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Legislative Update

HB 105: Home Medical Equipment Law

Kelly Vyzral, Director of Government Affairs

HB 105: Home Medical Equipment Law

On September 16, 2004, Sub. H.B. 105, sponsored by Rep. Thom Collier (R-Mount Vernon), became effective requiring certain, but not all, home medical equipment facilities offering home medical equipment services to the public to obtain a license or certificate of registration from the Ohio Respiratory Care Board. The law is primarily designed to cover home medical equipment providers who sell or lease life sustaining or technologically sophisticated equipment.

The HME law will require all facilities selling or leasing life-sustaining or technologically sophisticated equipment to obtain either a license or certificate of registration to continuing serving the public in the state of Ohio. A pharmacy that receives total payments of more than $10,000 per year from selling or renting home medical equipment would be required to be licensed under this law. Licensing in earnest is not required until September 16, 2005. Over the next days, weeks, and months, the Ohio Respiratory Care Board will write the rules and implement the processes needed to successfully license and register these businesses. The rules will define what home medical equipment falls under the statutory definitions of home medical equipment; establish standards for practice for licensees; and establish licensing qualifications, standards for inspection, and continuing education requirements. OPA will carefully monitor this process and testify on behalf of the interests of our members. The Respiratory Care Board anticipates final rule drafts will be ready for consideration by January 2005. Applications for licensing or certificates of registration cannot be mailed until all of the standards of practice, qualifications for licensing, and fees have been determined. The Board is required to draft rules addressing all of these issues. In addition, it is nearly impossible to determine what facilities may actually need to obtain a license or certificate of registration. In early October 2004, the Board mailed a preliminary license survey to 2600 home medical equipment providers throughout Ohio and surrounding states. The information obtained through these surveys will help the Board identify the number of providers in the region, how many may already be accredited and what types of ser-vices are provided.

Two Types of Authorization to Practice may be Issued. (1) Certificate of Registration: this status would apply to those facilities that are already accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations or another accrediting organization recognized by the Ohio Respiratory Care Board. Holders of this authorization may provide the full range of home medical equipment services defined in the law, but will not be subject to the requirements of a licensed facility. For example, a Certificate of Registration holder would not have to undergo inspection by the board, because the accrediting organization performs this requirement.

(2) License: this status would apply to all non-accredited facilities. Licensed providers are subject to regular inspections and must comply with all provision of the law to legally sell or lease the full range of home medical equipment services defined in the law.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Kelly Vyzral, Director of Government Affairs at 614.798.0037 or kvyzral@ohiopharmacists.org.


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