It’s campaign season in Ohio! You’ve likely noticed when you turn on your local television station or open up your Facebook page or Twitter feed or even your newspaper for those of us that still read them. The current Governor, John Kasich, is term-limited and the race is on to see who will succeed him. The primary election is scheduled for May 8, 2018. The Republican field consists of the current Attorney General Mike DeWine and the current Lt. Governor Mary Taylor. The Democrat hopefuls include Richard Cordray, most recently the director for the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, former Cleveland Mayor and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, State Senator Joe Schiavoni, and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill.
The Speaker of the House, Cliff Rosenberger, resigned abruptly this month announcing he was being investigated by the FBI for possible campaign finance violations. There are at least two representatives that would like to succeed him and are waging aggressive campaigns in Columbus and in House district seats throughout Ohio. Every other statewide seat is open this year along with two seats on the Ohio Supreme Court. 2018 is sure to be an interesting election year.
Meanwhile at the Statehouse, although they are taking a break before the primary election, discussions continue on issues affecting the practice of medicine. Here is a brief summary of a few of the bills. Click on the links to learn more:
HB72 STEP THERAPY PROTOCOLS (JOHNSON T, ANTONIO N) To adopt requirements related to step therapy protocols implemented by health plan issuers and the Department of Medicaid.
Current Status: 4/11/2018 – House Health , (Fifth Hearing)
State Bill Page: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-72
HB131 PHYSICAL THERAPY LAWS (GAVARONE T, REINEKE W) To modify the laws governing the practice of physical therapy. The original version of the bill allowed Physical Therapists to order imaging, but that language has since been removed.
Current Status: 4/11/2018 – PASSED BY HOUSE; Vote 95-0
State Bill Page: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-131
HB145 IMPAIRED MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS (HUFFMAN S, SPRAGUE R) To provide for the establishment of a confidential program for the treatment of certain impaired practitioners and to declare an emergency.
Current Status: 2/8/2018 – SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; eff. immediately
State Bill Page: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-145
HB273 PHYSICIAN CERTIFICATION (GAVARONE T) To prohibit a physician from being required to secure a maintenance of certification as a condition of obtaining licensure, reimbursement, or employment or obtaining admitting privileges or surgical privileges at a hospital or health care facility.
Current Status: 10/25/2017 – House Health , (Third Hearing)
State Bill Page: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-273
HB317 PRO BONO HEALTHCARE DEDUCTION (YOUNG R) To authorize, for six years, a personal income tax deduction for a physician based on the number of hours the physician provides uncompensated medical services through a hospital, free clinic, or nongovernmental medical organization.
Current Status: 3/20/2018 – SUBSTITUTE BILL ACCEPTED, House Ways and Means, (Third Hearing)
State Bill Page: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-317
HB416 HEALTH PRICE TRANSPARENCY (HUFFMAN S) Regarding the provision of cost estimates for scheduled health care services and health care services requiring insurer preauthorization.
Current Status: 3/7/2018 – House Insurance, (Third Hearing)
State Bill Page: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-416
HB536 HEALTH INSURANCE-EMERGENCY COVERAGE (REECE A) To prohibit health plan issuers, including those participating in the Medicaid care management system, from implementing any form of selective emergency services coverage.
Current Status: 3/21/2018 – House Insurance, (First Hearing)
State Bill Page: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-536
HB546 TELEMEDICINE-HEALTH BENEFIT PLANS (PATTON T) To prohibit health benefit plans from treating telemedicine services differently from in-person health care services solely because they are provided as telemedicine services.
Current Status: 4/11/2018 – House Health , (First Hearing)
State Bill Page: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-546
SB16 HEALTH CARE CULTURE COMPETENCY (TAVARES C) To require certain health care professionals to complete instruction in cultural competency.
Current Status: 3/7/2017 – Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid, (First Hearing)
State Bill Page: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-SB-16
There are also ongoing discussions about finding pathways to use protocol for contrast and physician reimbursement for surprise out of network non-coverage among other important issues.
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