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ISSUES, QUESTIONS AND TOPICS

SUBJECTS LISTED alphabetically

If you have questions about these topics contact Felicia.M.Holgate@state.or.us
or call 971-673-0198.


Administrative Rules:    Administrative Rules relating to Occupational Therapy 
 
Ages of OT and OT Assistants in Oregon:  Here is a chart on the ages of occupational therapists in Oregon. 
 
AIDES:  The new rule updated in 2007 clarifies the Use of Aides rules.  
  
APPLICATION FORMS:   Check for applications forms here. 

ARREST; CRIMINAL RECORD: Can you become or stay licensed in Oregon?   Click here for information about how a previous arrest or criminal records can affect your application or current license.

  


BOARD MEMBERS:   Check for information: Make Up_of_the_Board here.  BOARD MEETINGS AND MINUTES:   Check for information about the Board_Minutes here.

BOARD MISSION STATEMENT, ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES:   For information about Mission Statement, Regulation
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CHANGE OF ADDRESS or other licensee information?     If your name has changed, please send in or fax the legal document that shows the name change.  You can fax to 971-673-0226, to the attention of the OT Licensing Board.  Be sure to include exactly how your name should be listed (middle initial?) and other changes such as address and telephone or e-mail. 

If you have other changes such as address, e-mail, telephone, please send it in writing by e-mail to Felicia.M.Holgate@state.or.us  You can call 971-673-0198, but it is more efficient to receive it in writing which leaves less chance to error since we can copy it into the data base from your e-mail.  You can also mail it to the Board office. 

 

 

COMPLAINT OR DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATIONS:    Check here for information about Board procedure regarding disciplinary, complaints and investigations.   You will also find the relevant Oregon laws and rules relating to unprofessional conduct.  For the complete rules and laws look under State Statutes and Rules on the menu bar. 

CONTACT THE OREGON OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY LICENSING BOARD:   Check here about how to contact the Board (Occupational Therapy Licensing Board).     You can also e-mail the Director at Felicia.M.Holgate@state.or.us

CONTINUING EDUCATION (CE):  Check here for information about Continuing Education. 
   



DEFINITION OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY :    For the current definition of OT and the proposed change to the AOTA  Model definition click here.  The Board was in the process of proposing a legal change to the statute on the definition of OT during the 2007 legislative session.   The draft received from legislative counsel's office was very short and the board and others felt that the new definition was not adequate for the board. 
 
Since both the board and the House Health Committee recommended adoption of the Model AOTA definition, and that definition was too long for the statute, the board testified that it would prefer to keep the current original definition since 1977 and adopted the new  Model AOTA definition on OT and scope of practice into rule.  To see a copy of the amended AOTA model definition on Occupational Therapy scope of practice click here.     
 

 

 DISCHARGE SUMMARIES:   For information about who signs a discharge summary click here.
 
DMV REPORTING:  DRIVING ASSESSMENTS; DRIVING TRAINING; CAR ADAPTATION
 
Occupational Therapists do driving assessments at various facilities in the State of Oregon.  In Oregon, the DMV is very specific about what the minimum skills are needed in order to drive.   Occupational Therapists assess in three areas:  visual, cognitive and physical.  With that assessment the OT can say whether the person has the skills and abilities to drive.  The driving assessment is not covered by Medicare and is self paid since it is not deemed "medically necessary" to drive. 
 
The driving assessment is not an on-road test.  However, it is a place to start.  The Occupational Therapist should find out if the person has a valid driver's license or if the license has been suspended.  The patient's doctor may have sent in the mandatory reporting form, and if so, the patient's license would automatically be suspended for a period of time.  Then the person needs to take the DMV road test before they can return to driving.  If the person passes the driving assessment but is not confident to get behind the wheel, they can be referred to a local driver's training school where they can get behind the wheel. 
 
A good resource is the Oregon Driver's Education Center in Portland.  Their web site is www.drivereducationcenter.com or call 503-297-4813 or Salem 503-581-3783 which offers on-road driving assessments.  If the person needs modifications to their car, that is a whole specialty area.   
 
There is also this document about Best Practices developed for therapists who submit a volunteer form to the DMV about their patients: 
  
Change in Oregon law: OTs have civil immunity for Voluntary Reporting of Impaired Drivers

 
January 1, 2014, civil immunity will be extended to physicians and health care providers, including Occupational Therapists, reporting patients who are unsafe to drive under DMV's voluntary reporting program, due to the passage of HB 2195. Here is an information sheet about the new law. 

This Informaton Sheet gives information about the law change.   
   
Depending on the type of information contained in the report, DMV may immediately suspend driving privileges if the person is a risk to safety. However, a driver will normally be advised that they will be given 60 days to take and pass a vision, knowledge, and drive test. In some cases, a driver may be asked to provide current medical information.
 
Reports can be made using DMV's Driver Evaluation Request (Form 735-6066), or on your agency or organization letterhead. You may ask DMV to keep your name confidential.
 
For more information contact the Driver Safety Unit at (503) 945-5083.
 
Keep in mind that often when health care professionals recommend that a client no longer drive, the client may not agree and will keep driving. Filing a report provides extra precautions.  It is important to tell clients that you will file the report or recommend that the physician file the report.  You do not have to disclose a diagnosis.  Rather, it is best to describe impairments noted such as poor short-term memory, confusion, inability to follow complex commands, poor problem solving, inability to process information and respond in a timely and accurate manner, or problems with performing activities of daily living due to cognitive impairments.  If the impairments are physical limitations it is appropriate to discuss adaptive driving devices and training in use with the client.  If the impairment is visual performance, then a referral to an eye care professional is appropriate.  Referrals for other services are appropriate for outstanding problems that may respond to remediation or medication. 
 
Discuss the reporting system with physicians.  Some physicians will want to file the report themselves while others will delegate reporting to the occupational therapists.  Best practice requires that clients and their families are made aware of these processes before a driving evaluation is administered.  If the evidence is derived from only cognitive assessments, then the client and family need to be educated on how these assessments correlate to driving ability and therefore, the rational for reporting to the DMV.  
 
DYSPHASIA AND DYSPHAGIA:   For information about Occupational Therapists working in the area of dysphagia click here (This section is not yet completed)  Dysphagia is a condition related to abnormal eating and swallowing. The new AOTA guidelines in Section C 12 state that "the treatment of eating, feeding and swallowing" are part of the OT's scope of practice. 
 
Dysphasia is a condition related to abnormal speech and language such as expressive or receptive speech difficulties.  This is generally an area for speech/language therapists.   To see the AOTA 2007 document on Feeding, Eating and Swallowing click here
 



EDUCATION; SCHOOLS; DISTANCE LEARING:    Educational requirements for accredited Occupational Therapy school, both in state and out of the country are determined by the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).  This body would be the one to contact about distance learning programs that are approved.  Their web site is www.aota.org which as a lot of information and refers you to specific programs/schools.  For example, for distance learning, go to student section, scroll down to programs offering distance education (they off only a portion of program by distance education).  The telephone number for AOTA is 301-652-2682. 
 
The only OT school in Oregon is at Pacific University, School of OT.  Their web site is www.pacificu.edu/ot  
 
The new OT Assistant school in Oregon is at Linn Benton Community College.  Go to Linn-Benton CC OTA Program.  
 
EVALUATION WITHOUT PHYSICIAN'S PRESCRIPTION:   A doctor's prescription is not necessary for an occupational therapist, except when the OT is using a Physical Agency Modality that is not specifically defined in the statute.  Click here for more information. 
 
EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE:   Click here for information about Evidence Based 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:    What does the OTLB Executive Director do?   If you have any questions or wish to contact the Director, Felicia Holgate, you can call us at  971-673-0198  or e-mail:  Felicia.M.Holgate@state.or.us   

  


 

FEES FOR OT and OT ASSISTANT LICENSES
The Board issues two-year licenses in even years (May, 2012 to May, 2014).  Check the application form online for the current fees.  We charge you for either a two year or a one year license.
 
Check here for current fees:   Fees 
 
For 2 year Renewals:
For an OT the two year fee was reduced from $170 to $150
For an OT Assistant the two year fee was reduced from $120 to $100.
License are valid from May 2012 - 2014. 
 
For information about Reinstatements of License, contact the Director Felicia.M.Holgate@state.or.us or call her at 971-673-0198. 
 


 

FOREIGN TRAINED Occupational Therapists:   
The Oregon Occupational Therapy Licensing Board does issue licenses to foreign trained therapists if they have met all the qualifications of the ORS 675.210 to 675.340.  All applicants must have been found eligible to take, and pass the NBCOT certification examination.  For information about NBCOT visa and credential information check www.NBCOT.org.
 
NBCOT recognizes that there are many different types of educational systems around the world.  Although the foreign system may be different, occupational therapy schools are approved by the international organization that sets worldwide standards for occupational therapy educational programs.  If the application in Oregon has met those standards, been approved to take the national certification examination and passed it and have met the requirements for licensure for Oregon they can be licensed in Oregon. 
 
In addition, if the foreign trained applicant does not have a Social Security Number they must fill out and submit a notarized Affidavit regarding SS Number to the Board.  
  
GAIT TRAINING:   Gait training is generally under the purview of physical therapy.  See their web site at www.ptboard.state.or.us 

 


HOME ASSESSMENTS by an OT Assistant:  Can an OT Assistant perform home assessments?
 
Yes, an OT may delegate home assessment data collection to an OT Assistant.  However, it is the OT´s responsibility to analyze the data, make recommendations and document or co-sign findings.   
Also look under  Supervision  for more guidance.

HOW MANY OT and OT Assistants are in Oregon since 1978?   
History of OT Licensing 1979-2015

In 2008 there were 1510 total Occupational Therapists in Oregon (of which 142 were OT Assistants).   
In 2010 there were 1632 total Occupational Therapists in Oregon (of which 245 are OT Assistants). 
 
In 2011 there were 1826 total Occupational Therapists in Oregon (of which 286 are OT Assistants).

Before renewals ended on May 31, 2012 we had 1798 licensees (of which 304 are OT Assistants)

In July 2013 there were 1980 total Occupational Therapists in Oregon (of which 350 are OT Assistants).  During renewals 12 % do not renew.

 

 


LAWS - The Oregon laws are found in the Oregon Revised Statutes:  For the Oregon laws, ORS 675.210 to 675.340.   Scroll down for the OT section of the laws to ORS 675.210 
 
LICENSEE LISTS: How to request a list:  To request a licensee list click here.   Unfortunately we do not yet have any way to collect fees by credit card.  You will need to send in a check or money order with the form.

LIMITED PERMIT:  For information and copies of application for Limited Permits click here.

LINKS to Other OT sites that may of interest to you:   Click here for Other Links. 
 
MENTORSHIP/Re-ENTRY into Practice:   Mentorships are used only for obtaining Continuing Education points (click on CE for Mentorships here).  For information about what is needed for an applicant who has not been licensed for more than three years, the Board no longer has "mentorship" as a means of obtaining a license, but has worked with Pacific University to develop a Re-Entry Program. 

MOBILTIY UNLIMITED: provides a solution for those who have mobility needs:   Mobility Unlimited is a nonprofit organization that assists physically disabled, uninsured or underinsured, working Oregonians with the mobility equipment needed in order to be independent and self-sufficient.  Please contact them at their hotline toll-free 877-516-0605 or check their web site at www.mobilityunlimited.org 

NBCOT: Professional use of title OTR and COTA: What does membership in NBCOT mean?
NBCOT is the Board that administers the national examination for OT and OT Assistants.  The Board verifies your examination results and your NBCOT number becomes your Oregon license number. 
 
Although you do not need to have NBCOT certification to be licensed in Oregon, your employer may require the national certification.  You can only use the OTR if you are certified.  Otherwise you can use OT/L meaning you are licensed in Oregon.  For an OT Assistant you can only use COTA if you are certified.  If you are not, you use OTA/L meaning you are licensed in Oregon.
 
For proper credential use, you must not combine educational credentials with certification credentials.  For example, use MS, MOT, OTR.  This would indicate that MS and MOT is awarded by the education institution.  OTR is awarded by NBCOT for certification purposes.  
For a doctorate, you would use DOT, OTR which indicated you have a doctorate in OT from the education institution and the national certification as an OT.     You should check with your employer to see if you must be certified by the national board for your employment.  The web site for NBCOT is at www.nbcot.org

NEWSLETTERS   Click here to find OTLB Newsletters
 
OT ASSISTANTS: home assessments, patient summaries, evaluations, medication management etc.
There are frequent questions about the scope of practice and rules and laws regarding work done by Occupational Therapy Assistants.  Click here for answers on the following:
 
Rules and supervision of OT Assistants
 
1.  Can an OT Assistant perform home assessments, gather data and complete a home visit check list?
2.  Can an OT Assistant begin an evaluation?
3.  Can an OT Assistant administer the PCE (Physical Capacity Evaluation) or other standardized tests?
4.  Can an OT assistant perform an ADL assessment before the supervising OT has performed an evaluation or become otherwise involved?
5.  Can an OT Assistant teach medication management?
6.  Can an OT Assistant recommend OT treatment prior to seeing a patient?
7.  Must an OT co-sign daily/weekly notes?
8.  Can an OT Assistant discharge patients?
9.  Can an OT Assistant prepare a Discharge Summary or sign one?
 
Please contact the Board if you have further questions by contacting the Director Felicia.M.Holgate@state.or.us or call her at 971-673-0198. 
 
PERFORMANCE MEASURES: What are the OTLB Goals: To look at the OTLB 2013 Key Performance Measures, click here.

 


PHYSICAL AGENT MODALITIES:   For questions about OTs using Physical Agent Modalities click here.  AOTA has a new document on Physical Agent Modalities. 

PROFESSSIONAL MEMBERSHIP: Do I have to be NBCOT certified or join AOTA or OTAO:   For information about NBCOT please scroll up and check the question above under NBCOT.  For Oregon one does not need to be a member of AOTA and OTAO.  However, look under the web sites of these Associations to see all the benefits you can obtain from membership.


RECIPROCITY of license from other states:   Any application for occupational therapy in Oregon provides information about previous or current licenses in other jurisdictions.  Oregon looks at the verification from other states for the last five years, or more if there is any need to do so.  The Oregon law indicates under ORS 675.270 that the Oregon OT Licensing Board may license applicants who meet the requirements and are currently certified by NBCOT; or present proof of current licensure  as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant in another state, the District of  Columbia, or territory of the United States that require standards for licensure considered by the Oregon OT Licensing Board to be equivalent to the requirements for licensure under Oregon law.  Each applicant shall pay the license fee required.  
For information about foreign trained applicants, see the issue above.

Re-ENTRY into Practice of OT:   Mentorships are used only for obtaining Continuing Education points (see CE under Proposed Rule changes).  For information about what is needed for an applicant who has not been licensed for more than three years, the Board no longer has "mentorship" as a means of obtaining a license, but has a Re-entry program. 
 

RESNA (see wheelchairs):   RESNA is the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America which has set standards for certain wheelchair purchases.   The certification is for practitioners (assistive technology practitioners – ATP) but is not required for OT and PT :  
 
December 7, 2007 , the DME Program Safeguard Contractor (PSC) medical directors announced that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) will rescind the requirement in the LCD for power mobility device evaluations to be performed by a RESNA-certified ATP, which was to become effective April 1, 2008 . Instead, the three medical directors for the PSCs said the current evaluation requirement would remain in place: Patients must have "a specialty evaluation that was performed by a licensed/certified medical professional, such as a PT or OT, or physician who has specific training and experience in rehabilitation wheelchair evaluations and that documents the medical necessity for the wheelchair and its special features."

It is not required for manual chairs or seating devices on manual chairs. It is for group 2 single power option or multiple power option PWC, group 3 and group 4 PWC.   For one of the above mentioned chairs, the OT doing the assessment would need to be RESNA certified by April 1, 2008.  ATG Rehab’s current online and in class CEU programs. http://www.atgrehab.com/?p=1901
 
From a licensing standpoint this is like any other special certification for a specific analysis.  One must be certified to be in compliance.  Medicare will not recognize an evaluation done by an uncertified person, for these chairs, and the person could also be found to be in violation of Federal regulations, and thus, state licensure issues as well.  

Excerpt from CMS Local Coverage Determination L23613 on Power Mobility Devices:  “For claims with dates of service on or after April 1, 2008, the specialty evaluation required for patients receiving a Group 2 single power option or multiple power option PWC, any Group 3 or Group 4 PWC, or a push rim activated power assist device for a manual wheelchair must be performed by a RESNA-certified Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) specializing in wheelchairs or a physician who is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The ATP or physician may not have any financial relationship with the supplier. In addition, the wheelchair must be provided by a supplier that employs a RESNA-certified Assistive Technology Supplier (ATS) specializing in wheelchairs who is directly involved in the wheelchair selection for the patient.”
 
ATG Rehab’s current online and in class CEU programs. http://www.atgrehab.com/?p=1901
http://www.cms.hhs.gov/mcd/viewlcd.asp?lcd_id=23598&lcd_version=16&show=all ; http://www.resna.org/ 
 
SALARIES of OT and OT Assistants   From ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners [otnewsletter@advanceweb.com] :
 
It's been five years since ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners did its last national salary survey. So if you haven't noticed yet, we'd like to point out that a new one has been posted here on the ADVANCE online homepage since Dec. 8!

If you look at the 2007 survey numbers on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Web site, you will see that the average annual salary for 91,920 OTs practicing in the U.S. that year was estimated to be about $65,000; for OTAs it was $45,180. But 25 percent were making much less.
While the BLS estimates can be broken down demographically quite easily--they can tell you what OTs and OTAs make in various parts of Ohio, for instance--they can't tell you what anyone's making in home care or hand therapy. Nor can they indicate how much a higher degree or specialty certification might change your earnings or how much more you're likely to be making after 10 years on the job instead of three.
Every time ADVANCE does a salary survey, we design it to look at issues that are affecting the profession at that time. Right now, specialty credentialing from inside and outside occupational therapy is affecting scope of practice in early intervention, feeding and swallowing, and the recommendation and use of durable medical equipment, among other areas. This survey will tell us how many OTs and OTAs are working with specialty certifications, where they're working, how their salaries compare to those of therapists working without them, and other information.
There are also the general trends: Which practice area is now the largest in the profession? Are men still making several thousand dollars a year more than women? Where are people with entry-level doctorates employed, and how much are they earning? How do salaries in, say, Illinois compare with those in California in specific practice areas? Does it pay to stay in the profession for many years? And where are OTs and OTAs working "outside" the profession?
We hope to have representative numbers from all 50 states, plus U.S. territories. And we will cross-reference those with practice area and patient population, to find out just how much other people who do what you do are making, in your backyard and across the country.
More than 3,300 therapists, therapy assistants and educators answered our 2003 questionnaire.
E.J. Brown is editor of ADVANCE.  
 
 How to negotiate a salary   Here is an article from Advance about negotiating a salary:   
http://occupational-therapy.advanceweb.com/Editorial/Content/Editorial.aspx?CC=238029

 

SPECIALTIES: Individual Topics are available below: There are many specialties in Occupational Therapy.  The following topics will be developed:
 
Developmental Disabilities;   Driving;             Education;   Ergonomics;      Geriatrics;        Hand
Home Health;                      Mental Health;   Pediatrics;    Private Practice;  Rehabilitation
Sensory Integration 
 
SUPERVISION   For information about Supervision click here.  This includes information about the AOTA Guidelines adopted by the Oregon OT Licensing Board. The Statement of Supervision form no longer must be notarized.

 


VERIFICATION of licenses   To verify a license of an occupational therapist, go back to the home page and on the front middle see the License Verification.  You can type in any name, license number or city to find all the licensed OTs in the state.  If you cannot find what you need contact the Director at 971-673-0198 or e-mail Felicia.M.Holgate@state.or.us.    

 

 

If what you need is a verification of your license to be sent from the Oregon Board to another state, then send an e-mail to Felicia.M.Holgate@state.or.us and give the exact address where the verification needs to go.  We do not need their form as we print one off your data base and it has what is needed.  We do not charge so please request it by e-mail so we can continue to provide this service for free.

VOLUNTEER SERVICES in Occupational Therapy   Any occupational therapist working in Oregon must be licensed in Oregon whether they are providing services for free or as volunteer.  If the occupational therapist is working in an institution or an agency of the federal government they do not have to be licensed in Oregon.  See ORS 675.220(1)(a).  
  
WHEELCHAIRS (see RESNA):   RESNA is the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America which has set standards for certain wheelchair purchases.  Their certification is for practitioners (assistive technology practitioners – ATP) an OT and PT will be rescinded:  
 
December 7, 2007 , the DME Program Safeguard Contractor (PSC) medical directors announced that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) will rescind the requirement in the LCD for power mobility device evaluations to be performed by a RESNA-certified ATP, which was to become effective April 1, 2008 . Instead, the three medical directors for the PSCs said the current evaluation requirement would remain in place: Patients must have "a specialty evaluation that was performed by a licensed/certified medical professional, such as a PT or OT, or physician who has specific training and experience in rehabilitation wheelchair evaluations and that documents the medical necessity for the wheelchair and its special features."    See more information under RESNA or the links below: http://www.numotion.com ; http://www.cms.hhs.gov/mcd/viewlcd.asp?lcd_id=23598&lcd_version=16&show=all 

OTHER QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ? Contact the Board by e-mail:  Felicia.M.Holgate@state.or.us, call us at 971-673-0198 or FAX at 971-673-0226.  Let us know what other questions, issues or topics you may have that should be on the web site. 

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