Public Policy Committee Update
The next meeting of the CMA’s Public Policy Committee will be on Thursday, March 19 at 6:00 p.m.. The CMA PAC meeting will begin immediately after the conclusion of the Policy meeting. Other meeting dates for the remainder of 2020 are scheduled for
- June 24
- September 17
- November 12
CMA “Advocacy Day.” The CMA’s Public Policy Committee will be sponsoring its first ever official Advocacy Day for to talk to legislators about issues of concern to CMA physicians.
- Monday, March 30 6:00 p.m. Training at CMA offices with State Representative Beth Liston, MD, to help physicians learn about effective interactions with legislators
- Wednesday, April 1 various times: A day when both the Senate and House are scheduled to be in Session, so legislators will be at the Statehouse. Meetings with individual legislators can be arranged around physicians’ personal availability that day.
More details to follow. Contact Lisa Oyer (Loyer@ColumbusMedicalAssociation.org) or Malcolm Porter (email@example.com) if you are interested.
Legislative Update: In January the Ohio General Assembly returned for some limited sessions in advance of the March primary. This year is expected to be a volatile political year with limited session days as the calendar moves towards November. Here is a brief update on selected issues/legislation.
CRNA’s Scope of Practice: HB 224. This bill moved out of the House Health Committee and was passed last week by the House of Representative by a vote of 94-2. The bill moved forward largely as the result of a compromise provision that provided an option for a supervising physician to opt out of the expanded authority if they believe it is in the best interest of the patient. The bill does not grant authority for CRNA’s to write outpatient prescriptions. As a result of the compromise, major physician groups were neutral on the bill. The bill has not received any Senate hearings yet.
APRN’s independent practice: HB 177. This bill had hearings in the House Health Committee this month; but remains in the committee for further consideration. Some changes were adopted; however, physician groups were not a part of development of any of the changes and strong concerns remain about the impact on patients and functioning of physician-led patient care teams.
Psychologist prescriptive authority: HB 323. This bill remains in the House Health Committee after having one hearing that featured proponent testimony. Unresolved issues are many, including level of education/training and lack of a formulary, and a collaboration agreement with physicians.
Medication Switching HB 418: Received a proponent hearing in House Health Committee. The bill intends to prevent patients from having medication switched by an insurance company for non-medical reasons during a plan year.
Mental health parity: HB 443. Received an initial sponsor presentation to the House Health Committee. The bill intends to align Ohio statutes with federal law for the levels of required services.
Bills that remain in committee and did not receive hearings in January:
Surprise billing: SB 198 and HB 388. These bills remain in committee in their respective chambers. There is general agreement on removing patients from the middle of a surprise billing situation and eliminate balance billing; however, there are differences on how to resolve payment disagreements between providers and payers. SB 198 is generally supported by providers, including major physician groups. HB 388 is generally support by payers. At the core of the differences is the payment dispute determination via SB 198’s mandatory arbitration provisions vs HB 388’s approach of benchmark pricing.
Price Transparency: SB 97. This issue has been the subject of considerable activity in recent years, including attempts to address the issue in state budget bills, veto’s by the Governor, and lawsuits by major provider groups, include the OHA and OSMA. This year an attempt at a workable system has emerged from the committee process in the Ohio Senate with broad provider support. The bill unanimously passed the Senate and is in the House Health Committee.
Abortion Regulations: SB 155 and 208. HB 413.The CMA has opposed legislation when there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the proposed policy and/or physician actions that are consistent with standards of care are criminalized. Two such abortion related bills have passed the Senate and are in committee in the House. SB 155 requires physician communication to patients about reversing medication abortions and SB 208, deals with provisions following a live birth after an attempted abortion. HB 413 establishes the basis for murder charges against any physician who provides an abortion. The bill has not received any hearings in committee.
Other bills on the watch list include:
- Gun regulations: SB 221. In Senate committee, no January hearing.
- Vaccinations: HB 268. In House committee, no recent hearings.
- Health education standards: HB 165. In House committee, no recent hearings.
- Tanning prohibitions for youth: HB 329. In House committee, no January hearing.
- Science based medicine: HB 407. In House committee, no hearings yet
Prior authorization. Thanks to those practices who completed the comprehensive survey regarding the current prior authorization landscape. Results of the survey were compiled at the end of 2019 and analysis is ongoing. Based on the outcomes of the research will determine whether appropriate next steps will be with the Ohio Department of Insurance, additional legislation, or some other activity.
Political Action Committee Summary
Legislative Delegation Screenings for CMA Physicians. All members of the Ohio Houses and half of the Ohio Senate will be on the 2020 ballot. Watch for mid-year dates to be scheduled for any CMA physician to attend screenings and ask questions to all members of the Central Ohio legislative delegation and their opponents.
Ohio Supreme Court. Scheduling conflicts with the two current justices and their two challengers prevented the CMA Supreme Court forum from occurring. Should any CMA member be interested in connecting with one of the individual campaigns, please contact Malcolm Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org). The OSMA will having its endorsement process in the coming weeks.