SB259 was introduced in mid-February by the bill’s sponsor, Senator Hackett, with the anticipation to remove significant practice barriers for Ohio PAs. The most notable goals of our OAPA legislative leaders were to remove the PA Formulary, increase the Physician/PA ratio to 5, allow PAs to order conscious sedation medications to perform various procedures (i.e. rapid sequence intubation), and the elimination for filing supervision agreements with the OSMB.
After much discussion between OAPA legislative leaders, Senator Hackett, our lobbyists Bicker & Eckler, and several other interested parties, it became apparent that SB259 would not pass with the sedation language included as originally introduced. Therefore, a decision was made to strike the sedation language from the original text.
SB259 was then reintroduced to the Senate Health Committee and subsequently passed on June 26th with a unanimous vote. It was amended in the House Health Committee to include teledentistry and voted out on December 12th. It was passed by the full House and then concurred by the Senate on December 13th. It will become effective 90 days after the Governor signs it.
Additional changes were made to the plans for the SB259 amendment to remove the requirement for supervision agreements to be filed with the OSMB. Alternatively, Senator Hackett was able to attach this language onto HB111. According to this language, supervision agreements will no longer need to be filed with the State Medical Board of Ohio. Instead, these completed agreements must now be kept on-site of the practice facility.
While having to eliminate the sedation language from SB259 comes as a devastating blow to many PAs, removal of the PA Formulary would be a monumental leap forward for PA practice in Ohio. Currently, Ohio is 1 of 6 states that still use an antiquated PA Formulary. The Ohio Association of PAs recognizes the detrimental extent and limitations of being unable to legally order the appropriate medications to perform rapid intubation and related procedures. Rest assured OAPA will continue to work on changing the law with regards to sedation in the future.
Be sure to sign up for email alerts, track the bill’s progress, and read the legislative text here: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/?54
So what does SB259 now include?
Highlights of SB259 in its current form:
SB259 passed the Senate Health Committee. Does that mean the above is law now?!
No. Once a bill is passed by a Committee, a bill is then introduced on the Floor of both chambers (House and Senate). Most states require 3 separate readings of the bill on 3 separate days. The bill must be passed by both the House and Senate before being signed by the Governor.
Currently, SB259 is awaiting passage by the entire Senate Floor. We anticipate this to occur in November. Once passed in the Senate the bill must also be heard in the House, beginning with the House Health Committee, and then passed before moving onto the Governor’s desk before December 31st. SB259 still has a long way to go but with the removal of the sedation language, the bill has no opposition from the interested parties and we hope that this will help expedite moving through the House.
Do PAs still have to complete a Supervisory Agreement?
Yes, PAs and the supervising physician must still complete the appropriate agreement application. However, these forms no longer need to be filed online with the OSMB. HB 111 allows these supervisory agreements to be kept on-site of the physician's practice. The supervisory agreements can be found on the Medical Board website at www.med.ohio.gov.
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