The Ohio Respiratory Care Board’s guiding principle in the regulation of respiratory care is to improve the quality of respiratory care delivered to the public by respiratory care professionals. The Board concentrates on effective, thorough and expedient licensure of Respiratory Therapists, investigating consumer and health organization complaints, and adjudicating matters the allege practitioner misconduct. Respiratory therapists, under the prescription of a licensed physician or qualified certified nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, may provide many therapeutic, high risk and life-saving procedures to patients suffering from a variety of diseases and ailments affecting the lungs and heart. Persons suffering from emphysema, lung cancer, asthma, cystic fibrosis, and many other lung/heart ailments receive assessment, care, education and rehabilitation by respiratory therapists. The profession can be found providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, home care organizations, and physician offices. Today, forty-two states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico require some form of licensure for respiratory therapists. Over 6200 persons in Ohio hold an active license to practice respiratory care. The Ohio Respiratory Care Board has issued more than 10,000 licenses to qualified respiratory therapists.
The Board’s guiding principle for home medical equipment licensure is validating safe, quality services for Ohio consumers. The home medical equipment act requires facilities to hold a license or certificate of registration to engage in the sale, delivery, installation, maintenance, replacement, or demonstration of home medical equipment. The law defines home medical equipment as “equipment that can stand repeated use, is primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, is not useful to a person in the absence of illness or injury, is appropriate for use in the home, and is one or more of the following:
(1) Life-sustaining equipment prescribed by an authorized health care professional that mechanically sustains, restores, or supplants a vital bodily function, such as breathing;
(2) Technologically sophisticated medical equipment prescribed by an authorized health care professional that requires individualized adjustment or regular maintenance by a home medical equipment services provider to maintain a patient's health care condition or the effectiveness of the equipment;
(3) An item specified by the Ohio respiratory care board in rules adopted under division (B) of section 4752.17 of the Revised Code.
The Board may identify specific equipment by rule or add addition equipment through order of the Board. Currently rule 4761:1-3-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code lists the equipment meeting the definitions of HME under Ohio law. The Board has added some additional equipment to the list and regularly posts these updates to its website.
The Ohio Respiratory Care Board is responsible for validating the qualifications of facility applicants, investigating consumer complaints against licensed facilities and inspecting licensed facilities for compliance with established standards.