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OHLA @ 10 Years: 1999-2009
Putting Oregonians to Work While Protecting Oregon Consumers
 

In 1999, the Oregon State Legislature established the Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) to “provide for the more effective coordination of administrative and regulatory functions of certain health boards, councils and programs involved in protecting the public….”
 
Since then, OHLA has built a foundation of regulatory success by focusing on the strengths of our central agency model and partnering with our volunteer citizen boards and councils to provide profession-specific regulatory expertise and oversight.
 
What are the strengths, or benefits, of OHLA’s central agency structure?  We achieve economies of scale by overseeing multiple professions, allowing us to operate more cost-effectively by identifying and implementing efficiencies across regulated professions and eliminating unnecessary and redundant ways of doing business.

 
Reorganization Positions Agency for Future
Training workshop
In the past year, OHLA conducted a comprehensive review and reorganization to position the agency to effectively respond to emerging regulatory developments into the next decade.
 
The goal of the reorganization and continued agency internal review is to provide more efficient, responsive and accountable public service.  Licensees, consumers and stakeholders have seen immediate service enhancements:
  • OHLA is now open during the lunch hour, allowing our customers to complete business with the agency more quickly and efficiently.

  • We are one of the first state regulatory agencies in the nation to offer training workshops in health, safety and infection control to licensees in lieu of civil fines, fostering a more positive regulatory environment.

  • We reduced the cost of holding an authorization to practice and streamlined the process by establishing two-year license / renewal periods for all OHLA-regulated professions.

  • We have streamlined how we conduct inspections at thousands of businesses statewide, increasing the number of businesses inspected for health, safety and infection control compliance.

 
Building on a Record of Service Excellence
Alan Bennett
These recent service improvements build on the agency’s record of service excellence, notably same-day licensing for a majority of applicants who meet qualification standards for licensure, national qualifying examinations, state-to-state license reciprocity and online license renewals.
 
The goal:  to protect the health and safety of consumers while providing our licensees with streamlined services – services that make working with the agency faster, easier and cheaper.
 
Through our efforts, we want to ensure that all Oregon consumers are able to access competent and qualified professionals.  We also want to provide qualified professionals the opportunity to start working sooner and stay competent through continuing education and training.
 
Our goal in providing this report is to show how OHLA is providing maximum value – value resulting in positive outcomes for Oregon consumers and licensed professionals.
 
We look forward to providing the very best licensing and regulatory services, continually improving our performance, and building on our past and present successes in our next decade of public service.

 
OHLA: 10 Years of Progress, Achievements
Sesquicentennial
Following is a snapshot of milestones from the agency's first 10 years that provide a broad overview of the agency’s wide-ranging impact across regulated professions and issues.
 
Oregon150 Years of Statehood
As the Oregon Health Licensing Agency’s marks 10 years of public service in 2009, Oregon celebrates 150 years of statehood on February 14, 2009.  Find out more about the state’s sesquicentennial birthday celebration at www.oregon150.org/.

 
1999
AT
Legislature Establishes Agency - The Oregon State Legislature establishes the Oregon Health Licensing Office with the passage of House Bill 2465, consolidating health licensing boards and programs within the Oregon Health Division with health related licensing boards into one central agency. 
 
Athletic Trainers Registration -The Legislature passes House Bill 2704, which established the Board of Athletic Trainers within the Health Licensing Office and mandatory registration of athletic trainers.
 

 
2000
 

Consumer’s Bill of Rights – OHLA creates the Consumer’s Bill of Rights, which is distributed to consumer organizations and agency stakeholders statewide.  The Consumer’s Bill of Rights continues to be featured on agency brochures and the agency Web site.
 
Partnering to Promote Health – OHLA teams up with Oregon Health Services and the Klamath County Health Department to respond to reports of severe ear infections caused by improper cleaning and disinfection at a local piercing kiosk, resulting in a temporary closure of the kiosk.

 
2001
Midwifery
Nail Salon Public Education – OHLA launches a major public education campaign to educate consumers on health, safety and infection control issues in nail salons after hundreds of nail salon customers in California suffer from bacterial skin infections linked to improperly cleaned and disinfected foot baths used for pedicures.
 
Midwifery Drugs & Devices - Senate Bill 730 passes, authorizing use of certain prescription, or legend, drugs and devices by licensed midwives to provide resources for greater health and safety of mothers and infants in primarily out-of-hospital births.
 
Piercing, Tattoo Public Education – OHLA launches another major public education campaign to provide consumers piercing and tattoo health and safety information, the first state regulatory agency in the United States to do so.

 
2002
Testing
Same-Day Licensing Offered OHLA offers onsite, walk-in electronic testing and established streamlined paperwork requirements for applicants to provide same-day licensing to a majority of applicants for licensure.
 
Continuing Education Self-Attestation – OHLA implements self-attestation for all agency-regulated professions that require continuing education as a condition of license renewal, one of the agency’s many streamlining initiatives to make regulation less burdensome on licensees while maintaining regulatory standards.

 
2003
Denture Technology
Consumer Tips in The Oregonian – OHLA publishes an “In My Opinion” column in The Oregonian titled “All’s Not Lost, Oregon Consumers” describing how consumers can turn to the numerous state professional boards—including those administered by the agency—for complaint resolution.  The opinion piece was then distributed to the agency’s key stakeholders and state agencies.
 
Solving Scope of Practice Issues – OHLA facilitates implementation of an expansion in the scope of practice for denturists after passage of Ballot Measure 24, which allowed denturists to install partial dentures, by including dentist stakeholder groups early in the process and fostering dialogue between the two professions.

 
2004
Capitol Building
Risk Factors in Birth Centers OHLA serves on a Department of Human Services (DHS) task force to review risk factors involved in birth center deliveries.  The task force recommends changes to better protect mothers and babies when births are in non-hospital settings such as birth centers and private homes.
 
Legislative Outreach to Stakeholders – OHLA conducts an outreach event prior to the 2005 Oregon Legislative Session that draws a capacity crowd to address proposed agency legislation affecting multiple regulated professions, one of many outreach activities to keep licensees and stakeholders informed and participating in the regulatory process.

 
2005
Hearing aids
Hearing Aid Purchase Protections OHLA expands protections for hearing aid purchasers to return unsatisfactory devices and receive a refund, standardized hearing examinations, or audiograms, and places a new, lower maximum amount that hearing aid specialists may charge when hearing aids are returned by the consumer.
 
Addressing Emerging Technologies OHLA addresses the proliferation of new and emerging technologies used in regulated professions by launching a public education campaign and partnering with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates device manufacturers.
 
New Name for Agency - The Health Licensing Office changes its name to Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) to better reflect its status as a stand-alone regulatory entity providing a full range of services and oversight.

 
2006
OHLA Web site
Partnership Protects Drinking Water – OHLA collaborates with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to provide balanced oversight for evaluating on-site wastewater systems to protect the water supply and consumers without creating burdensome regulation affecting landowners, homeowners and consumers.
 
Online License Renewal Offered – OHLA begins offering an online renewal feature on the agency Web site at www.oregon.gov/OHLA.  This new renewal option allows individual and facility license holders to renew their their license, certification or registration 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 
2007
Allied Orientation Video Shoot
Board & Council Video, Handbook – OHLA produces an orientation video and handbook for the more than 60 volunteer citizne members who serve on the 10 boards and councils the agency oversees, covering issues such as the requirements of executive session to their roles and responsibilities as board and council members.
 
Ninth Board Joins Agency - The Oregon Legislature establishes the Sex Offender Treatment Board (SOTB) with the passage of House Bill 3233, which places regulatory oversight with the agency.  Attorney General Hardy Meyers hails the legislation as a “…key component of the comprehensive response necessary to ensure community and victim safety.”

 
2008
Rules Hearing
Reorganization Spurs Improvements – OHLA reviews agency operations to refine the central agency model and identify new opportunities to provide more efficient, responsive and accountable public service to licensees and agency stakeholders. 
 
Fees Reduced, Licensing Streamlined – OHLA implements a new fee structure that reduces fees to practice for most OHLA-regulated professions while streamlining the renewal process by extending the licensing period to two years.

 
2009
 

Tenth Board Joins Agency - Pending approval by the Oregon State Legislature, the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators (BENHA) becomes the tenth volunteer citizen board overseen by OHLA.
 
Strengthening Consumer Protection - Proposed legislation creates legal standards for providing health and safety training in lieu of issuing civil fines after OHLA becomes one of the first state regulatory agencies in the nation to offer licensees the option of attending training instead of paying a civil fine.
 
Focus on Education, Training - Proposed legislation addresses the need to ensure public protection through education and training as new and emerging developments in regulated professions occur.

 
OHLA-Regulated Professions

Profession-Specific Highlights, Central Issues, Timelines
Click on the links below to access regulatory highlights, central issues and profession-specific regulatory timelines for each OHLA-regulated profession.

Board of Athletic Trainers
Helping Athletes Prevent, Respond to and Recover from Injuries

Board of Body Art Practitioners

Board of Cosmetology
Addressing Emerging Issues in Long-Standing Professions

Board of Denture Technology
Offering Consumers Choice of Qualified, Specialized Dental Care

Board of Direct Entry Midwifery
Regulation Provides Choice, Protection of Mother and Baby

Environmental Health Registration Board
Improving Health and Environment through Professional Standards

Advisory Council on Hearing Aids
Communication of Contractual Rights Key to Regulatory Oversight

Nursing Home Administrators Board
(10-year report currently unavailable)

Respiratory Therapist Licensing Board

(Now the Respiratory Therapist and Polsomnographic Technologist Licensing Board)

Qualifying, Monitoring Licensees So Patients Can Breathe Easier

Sex Offender Therapist Board
Quickly and Effectively Establishing Professional Standards

 
OHLA Saves Money by Producing Report Online
The Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) is saving money by producing and distributing the agency's 10-year report online.  A printed report would cost thousands of dollars to print and distribute.
 
Producing the report online is one more cost-effective efficiency implemented by OHLA to keep agency operating costs as low as possible.