The Spring Session is winding down at the Ohio Statehouse. We have a new Speaker of the House and just 2 Session days left before they break for the Summer. Oftentimes, the legislature will be back once or twice in the Fall before the election and then in full swing during Lame Duck after the election.
A few items to highlight:
Cultural Competency: SB 16 with would require health care professionals to complete instruction in cultural competency received a hearing this week. Many witnesses testifying in support of the bill said that the business case for culturally and linguistically appropriate services help health care organizations’ bottom line and improve health outcomes. They also stated that improved communication helps avoid malpractice suits and improves patient compliance with health care professionals’ recommendations. The bill has had two hearings in Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee.
Physical Therapy Diagnosis: HB 131 originally would have allowed Physical Therapists to make a medical diagnosis and order imaging. The current version that passed the House and received its second hearing in the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee last week would simply allow a Physical Therapists to make a “therapy” diagnosis which is defined to specifically exclude a “medical” diagnosis.
Physician Assistants: SB 259 proposes to streamline the process for becoming a PA in Ohio. Changes include increasing the ratio of PAs supervised by a physician from 3 to 5; allows supervision agreements to remain onsite rather than filing them with the OSMB; and reduces the requirements for PAs if the PA practiced at least 1000 hours in the military or with a public health service among other changes. After a few changes to the bill, he OSMA has taken a position of neutral.
- Separately, we are aware there are efforts by radiologist assistants at the Federal level to recognize RAs as non-physician providers under Medicare. If successful, that would likely expand efforts by Radiology Assistants to reduce supervision requirements here in Ohio.
Telemedicine: HB 546 would prohibit health benefit plans from treating telemedicine services differently from in-person health care services. The provision was part of the Budget Bill last year in the House, but was removed in the Senate. It received its third hearing in House Health Committee.
Right to Shop: HB 399 would allow a patient to choose wherever he or she would like to go for a medical procedure and not be required to choose the least expensive option. The patient can choose to apply any shared savings incentive to their out-of-pocket costs. HB 399 is a proposed compromise to the Health Care Transparency legislation that was blocked by a lawsuit. HB 399 received its first hearing last week.
Please contact Victor Goodman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rachel Winder (email@example.com) if you would like additional information.
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