What We Are Watching at the Ohio Statehouse
Ohio ACEP is following a number of legislative issues related to the practice of emergency care in the state of Ohio.
Legislation to Strengthen Prudent Layperson Standard - Update
Ohio ACEP priority legislation to strengthen Ohio’s prudent layperson standard saw some action before the legislature’s summer recess. House Bill 270 is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Representatives Susan Manchester (R) and Terrence Upchurch (D). The bill would ensure the prudent layperson standard applies regardless of the patients final or presumptive diagnosis. It would also require insurers to perform a medical review by an emergency physician before denying or down coding a claim for emergency care. Finally, the bill would require clear patient education by insurers on their emergency services benefit.
The bill is pending before the House Insurance Committee. A sponsor hearing was held on May 19th. Dr. Ryan Squier (Ohio ACEP Immediate Past President) represented the Chapter in proponent testimony on May 25, 2021. He was the lone in-person witness and withstood a nearly hour long grilling from the committee members. In addition to ACEP’s testimony, the committee received written testimony in support from: OSMA, OHA, the Cleveland Clinic, and Metro.
We encourage you to watch the hearing here.
The legislature is currently on summer recess. Representative Manchester did convene a meeting between proponents and opponents of the bill on July 14th to attempt to find common ground on the legislation. Ohio ACEP will continue to work in support of the bill over the summer.
Medical Licensure Compact Legislation Signed into Law
On July 1, 2021, Governor DeWine signed legislation to enter Ohio into the Medical Licensure Compact into law. Ohio ACEP thanks bill sponsors Senators Kristina Roegner and Steve Huffman for their work on this important bill. Ohio ACEP lent their support to SB 6 during the committee process in both the House and Senate. In addition to Ohio ACEP, supportive testimony was submitted by the Ohio State Medical Association, the Ohio Hospital Association, several other medical specialty societies and a few hospital systems. We look forward to the State Medical Board turning their attention to implementation of this law.
Vaccine Bill Gets National Attention
House Bill 248, sponsored by Representative Jennifer Gross, would prohibit any mandatory vaccinations or vaccination status disclosures. This bill applies to ALL vaccinations and would affect hospital employees vaccination policies, nursing homes, universities, insurance policies etc…. None of these entities would be able to require their employees, attendees, enrollees to be vaccinated against ANY diseases.
Ohio ACEP is a member of a broad coalition of organizations opposed HB 248 and other such initiatives that discourage vaccinations. Outlandish claims made by proponents of HB 248 made national news. During opponent testimony, medical associations, business groups and other respected organizations came forward to dispute misinformation. While the bill did not get a vote before the legislature’s summer recess, we would expect vaccines to continue to be debated at the statehouse.
Separately, the Governor did sign legislation, HB 244, that included a late added provision to prohibit public schools and universities from mandating any non-FDA approved vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines are still under emergency use authorization and not fully FDA approved. The provision does have an exclusion for university affiliated hospital systems. The bill doesn’t take effect until 90 days after signature.
Stroke Legislation Passed and Signed
Senate Bill 21, sponsored by Senators Nickie Antonio (D) and Nathan Manning (R) has been signed into law. Under the bill, the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire and Transportation Services is directed to develop guidelines for the assessment, triage and hospital transport of stroke patients. The medical director or cooperating physician advisory board of each EMS organization will establish their written protocols based on that model. Under the legislation, medical directors or cooperating physician advisory boards must also periodically provide training in the assessment and treatment of stroke patients. That training must address the assessment of stroke severity.
Bill to Reduce Written Prescription Passes House
Representatives Al Cutrona and Gail Pavliga introduced legislation to remove the ability to write a prescription for schedule II drugs. Under the as-introduced version, all schedule II drug would have needed to be dispensed using an electronic prescription. Ohio ACEP worked with the bill sponsors and other medical groups to ensure there are appropriate exemptions. The House Health Committee adopted a substitute version of the bill on June 15, 2021. It includes many of the exemptions advocated for by Ohio ACEP and others. Those exemptions include when: The prescriber issues the prescription from a health care facility, which may include an emergency department, and reasonably determines that an electronic prescription would be impractical for the patient or would cause a delay that may adversely impact the patient's medical condition.
With this change, Ohio ACEP has no concerns with the legislation. It went on to pass the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously and will now be considered in the Ohio Senate.
Fireworks Bill Vetoed
Legislation to legalize the discharge of consumer fireworks has been introduced and considered for years. Senate Bill 113 sponsored by Senators Michael Rulli and Dr. Terry Johnson made it across the finish line passing both the House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. Ohio ACEP has been a part of a coalition in opposition to the legislation because of the safety concerns. Governor DeWine elected to veto the legislation. The bill did pass both the House and Senate with wide enough margins to override the veto, however it remains unclear if the legislature will consider that option.