Medical Board Update
The State Medical Board of Ohio met on January 13, 2021. Highlighted below are the topics discussed at the meeting that OSMA is closely following.
The medical board’s ICD-10 Committee is tasked with reviewing ICD-10 data that physicians submit to the OARRS system when prescribing controlled substances. The medical board would like to work with the pharmacy board to make OARRS reports more available and helpful to physicians. According to the medical board, at this time, only physicians who prescribe opioids are receiving “benchmark” style reports and the board thinks that all prescribers who report into OARRS should receive the same information. Many physicians who currently receive the reports have found that the reports help them better understand, and possibly alter, their prescribing practices. As a reminder, Ohio law requires physicians who prescribe any controlled substances, not just opioids, to submit an ICD-10 code with that prescription.
Weight Loss Prescribing Rules
Ohio Administrative Code 4731-11-04 and 4731-11-04.1
The medical board is currently reviewing its long-standing rules regarding prescribing controlled substances for the treatment of obesity. OSMA has historically had concerns with the limitations that these rules place on physicians who treat patients with obesity. Ohio has some of the strictest rules in the country and the current rules place time limitations on prescriptions that, many times, force physicians to stop a medication that is showing positive weight loss results.
At January's meeting, the board discussed the rules and elected to investigate what other states are doing to regulate weight loss medication. The board expressed concerns that removing the prescribing restrictions could lead to misuse of weight loss drugs such as phentermine. The weight loss experts who OSMA has consulted with have indicated that misuse of phentermine is unlikely. Especially considering Ohio’s ability to track the prescribing and dispensing of the drug in Ohio’s drug database, OARRS.
OSMA is actively following this issue and we are hopeful that the medical board will make changes to Ohio’s rules that will enable physicians to utilize their training and professional judgment, instead of restrictive time limits, when treating some of Ohio’s most vulnerable patients.
For more information, the rule package submitted to the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) office for review can be found here: