Occupational Therapy Licensing Board

Proposed Rule Amendments:  
At the May 11, 2018 Board meeting, after hearing feedback from AOTA and consulting with Oregon licensees who use telehealth, the Board voted to omit #6 from the existing rules.  Concerns stemming from the fact that the existing language requires the treating occupational therapist to attempt to  ensure that an on-site OT be available in the event an in-person evaluation or interventions were necessary.  In some remote rural locations, it is not feasible for the treating OT to ensure that an on-site OT would be available to perform in-person evaluations.  

OAR 339-010-0006 Standards of Practice for Telehealth - Amend rule per below:

(1) "Telehealth" is defined as the use of interactive audio and video, in real time telecommunication technology or store-and-forward technology, to deliver health care services when the occupational therapist and patient/client are not at the same physical location. Its uses include diagnosis, consultation, treatment, prevention, transfer of health or medical data, and continuing education.

(2) Telehealth is considered the same as Telepractice for Occupational Therapists working in education settings; and Teletherapy and Telerehab in other settings.

(3) In order to provide occupational therapy services via telehealth to a patient/client in Oregon, the occupational therapist providing services to a patient/client must have a valid and current license issued by the Oregon OT Licensing Board. Oregon licensed Occupational Therapists using telehealth technology with a patient/client in another state may also be required to be licensed in the state in which the patient/client receives those services and must adhere to those state licensure laws.

(4) Occupational therapists shall obtain informed consent of the delivery of service via telehealth from the patient/client prior to initiation of occupational therapy services via telehealth and maintain documentation in the patient's or client's health record.

(5) Occupational therapists shall secure and maintain the confidentiality of medical information of the patient/client as required by HIPAA and state and federal law.

(6) When providing occupational therapy services via telehealth, an occupational therapist shall determine whether an in-person evaluation is necessary and make every attempt to ensure that a therapist is available if an on-site visit is required.

(a) If it is determined in-person interventions are necessary, every attempt must be made to ensure that an on-site occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant shall provide the appropriate interventions.

(b) The obligation of the occupational therapist to determine whether an in-person re-evaluation or intervention is necessary continues during the course of treatment.

(7) In making the determination whether an in-person evaluation or intervention are necessary, an occupational therapist shall consider at a minimum:

(a) the complexity of the patient's/client's condition;

(b) his or her own knowledge skills and abilities;

(c) the patient's/client's context and environment;

(d) the nature and complexity of the intervention;

(e) the pragmatic requirements of the practice setting; and

(f) the capacity and quality of the technological interface.

(8) An occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant providing occupational therapy services via telehealth must:

(a) Exercise the same standard of care when providing occupational therapy services via telehealth as with any other mode of delivery of occupational therapy services;

(b) Provide services consistent the AOTA Code of Ethics and Ethical Standards of Practice; and comply with provisions of the Occupational Therapy Practice Act and its regulations.

(9) Supervision of Occupational Therapy Assistant under 339-010-0035 for routine and general supervision, can be done through telehealth, but cannot be done when close supervision as defined in 339-010-0005 is required. The same considerations in (7) (A) through (F) must be considered in determining whether telehealth should be used.

(10) An Occupational Therapist who is supervising a fieldwork student must follow the ACOTE standards and other accreditation requirements.

(11) Failure to comply with these regulations shall be considered unprofessional conduct under OAR 339-010-0020.​

Comments due by July 23, 2018 @  Noon.