Ohio Hospital Newswire


132nd General Assembly Wraps Up; Medicaid Expansion Survives Veto Overrides




The Ohio House and Senate adjourned sine die Dec. 31, officially ending the 132nd Ohio General Assembly. In the final days of the lame duck session the legislature passed several hospital-related bills, several of which were enacted and will become effective 90 days from the signing date. 
  • HB 7 Tort Reform – Signed Dec. 19, 2018. A prime focus of OHA and the Ohio State Medical Association, the bill grants limited immunity to certain health care professionals and hospitals related to patients with mental health conditions; qualified immunity for providers during declared disasters; and encourages a broader conversation between patients and physicians when an unanticipated outcome occurs.
  • HB 286 Palliative Care – Signed Dec. 19, 2018. Among other provisions, this legislation creates the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Council and a related education program and requires specified health care facilities—including hospitals—to establish a system for identifying patients for residents who could benefit from palliative care and to provide information on palliative care.
  • HB 464 Stroke Patients – Signed Dec. 19, 2018. This legislation creates a process for state recognition of hospitals as comprehensive stroke centers, primary stroke centers, or acute stroke ready hospitals. It prohibits a hospital from representing itself as a comprehensive or primary stroke center or acute stroke ready hospital unless it is recognized as such by the Ohio Department of Health and requires the establishment of written protocols for use by emergency medical service personnel when assessing, treating, and transporting stroke patients.
  • SB 119 Opioid Medications – Signed Dec. 19, 2018. This bill addresses opioid prescribing and medication-assisted addiction treatment.
  • SB 259 Physician Assistants – Signed Dec. 19, 2018. This legislation revises the laws regulating physician assistants, dentists, dental hygienists and expanded function dental auxiliaries.
  • SB 265 Pharmacy Services – Delivered to the Governor. The bill allows pharmacists to be reimbursed by insurers for health care services and was amended to incorporate language mirroring two measures (SB 56 and HB 72) allowing Ohio residents to receive exemptions from insurers' step therapy protocols.
Ohio lawmakers returned last week for a rare, post-Christmas session to act on three lame-duck bills that Gov. John Kasich had vetoed. The House and Senate enacted a gun-rights expansion bill and pay raises for lawmakers over Kasich's objections, but the Senate did not have the votes to override Kasich’s veto of the controversial "heartbeat" abortion ban, House Bill 258.
Lawmakers did not take up an override of an 18-month-old Kasich veto that protected Medicaid expansion.
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