OAPA Legislative Update
The Ohio Senate and House on Wednesday (3/25) took several actions to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, with a single bill picking up a number of provisions that cover a wide range of issues. As you have heard, there were certain provisions related to CRNA, RN, and LP practice. We have outlined the many various provisions, via amendments to HB197, below:
- Barring disconnection of public water service
- Extending voting by mail to allow counting of absentee ballots postmarked by April 28
- Making allowances for people whose licenses of various kinds will expire during the emergency
- Granting local governments flexibility to meet remotely, with provisions for public participation
- Waiving state testing and report cards for this academic year
- Lifting the cap on granting credit for distance learning
- Waiving usual requirements to permit high school seniors who were on track before the crisis to graduate
- Freezing EdChoice eligibility at current levels
- Expanding eligibility for unemployment compensation
- Aligning the state tax filing deadline to the delayed federal deadline.
- Temporarily tolling criminal and civil statutes of limitation
- Allowing a one-time transfer from the Rainy Day Fund this fiscal year, with Controlling Board approval.
- Allowing temporary practice certificates for recent nursing graduates and changing the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists.
. Many of the added provisions are temporary and last until the pandemic emergency subsides.
Other than the provision in HB197 for recent nursing graduates and CRNAs there were no other scope of practice bills considered including HB 177 (APRN scope bill), HB492 (the PA bill) and HB561 (the PA Supervision Agreement bill).
The OAPA lobbyists at Bricker and Eckler are monitoring for additional legislative action that will be considered on any issue in the near future related to the pandemic. It will be up to the Governor to issue orders and OAPA is communicating recommendations to the Governor’s office that will help PA providers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contacting your legislators at this time, while it is your right to do so, will not expedite any pieces of legislation but will provide information on the PA profession that they can use in the future when bills are once again being considered. OAPA recommends that you wait until HB492 is receiving hearings (after the pandemic emergency subsides) then use OAPA talking points to encourage your legislator to favorably vote on the bill. Please document instances where provisions in HB492, had they been in place during the pandemic, would have been helpful in administering care.
HB 561 calls for a suspension of the requirement for supervision agreements during the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not call for a permanent removal of the requirement so once the pandemic emergency subsides it will be moot. Permanent removal of the requirement will be pursued by OAPA in the future.
OAPA is judiciously using its financial resources to support the activities of our lobbyists as they reached out to legislators to support PAs before today and now the Governor’s office.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the OAPA office at 800/292-4997 or email@example.com.