Thanks to Collective Efforts “One Bite” Rules Nearly Final

 

Although Governor Kasich signed HB 145 in January of this year, it was only the first step in a long process. The measure requires the Medical Board to establish a confidential program for the treatment of impaired practitioners.  It allows a practitioner who has not previously participated in “One Bite” or been sanctioned by the Board for impairment as a result of drugs, alcohol, or other substances to avoid discipline, if specified conditions are met, including completing treatment.

For the past six months, members of the Medical Association Coalition (MAC), which includes OSMA, have been working diligently behind the scenes to ensure the final rules reflect the original intention of the legislation. This process has been long and tedious. In fact, the Governor’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) office finally intervened and held a meeting with MAC members and the Medical Board. The meeting was productive and resulted in the medical board representatives agreeing with most of the suggested changes. 

All parties have indicated that they expect the rules to move quickly and smoothly through the additional rule review phases. We anticipate that the rules will become effective within the next few months. 

It has been a very long process but the rules now reflect the collaboration and hard work done between the medical board and the MAC over the last couple of years! Most importantly, the new rules create a path for physicians who are experiencing addiction issues to obtain confidential treatment from treatment providers who will now be able to tailor a physician’s treatment to suit that particular physician’s condition. This illustrates how important the OSMA is in representing the physician throughout the legislative and rule-making process.