view all news
Complete Story


Legislative Advocacy Update – June

The OSMA advocacy team has had an action-packed several weeks at the Statehouse in Columbus as legislators prepare to wrap up their sessions for the summer recess before the upcoming fall elections. Read on for a summary of some of the recent legislative activity on major issues impacting the practice of medicine.


Major Scope of Practice Issues

Advanced Practice Respiratory Therapists (HB 102):

*Update - A substitute version of HB 102 was recently introduced, regarding which OSMA will have a position of neutrality. This is a major advocacy win for OSMA and for physicians across the state and a satisfying conclusion to months of hard work! 

As a reminder, OSMA has been working in opposition to this legislation, which would establish and license advanced practice respiratory therapists (APRTs) as a new type of allied practitioner in Ohio. We initially had serious concerns about vague language and potential patient risk associated with the proposed scope of practice. We have worked closely with the Ohio Society of Anesthesiologists in our advocacy on HB 102 and as a part of our efforts, we gave the sponsor and proponents of the bill specific feedback and suggestions for changes to the language which would mitigate our concerns. We are glad to report that consideration of these suggestions resulted in meaningful changes now reflected in the substitute version of HB 102!  


Certified Mental Health Assistants (SB 60):

*Update There is a considerable push in the Senate to move this bill forward and pass it out of committee and onto the Senate floor for a full vote, and we continue to do what we can to make sure the voices of physicians are heard in this process. We are urging that our concerns be addressed if this legislation is to progress forward in the legislature. You can help by taking a few minutes to complete our Advocacy Action Center call to action and telling your legislator not to support SB 60, if you have not already done so!

OSMA continues to work alongside the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association (OPPA) in opposition to SB 60 (and its companion bill, HB 97, in the House), legislation which would create a new allied practitioner called the certified mental health assistant (CMHA), which does not exist in any other state. Last week, OPPA had their annual legislative Advocacy Day, and a group pf psychiatric physicians made the rounds meeting with elected officials to discuss this legislation and their concerns. OSMA and OPPA have worked extensively on this legislation and have continued to find it troubling due to belief that it may present serious patient risk. SB 60 does not contain much specific information about required education and training for CMHAs, who notably would also be given the authority by the bill to prescribe controlled substances.


Optometry – Scope of Practice (SB 129):

*Update - OSMA recently gave joint testimony in a committee hearing alongside the Ohio Ophthalmological Society (OOS) in opposition to SB 129, a bill which would allow optometrists in Ohio to perform certain surgical procedures. We are optimistic about how well received our testimony was and will continue to work to ensure that any legislation that makes changes to the eye care model in Ohio demonstrates clear benefit to patients and does not introduce unnecessary risk.

Our organizations have serious concerns about this proposal and we are satisfied to have had the opportunity to express these concerns in detail to legislators, also laying out the educational differences between an ophthalmologist and optometrist.


Hospital Violence (HB 452)

*Update - As a part of a coalition of hospital and health care groups, OSMA recently signed on to a letter of support for HB 452, which aims to address prevention of hospital violence and contains various provisions regarding training, security plans, and incident reporting. The letter given as written testimony in a proponent hearing in the House Public Health Policy Committee.

Other Legislation

Anti-Vaccine Legislation (HB 319):

OSMA is actively opposing legislation which would prohibit discrimination against an individual for the refusal of certain medical interventions for reasons of conscience, including religious convictions. This bill is mainly targeted at vaccinations, and specifically includes vaccine requirements for college admission and employment. It would also, for example, prevent health facilities from implementing policies such as those that require readily-accepted vaccines in the clinical environment (like tuberculosis) or require unvaccinated employees to wear a mask during flu season in certain areas of a hospital. This bill has had several hearings and OSMA is preparing for the opportunity to testify against the bill as part of a large healthcare coalition.


Biomarker Testing (HB 24):

As you may know, OSMA has been supporting HB 24, which is a legislative effort to require state-regulated health insurance plans, including Medicaid, to provide coverage for biomarker testing when medically appropriate. Biomarker testing is increasingly used in diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions, including cancer. Insurance coverage would, for example, help reduce treatment costs and improve quality of life for Ohioans diagnosed with cancer. It recently had another hearing in the House Insurance Committee and was voted out. It must now be voted out of the House on the House floor.

There are a few weeks left of legislative hearings and sessions before legislators recess for the summer at the end of this month. Please stay tuned for updates on advocacy activity and our work over the summer preparing for the election and for legislators to return this fall.



In your inbox 

Join for 2024


Printer-Friendly Version