Third hearing on Sub HB 326 – to allow PhDs and PsyDs to Prescribe
On May 23, Chair of the Ohio House Health Committee, Steve Huffman, MD, held the third hearing on Substitute House Bill 326, which would allow certain psychologists in Ohio to prescribe psychotropic medications and opioid antagonists. This hearing allowed for proponents, opponents and interested parties to testify.
Those testifying on behalf of the OPPA, in opposition to the bill, included: William (Bill) Resch, DO, President; Victoria Kelly, MD, President-elect; and Tamara Campbell, MD, Past-president (although, she actually testified on behalf of the OSMA, since she is a member of both). Matthew Phillips, a second year medical student at The Ohio State University, with plans to enter into psychiatry, also testified on behalf of the OSMA.
The OPPA strongly opposes Sub HB 546, just as it has done with similar legislation introduced for the past ten years. As Dr. Resch stated:
“The difficulty Ohio citizens have accessing mental health care is a serious problem in our state. While a small minority of individuals believe HB326 provides a solution, it is one we believe puts Ohioans at unnecessary risk by permitting psychologists, without sufficient medical training to prescribe very serious and potentially dangerous medications.”
Dr. Kelly informed committee members that there are SAFE alternatives to address access issues, including collaborative care, reimbursement of telepsychiatry and expanding residency spots in Ohio. Dr. Campbell explained the education and training differences between a psychologist and psychiatrist, based on her personal experience practicing for 13 years as a clinical psychologist before deciding to go to medical school in order to treat her patients with treatment modalities beyond talk therapy.
Legislators will be on break over the summer and will return to their district offices. OPPA members are encouraged to contact their individual state Representative, especially if they are a member of the House Health Committee, to educate them on why allowing psychologists to prescribe would be harmful to their constituents. Ask them to vote no on Sub HB 326. OPPA Executive Director, Janet Shaw, is happy to provide you with talking points, schedule a meeting for you and attend the meeting with you if you would like.
Click here and enter your ten-digit zip code to find out who your state Representative is and how you may contact them.
Testimony and letters in opposition to Sub HB 326