which is limited to the lower soft tissue of the earlobe and does not require the education and training necessary to do full body piercing.  The new provision adds earlobe piercing as a field of practice in body art.
(5) Advisory Council on Hearing Aids: Currently the statutes do not allow OHLA to provide for temporary licensure for an individual who has received training in hearing aid fitting and sales but is waiting to take required examinations for licensure.  The new provision adds authority for OHLA to issue temporary licenses to individuals seeking hearing aid specialist licensure


OHLA Budget Proposes Funding to Oversee 72,000+ Licenses

OHLA's budget request of $7,657,718, Senate Bill 5524, addresses the agency's ongoing need to fund its consumer protection efforts, from sending inspectors out to check for health and safety standards at thousands of cosmetology and body art facilities statewide to investigating and resolving hundreds of consumer complaints annually.

The agency also conducts qualifying reviews and examinations of thousands of applicants in multiple professions yearly, in addition to oversight of 11 volunteer citizen boards.

Currently, the agency oversees licensing and regulation of more than 36,000 individual licensees/practitioners and nearly twice that number in different authorizations/licenses, the majority of which are cosmetology and body art facilities and cosmetology independent contractors.

OHLA operates solely on licensing and regulatory fees from applicants and licensees and draws no tax dollars from the state's general fund.

Non-OHLA Bills Proposed That May Affect Agency Operations
The following two bills have not been proposed by OHLA but if
passed would affect agency operations.  OHLA is neutral on the bills but would testify before the Legislature if called to describe how the agency would implement the provisions in the proposed legislation
HB 2074 – OHLA to Oregon Health Authority:  Changes the name of the Oregon Health Licensing Agency to the Health Licensing Office and the name of the Oregon Health Licensing Agency Account to the Health Licensing Office Account.  HB 2074 provides that the office is created within the Oregon Health Authority and provides the Director of the Oregon Health Authority with appointment power over the Director of the Health Licensing Office.
SB 302 – Miscellaneous Boards to OHLA:  This bill transfers duties, functions and powers relating to issuance of authorizations and enforcement and certain other duties, functions and powers from the State Board of Psychologist Examiners, Occupational Therapy Licensing Board, State Board of Licensed Social Workers, Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine, Board of Medical Imaging and State Mortuary and Cemetery Board to the Oregon Health Licensing Agency.


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