Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy & Athletic Trainers Board
Professional licensing and renewal issues can be complex, and complaints against you may raise difficult problems. If you have received notice of any kind of an allegation or disciplinary action against you, contact an Ohio occupational therapy license defense attorney right away. At Graff & McGovern, our experienced attorneys have handled all types of Ohio professional licensure defense disputes. We are here to represent you through this administrative process and strive to help you retain your license.
What the OTPTAT Board Does
The Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy & Athletic Trainers (OTPTAT) Board is responsible for regulating the practice of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and athletic training throughout the state.
This includes issues involving:
- Obtaining, renewing, and verifying licenses
- Making rules regarding these professions
- Monitoring continuing education
- Investigating complaints
The OTPTAT Board meets as a joint board periodically to address concerns in the industry and make new rules and policies regarding occupational therapy, physical therapy, and athletic training. Each of these professions has a section of representatives on the Board. The Occupational Therapy Section is comprised of four occupational therapists and one occupational therapy assistant. The Physical Therapy Section is made up of nine physical therapists, five of whom have voting power on the OTPTAT joint board. The Athletic Trainers Section is made up of four athletic trainers and one physician. At least one public member takes part on the joint board to represent consumers, as well.
Licensing Issues for Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy & Athletic Training
The OTPTAT Board establishes guidelines for obtaining, disciplining, and reinstating licenses for occupational therapists, physical therapists, and athletic trainers. An application may be submitted online through the eLicense system. Reinstatement applications may be submitted via mail.
A new license also requires:
- Passing of an examination
- BCI/FBI criminal background check
- Certification of entry-level education
- Verification of specific academic coursework
- Payment of an application fee
If your license has lapsed or been suspended for a period of time, you may need to reinstate it. Reinstatement requires that you verify your previous license, provide documentation of continuing education, and submit a reinstatement fee. If you have had any felony convictions, you must disclose this on your reinstatement application.
If you have any issues in your past that might prevent you from obtaining a new license or reinstating a professional license, we can help. Our experienced therapy license defense attorneys will evaluate your situation and help you with your application.
Common Violations of OTPTAT Board Regulations
If you are an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or athletic trainer in Ohio, you must keep your license up to date. If you are accused of working without a proper license or violating a rule or law, then you may face disciplinary action by the OTPTAT Board. Some common regulatory violations that can lead to disciplinary actions, such as fines, license suspensions, license revocations, or criminal charges include:
- Practicing below the standard of care
- Failing to properly document services
- Failing to maintain accurate billing records
- Billing for services not provided
- Alcohol dependency that impairs the ability to work
- Use of controlled substances
- Making false, fraudulent, or misleading statements
- Engaging in sexual contact or conversations with a patient
- Failing to obtain continuing education
- Working with an expired license
- Failing to report a conviction of a misdemeanor or felony crime to the Board
- Failing to adhere to a consent agreement
Laws addressing occupational therapists, physical therapists, and athletic trainers can be found in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 4755. These laws give the OTPTAT Board the power to create rules regarding these occupations. If you are facing the loss of your license because of a violation of the ORC or board rules, do not hesitate to contact one of our Ohio occupational therapy license defense lawyers today.
OTPTAT Board’s Disciplinary Process
When a complaint is made to the Board, its initial determination is regarding whether the alleged conduct falls under its purview. If it does, then a member of the Board’s enforcement staff conducts an initial investigation. This may include asking for documentation, physical evidence, and/or conducting interviews with you and others. If an issue in the complaint does not fall under the Board’s control, then it may refer the issue to another agency or law enforcement.
If the facts do not support a violation of any rules or law, then the complaint is closed without moving forward with any formal action. However, if the facts support allegations of a violation, then the board may undertake a formal action.
Depending on the situation, the board may attempt to negotiate a Consent Agreement or will file formal charges, after which you will receive a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing. A Consent Agreement is like a settlement that details the facts of the case, agreed violations, and an agreed disciplinary action. You have a right to an attorney during this process. A Consent Agreement is public information, so it is to your benefit to have a lawyer represent you.
Disciplinary Hearings with the OTPTAT Board
If the Board does not offer a Consent Agreement or you cannot come to an acceptable resolution, then it may move forward with formal charges. Once you receive a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, you have only 30 days to request an administrative hearing.
The disciplinary hearing is like other legal procedures. You may be subpoenaed to attend the hearing as a witness. As you prepare to be questioned regarding the alleged violation, you should also be working with a professional license defense lawyer to build your own defense, including presenting evidence and witness testimony.
A hearing officer may preside over the hearing. After both the Board and your attorney have presented cases, the hearing officer reviews the evidence and writes a report and recommendation for the OTPTAT Board. You will receive a copy of the report and recommendation. The Board may accept, change, or reject the hearing officer’s recommendation. If you do not agree with the outcome of your administrative hearing, you have a short period of time during which to file an appeal with your county’s Court of Common Pleas.
How a Professional License Defense Attorney Can Help
Working with a knowledgeable and experienced Ohio occupational therapy license defense lawyer may help you in many ways. When you learn you are under investigation, you may not fully understand your rights or options in the situation. An attorney can explain your choices, and offer you the advantages and disadvantages of each. If you can work with the Board and resolve the misunderstanding or mistake, you may be able to avoid having any public record of the issue, which is certainly beneficial to your career.
If you cannot avoid a formal action, then an attorney can help you negotiate a Consent Agreement, if that is in your best interests, or prepare for the disciplinary hearing. This hearing is like a slightly less formal trial. You need to go into it prepared to clearly and effectively present your argument as to why the complaint is wrong and you have not violated a law or rule. The Ohio physical therapy license defense attorneys of Graff & McGovern have years of experience defending individuals in administrative hearings and helping them retain their professional licenses.
Contact Graff & McGovern Today
The lawyers of Graff & McGovern are experienced and aggressive professional license defense attorneys. In fact, three of the firm’s attorneys are certified as administrative agency law specialists by the Ohio State Bar Association. For more information on how Graff & McGovern can help you retain your occupational therapy, physical therapy, or athletic trainer’s license, contact us to schedule an appointment.