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Complaints & Compliance

What Licensees Should Know

Have you been notified that a complaint has been filed against you? Have you been cited during a facility inspection? You should know your rights and understand how the disciplinary process works.
 
The Health Licensing Office (HLO) and the volunteer citizen boards overseen by HLO are required by state law to uphold regulations meant to protect the health, safety and rights of consumers. 
 
OHLA holds statutory authority to conduct investigations and to discipline licensees who violate Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) or Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR).

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Resolution / Due Process

If licensees receive a Notice from HLO they should not ignore it. All notices come with a Notice of Right to Request a Hearing and Final Order Upon Default. In most cases, a licensee has 30 days to request a hearing, and it must be in writing. This begins the Due Process.

If a licensee chooses to ignore a Notice, then the Notice will become a Final Order and not likely to change.

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Licensees Receive Due Process

An official notice from HLO should not be ignored.

Notices include:
  • Notice of Right to Request a Hearing
  • Final Order, upon default

    In most cases a licensee has 30 days to request a hearing. Requests must be made in writing and begins the due process.

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    Notice of Disciplinary Action

    Compliance action begins with a complaint to HLO and may end with a Final Order. But before we get to the Final Order, an investigation will occur.

    If the allegations are substantiated, a Notice of Intent to Impose Disciplinary Action and Notice of Right to Request a Hearing will be sent to the licensee. The notice includes the violation(s), proposed disciplinary action and the rights of the licensee.

    If the allegations are unfounded, the licensee will receive a letter from HLO communicating this finding.

    The information from an investigation can be requested by going to HLO's website and filing a public records request once a final order is issued. Specific details of an investigation may not be disclosed to the public.

    For any violation(s), disciplinary actions may include fines up to $5,000 and suspension or revocation of a practitioner's authorization to practice and up to $5,000 for the cost of disciplinary proceedings. 

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    Responding to a Notice

    If you receive a Notice of Intent to Assess a Civil Penalty (Notice), you must respond within the time designated on the notice if you would like to contest the allegations or negotiate a settlement. 
     
    Proposed discipline is just that—what HLO proposes as discipline to address alleged violations based on the evidence and the specific, related state law and administrative rule.
     
    Failure to respond to a disciplinary notice is considered a default of your rights, and HLO may proceed with disciplinary action. A disciplinary notice issued as a Proposed /Final Order and Notice automatically becomes a final order if you fail to respond within the designated time.
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    Investigative Protocol Provides Regulatory Roadmap

    HLO has developed a 28-step investigative protocol that provides a “regulatory roadmap” for the agency’s investigators.

    In some cases HLO will notify a board or a board chair when an investigation is underway. In other cases a subject matter expert (SME) may be used as a consultant during the investigation.

    The HLO investigator and SME will prepare detailed reports describing the events that took place and evidence collected during the investigation.

    In some cases the allegations are unfounded. A report will still be written and a letter to the respondent will be written notifying that the case was unfounded.

    If the investigation finds that a violation of the statutes or rules exists, HLO may take it to an Enforcement Committee for expert review and recommendations then a Notice will be prepared and sent to the respondent.

    In some cases it can take several months to investigate and prepare the Notice.​
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    Protocol's "Exit Points" Ensure Efficiency

    HLO must open an investigation on every complaint, reviewing the
    complaint for merit.

    HLO then proceeds with the investigation if there is reasonable cause to believe a statute or administrative rule has been violated.

    HLO has statutory authority to issue an immediate suspension of a license if there is an immediate threat to the health and safety of the public.
    However, if the evidence does not support the facts of the complaint allegation, the investigation is terminated. These “exit points” help to ensure that investigations are not unnecessarily continued, saving all parties involved time and expense.
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    Disputing an HLO Action

    If you dispute an action taken against you by the Health Licensing Office or any other state agency, you may request a hearing before an independent administrative law judge through the Office of Administrative Hearings. 
     
    Office of Administrative Hearings

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