WSR 07-07-099

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


(Occupational Therapy Practice Board)

[ Filed March 19, 2007, 11:11 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 246-847-175 Delegation of authority to initiate investigations, this rule delegates the board's authority to initiate investigations to the department of health through a case management team that includes department staff and at least one clinical member of the board. This is a new section.

Hearing Location(s): Department of Health, Town Center 2, Room 158, 111 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501, on April 27, 2007, at 9:30 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: April 27, 2007.

Submit Written Comments to: Vicki Brown, Program Manager, P.O. Box 47867, Olympia, WA 98504-7867, web site http://www3.doh.wa.gov/policyreview/, fax (360) 664-9077, by April 17, 2007.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Vicki Brown, by April 17, 2007, TTY (800) 833-6388 or 711.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: A Washington court of appeals decision Client A. v. Yoshinaka, 128 Wn. App. 833, 116 P.3d 1081 (2005) reinforced not only the authority, but the responsibility of disciplinary boards and commissions to direct investigation activities in disciplinary cases. The decision also stated that boards and commissions may choose to delegate the authority to staff, but the authority must delegate that responsibility through the rule process. The occupational therapy practice board has decided to begin the rule process to delegate this activity to a case management team comprised of department of health staff and a clinical member of the board.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The board had delegated the authority to department of health staff to initiate investigations in a policy. This delegation assisted in moving cases more quickly through the disciplinary process and eliminates significant workload for the board. The court of appeals decision that the disciplining authority must determine that a complaint merits investigation has had the negative effect of slowing cases down and increasing workload. The proposed rule will reinstate the ability for a case management team to make the initial investigation decision.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.59.130 and 18.130.050.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.130.080.

Rule is necessary because of state court decision, Client A. v. Yoshinaka, 128 Wn. App. 833, 166 P.3d 1081 (2005).

Name of Proponent: Department of health, occupational therapy practice board, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Vicki Brown, Program Manager, 310 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501, (360) 236-4865.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The department has determined that the proposed rule relates to internal governmental operations that are not subject to violation by [a] nongovernmental party. Therefore, according to RCW 19.85.025(3) and 34.05.310(4) no small business economic impact statement needs to be prepared.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The department has determined that the proposed rule relates to internal governmental operations that are not subject to violation by a nongovernment party. Therefore, according to RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(ii) a cost-benefit analysis is not required.

March 16, 2007

Vicki Brown

Program Manager

OTS-9471.2


NEW SECTION
WAC 246-847-175   Delegation of authority to initiate investigations.   The board delegates to a department of health case management team the authority to initiate an investigation when the board or the department receives information, by means of a complaint or otherwise, that a licensee may have engaged in unprofessional conduct or may be unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety by reason of a mental or physical condition. The case management team will consist of, at a minimum, a board member licensed under chapter 18.59 RCW, the executive director or his or her designee, an investigator and a staff attorney.

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