Filing a Complaint
The Board investigates complaints filed with the Board. These
complaints may come from various sources including patients/clients, family
members, other health professionals, hospitals and employers.
The Board reviews the complaint to determine whether the complaint
falls within the Board’s area of jurisdiction. If the complaint falls within
the Board’s authority, the Board will investigate to determine whether there
has been a violation of statutes/rules.
If the Board finds the complaint does not fall within the Board’s
jurisdiction, it will advise the complainant and may refer the complaint to
other appropriate state or professional organizations for review.
To file a complaint, fill out the complaint form:
You can email it to the Board at OTLB.Info@state.or.us, fax it at 971-673-0226
or mail it to the following address:
Oregon Board of Occupational Therapy
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 407
Portland, OR 97232
The Board’s investigation is confidential. If the investigation
results in disciplinary action, the final order, memorandum of agreement or
consent agreement may be made available to the public.
If any questions, you can contact the director at 971-673-0198.
Oregon Occupational Therapy Licensing Board
Revised Statute (ORS) 675.320 allows the Board to investigate any alleged
violation of ORS 675 and the rules in OAR 339.
The Board, after receiving a complaint:
1) Screens for jurisdiction, opens a
2) Sends a letter to the complainant
acknowledging receipt of the complaint.
3) Notifies the licensee of the
4) Board investigates, interviews
complainant, licensee, and/or others needed.
5) Collects and reviews additional
information and/or documentation.
6) Considers the information and takes
one of the following actions. The process may take up to 90 days before the
Board takes action. Longer if the case is continued.
Dismisses the complaint
Board writes and sends letters to the
complainant and licensee explaining that the complaint was dismissed.
Dismisses with a letter of concern
Board writes and sends letter to the
complainant explaining that there was no public action taken. Board writes and
sends a letter to the licensee explaining that the complaint was dismissed, and
expressing the Board’s specific concerns.
The Board, in coordination with legal
counsel, drafts Notice of Intent to Impose Discipline and sends to the
licensee. If the licensee appeals the proposed discipline, the Board works with
legal counsel and Office of Administrative Hearings to schedule the hearing. If
no hearing is requested, the Board, in coordination with legal counsel, writes
a Final Order that explains specific violations and discipline and sends it to
the licensee. The Board notifies the
complainant that public action was taken. The Board posts final discipline on
the Licensee Look up and reports the information to the national Healthcare
Integrity Data Bank.1
Requests more information
additional information and presents the new information at a future Board
meeting. The Board will then take one of the above-mentioned actions.
Integrity & Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) is a national databank containing
discipline of health care providers from health and mental health fields. The
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services manages HIPDB. Federal law
requires reporting licensee discipline to the HIPDB. Access to the data is
restricted and not available to the public.
RULES ON CONFIDENTIALITY
What follows is the Oregon law relating to confidentiality of disciplinary materials considered by the Board.
676.160 Definitions for ORS 676.165 to 676.180. As used in ORS 676.165 to 676.180, “health professional regulatory board” means the:
(1) State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology;
(2) State Board of Chiropractic Examiners;
(3) State Board of Clinical Social Workers;
(4) Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists;
(5) Oregon Board of Dentistry;
(6) Board of Examiners of Licensed Dietitians;
(7) State Board of Massage Therapists;
(8) State Mortuary and Cemetery Board;
(9) Board of Naturopathic Examiners;
(10) Oregon State Board of Nursing;
(11) Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators;
(12) Oregon Board of Optometry;
(13) State Board of Pharmacy;
(14) Board of Medical Examiners;
(15) Occupational Therapy Licensing Board;
(16) Physical Therapist Licensing Board;
(17) State Board of Psychologist Examiners;
(18) Board of Radiologic Technology;
(19) Oregon State Veterinary Medical Examining Board; and
(20) Department of Human Services to the extent that the department certifies emergency medical technicians. [1997 c.791 §1; 1999 c.537 §4; 2001 c.274 §4]
Note: 676.160 to 676.180 were enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but were not added to or made a part of ORS chapters 676 to 681 or any chapter or series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.
676.165 Complaint investigation. (1) Upon receipt of a complaint by any person against a licensee or applicant, a health professional regulatory board shall assign one or more persons to act as investigator of the complaint.
(2) The investigator shall collect evidence and interview witnesses and shall make a report to the board. The investigator shall have all investigatory powers possessed by the board.
(3) The report to the board shall describe the evidence gathered, the results of witness interviews and any other information considered in preparing the report of the investigator. The investigator shall consider, and include in the report, any disciplinary history of the licensee or applicant with the board.
(4) The investigator shall make the report to the board not later than 120 days after the board receives the complaint. However, the board may extend the time for making the report by up to 30 days for just cause. The board may grant more than one extension of time.
(5) Investigatory information obtained by an investigator and the report issued by the investigator shall be exempt from public disclosure. [1997 c.791 §5]
Note: See note under 676.160.
676.170 Immunity of information providers. A person who reports or supplies information in good faith to a health professional regulatory board or to a committee reporting to a health professional regulatory board shall be immune from an action for civil damages as a result thereof. [1997 c.791 §4]
Note: See note under 676.160.
676.175 Complaints and investigations confidential; exceptions; fees. (1) A health professional regulatory board shall keep confidential and not disclose to the public any information obtained by the board as part of an investigation of a licensee or applicant, including complaints concerning licensee or applicant conduct and information permitting the identification of complainants, licensees or applicants. However, the board may disclose information obtained in the course of an investigation of a licensee or applicant to the extent necessary to conduct a full and proper investigation.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, if a health professional regulatory board votes not to issue a notice of intent to impose a disciplinary sanction:
(a) The board shall disclose information obtained as part of an investigation of an applicant or licensee if the person requesting the information demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the public interest in disclosure outweighs other interests in nondisclosure, including but not limited to the public interest in nondisclosure.
(b) The board may disclose to a complainant a written summary of information obtained as part of an investigation of an applicant or licensee resulting from the complaint to the extent the board determines necessary to explain the reasons for the board’s decision. An applicant or licensee may review and obtain a copy of any written summary of information disclosed to a complainant by the board after the board has deleted any information that could reasonably be used to identify the complainant.
(3) If a health professional regulatory board votes to issue a notice of intent to impose a disciplinary sanction, upon written request by the licensee or applicant, the board shall disclose to the licensee or applicant all information obtained by the board in the investigation of the allegations in the notice except:
(a) Information that is privileged or confidential under a law other than this section.
(b) Information that would permit the identification of any person who provided information that led to the filing of the notice and who will not provide testimony at a hearing arising out of the investigation.
(c) Information that would permit the identification of any person as a person who made a complaint to the board about a licensee or applicant.
(d) Reports of expert witnesses.
(4) Information disclosed to a licensee or applicant under subsection (3) of this section may be further disclosed by the licensee or applicant only to the extent necessary to prepare for a hearing on the notice of intent to impose a disciplinary sanction.
(5)(a) A health professional regulatory board shall disclose:
(A) A notice of intent to impose a disciplinary sanction against a licensee or applicant that has been issued by vote of the board;
(B) A final order that results from the board’s notice of intent to impose a disciplinary sanction;
(C) An emergency suspension order;
(D) A consent order or stipulated agreement that involves licensee or applicant conduct; and
(E) Information to further an investigation into board conduct under ORS 192.685.
(b) A health professional regulatory board may make the information required to be disclosed under paragraph (a)(A) to (D) of this subsection available in electronic form, accessible by use of a personal computer or similar technology that provides direct electronic access to the information.
(6) If a notice of intent to impose a disciplinary sanction has been issued by vote of a health professional regulatory board, a final order that results from the board’s notice of intent to impose a disciplinary sanction, an emergency suspension order or a consent order or stipulated agreement that involves licensee or applicant conduct shall summarize the factual basis for the board’s disposition of the matter.
(7) A health professional regulatory board record or order, or any part thereof, obtained as part of or resulting from an investigation, contested case proceeding, consent order or stipulated agreement, is not admissible as evidence and may not preclude an issue or claim in any civil proceeding except in a proceeding between the board and the licensee or applicant as otherwise allowed by law.
(8)(a) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, it is not disclosure to the public for a board to permit other public officials and members of the press to attend executive sessions where information obtained as part of an investigation is discussed. Public officials and members of the press attending such executive sessions shall not disclose information obtained as part of an investigation to any other member of the public.
(b) For purposes of this subsection, “public official” means a member or member-elect, or any member of the staff or an employee, of a public entity as defined by ORS 676.177.
(9) A health professional regulatory board may establish fees reasonably calculated to reimburse the actual cost of disclosing information to licensees or applicants as required by subsection (3) of this section. [1997 c.791 §2; 1999 c.751 §3; 2005 c.801 §1]
Note: See note under 676.160.
676.177 Disclosure of confidential information to another public entity; criteria. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of ORS 676.165 to 676.180, a health professional regulatory board, upon a determination by the board that it possesses otherwise confidential information that reasonably relates to the regulatory or enforcement function of another public entity, may disclose that information to the other public entity.
(2) Any public entity that receives information pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall agree to take all reasonable steps to maintain the confidentiality of the information, except that the public entity may use or disclose the information to the extent necessary to carry out the regulatory or enforcement functions of the public entity.
(3) For purposes of this section, “public entity” means:
(a) A board or agency of this state, or a board or agency of another state with regulatory or enforcement functions similar to the functions of a health professional regulatory board of this state;
(b) A district attorney;
(c) The Department of Justice;
(d) A state or local public body of this state that licenses, franchises or provides emergency medical services; or
(e) A law enforcement agency of this state, another state or the federal government. [1999 c.751 §2]
Note: See note under 676.160.
676.180 Notice prior to disclosure. If a health professional regulatory board intends to disclose a record pursuant to ORS 676.175 (2), the board shall provide the licensee or applicant seven days’ prior written notice by first class mail. The notice shall describe the record that the board intends to disclose in sufficient detail to permit the licensee or applicant to know the contents of the record. In any subsequent action for injunctive or declaratory relief, the burden shall be on the person seeking disclosure to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the public interest in disclosure outweighs other interests in nondisclosure, including but not limited to the public interest in nondisclosure. [1997 c.791 §3]
Note: See note under 676.160.
ENJOINING PRACTICE AFTER SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF LICENSE
676.210 Practice of health care profession after suspension or revocation of license prohibited. No person whose license has been revoked or suspended by any board authorized by the statutes of the State of Oregon to issue licenses to practice a health care profession shall continue the practice of this profession after the order or decision of the board suspending or revoking the license of the person has been made. The license shall remain suspended or revoked until a final determination of an appeal from the decision or order of the board has been made by the court. [1953 c.592 §1; 1983 c.769 §4]
676.220 Enjoining health care professional from practicing after suspension or revocation of license. (1) If at any time the board suspending or revoking the license of any licentiate of a health care profession determines that such licentiate is continuing to practice the health care profession notwithstanding, the board shall in its own name bring an action to enjoin such licentiate.
(2) If the court shall find that the licentiate has been or is continuing the practice of the health care profession for which the license has been revoked or suspended it shall issue an injunction restraining the licentiate. The commission of a single act constituting the practice of the respective health care profession shall be prima facie evidence warranting the issuance of such injunction. [1953 c.592 §2; 1979 c.284 §191; 1983 c.769 §5]
676.230 Injunction as cumulative remedy. The remedy herein provided is cumulative and shall be without prejudice to any other civil or criminal remedy. [1953 c.592 §3]
Grounds for disciplinary action are:
- Unprofessional conduct as defined by the Board (See OAR 339-010-0020);
- Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by means of fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts;
- Violating any lawful order or rule adopted by the Board that may affect the health, welfare and safety of the public; or
- Gross negligence or incompetence in the performance of professional duties.
If the Board determines a violation has occurred, the Board may deny, suspend, revoke or refuse to renew a license or may impose probationary conditions on a licensee or applicant. The Board may also fine violators.
675.300 Grounds and procedures for denial, refusal to renew, suspension or revocation of license; confidentiality of information. (1) The Occupational Therapy Licensing Board may deny, suspend, revoke or refuse to renew a license or may impose probationary conditions where the licensee or applicant has been guilty of:
(a) Unprofessional conduct as defined by the standards established by the board;
(b) Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by means of fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts;
(c) Violating any lawful order or rule adopted by the board that may affect the health, welfare or safety of the public; or
(d) Gross negligence or incompetence in the performance of professional duties.
(2) The board may suspend or revoke the license of any person licensed under ORS 675.210 to 675.340 and 675.990 (2) if the licensee has been adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) Where the board proposes to refuse to issue or renew a license or proposes to revoke or suspend a license, opportunity for hearing shall be accorded as provided in ORS 183.310 to 183.550.
(4) Judicial review of orders under subsection (3) of this section shall be in accordance with ORS 183.310 to 183.550.
675.320 Powers of board. The Occupational Therapy Licensing Board shall have the following powers in addition to powers otherwise granted under ORS 675.210 to 675.340 or necessary to carry out the provisions of ORS 675.210 to 675.340:
. . .
(4) To suspend, revoke or invalidate licenses for nonpayment of renewal fees.
(5) To restore licenses which have been suspended, revoked or voided.
. . .
(8) To investigate alleged violations of ORS 675.210 to 675.340.
(9) To enforce the provisions of ORS 675.210 to 675.340 and generally supervise the practice of occupational therapy in this state.
(10) To make and enforce rules in accordance with ORS 183.310 to 183.550 for the procedure of the board and for regulating the practice of occupational therapy not inconsistent with the provisions of ORS 675.210 to 675.340.
. . .
339-010-0020 Unprofessional Conduct
(1) Unprofessional conduct relating to patient/client safety, integrity and welfare includes:
(a) Intentionally harassing, abusing, or intimidating a patient/client, either physically or verbally;
(b) Intentionally divulging, without patient/client consent, any information gained in the patient relationship other than what is required by staff or team for treatment;
(c) Engaging in assault and/or battery of patient/client;
(d) Failing to respect the dignity and rights of patient/client, regardless of social or economic status, personal attributes or nature of health problems;
(e) Engaging in sexual improprieties or sexual contact with patient/client;
(f) Offering to refer or referring a patient/client to a third person for the purpose of receiving a fee or other consideration from the third person or receiving a fee from a third person for offering to refer or referring a patient/client to a third person;
(g) Taking property of patient/client without consent.
(h) Failing to follow principles and related
standards of conduct as defined in the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics
(2015), by the American Occupational Therapy Association, to the extent they do
not conflict with ORS 675.210 through 675.340.
(2) Unprofessional conduct relating to professional competency includes:
(a) Engaging in any professional activities for which licensee is not currently qualified;
(b) Failing to maintain competency;
(c) Failing to provide a comprehensive service that is compatible with current research and within an ethical and professional framework;
(d) Failing to obtain a physician's referral in situations where an OT is using a modality not specifically defined in ORS 675.210(3);
(e) Failing to provide professional occupational therapy based on evaluation of patient's/client's needs and appropriate treatment procedures;
(f) Using an occupational therapy aide in violation of the law or Board rules regarding occupational therapy.
(3) Unprofessional conduct relating to the Board includes:
(a) Practicing occupational therapy without a current Oregon license;
(b) Failing to renew license in a timely manner;
(c) Failing to provide the Board with any documents requested by the Board;
(d) Failing to answer truthfully and completely any question asked by the Board;
(e) Failing to provide evidence of competency when requested;
(f) Violating the Practice Act, Board rules or Board Orders;
(4) Unprofessional conduct relating to impaired function includes:
(a) Engaging in or assisting in the practice of occupational therapy while impaired by alcohol or other drugs;
(b) Use of alcohol or other drugs in a manner that creates a risk of harm to patient/client;
(c) Engaging in the practice of occupational therapy while one's ability to practice is impaired by reason of physical or mental disability or disease.
(5) Unprofessional conduct relating to federal or state law or rules:
(a) Intentionally making or filing a false or misleading report or failing to file a report when it is required by law or third person or intentionally obstructing or attempting to obstruct another person from filing such report;
(b) Obtaining or attempting to obtain compensation by misrepresentation;
(c) Engaging in assault and/or battery of any person;
(d) Conviction of a crime or engaging in any act which the Board determines substantially relates to the practice of occupational therapy or indicates an inability to safely and proficiently engage in the practice of occupational therapy;
(e) Disciplinary actions imposed by another professional licensing body based on acts by the licensee similar to acts giving rise to discipline under the Practice Act or rules of the Board;
(f) Engaging in false, misleading or deceptive advertising.
to notify the appropriate licensing board of any conduct by another licensed
medical provider when the licensee has reasonable cause to believe that the
medical provider has engaged in prohibited or unprofessional conduct. As used
in this subparagraph, “prohibited conduct” means a criminal act against a
patient or a criminal act that creates a risk of harm to a patient and
“unprofessional conduct” means conduct unbecoming a medical provider or
detrimental to the best interests of the public, including conduct contrary to
recognized standards of ethics of the medical provider’s profession or conduct
that endangers the health, safety or welfare of a patient.
to notify the Board of a change in the licensee's name, address, contact
telephone number or place of employment or business as required by OAR
Self-Reporting by Licensees
Licensees are required to notify the Board within 10 working days of a conviction of a misdemeanor, or an arrest for or conviction of a felony.
339-010-0020 Unprofessional Conduct
(5) Unprofessional conduct relating to federal or state law or rules:
(d) Conviction of a crime or engaging in any act which the Board determines substantially relates to the practice of occupational therapy or indicates an inability to safely and proficiently engage in the practice of occupational therapy; or failing to notify the Board within 10 working days of a conviction of a misdemeanor, or an arrest for or conviction of a felony;
Applicants for licensure and renewal answer history questions about any arrests, complaints or conditionals affecting their practice.