Town Hall Conference Call Summary
OAPA held a first-time Town Hall conference call on August 30. Leading the call were GAC Chair Josanne Pagel and OAPA lobbyist Greg Lestini with Bricker and Eckler.
Ms. Pagel reviewed the history of HB284, the bill that contains Schedule II language, as it went through the House Health Committee process and resulted in the addition of birth control language that divided the committee along party lines. Even though it was passed by the House Health Committee it has not yet gone to the House floor due to the birth control language.
She then advised that Health Committee Chair Wachtmann has offered to have the birth control language removed from HB284 prior to it going to the House floor. OAPA has been told many times by legislators that they could have supported the bill except for the birth control language. OAPA has also been told by Senate leadership that the bill should move quickly once it reaches the Senate if the language is modified or removed.
Mr. Lestini addressed why Representative Wachtmann has changed his stance over the summer. There is always a sense of urgency for legislation when the end of the General Assembly approaches (December 31) and, more importantly, the removal of the birth control language should not hurt the Representative’s re-election chances and it may actually be to his benefit to remove language that is so controversial. Mr. Lestini reminded those on the call that Representative Wachtmann has always supported PAs and will continue to do so in the future. HB284’s co-sponsor Ann Gonzales shares his support of PAs and is considered to be on track for future leadership. Both will continue to support PAs now and when new PA legislation is introduced.
Ms. Pagel then announced that OAPA and AAPA are reviewing the Ohio Revised Code and will spend the fall drafting language that will improve the PA Practice Act in Ohio. The association hopes to have a bill and sponsor ready to go early in 2013.
Some of the changes that are being considered are switching from the Supervisory Agreement to a Delegatory Agreement, revising the 60 minute rule and the number of PAs a supervising physician can supervise at one time and removing the list from 4730.
If you have any suggestions for improving your practice where the law in concerned, please forward them to the OAPA office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 800/292-4997).
Mr. Lestini reminded those on the call that they had received an invitation to an OAPA fundraiser for Representatives Wachtmann and Gonzales in Cleveland on September 17. Independently of the fundraiser, the Representatives will receive a tour of the Cleveland Clinic where they can see first-hand the importance of PAs in health care delivery.
The fundraiser is to thank them for their continued support of PAs and we encourage you to attend and share the invitation with your supervising physicians.
Ms. Pagel closed the call advising that the Annual Conference will provide 20 CME hours with 14 of them in pharmacology. The first day will be devoted to drug abuse issues and the speakers will be from the Office of the US Attorney General.