On June 15, the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians joined 13 other medical organizations in submitting concerns to the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) relative to recently drafted State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) rules pertaining to the one-bite program.
The Medical Association Coalition (MAC) met with the medical board, legislators, and the Ohio Physicians Health Program (OPHP) to develop the framework, structure, and tone of the one-bite rules. Unfortunately, the rules developed by the SMBO instead model the rules after consent agreements and board orders issued for disciplinary action that require a rigid, one-size-fits-all treatment approach rather than offering one-bite participants non-punitive, individualized, and therapeutic treatment options.
The one-bite program is intended to encourage physicians and other health care professionals to seek treatment at the earliest stage of their illness so that treatment may have the most successful outcome. Rules should allow for appropriate clinical oversight by the monitoring organization and not have the same monitoring terms that a practitioner would receive under disciplinary action by the SMBO. Minimum standards of the program are necessary in order to ensure the public is protected, but the proposed one-bite rules have disciplinary-like requirements, do not allow for clinical engagement, and will dissuade providers from seeking treatment.
As stated in the MAC’s April 6 letter to the SMBO, it continues to assert that the SMBO is showing a substantial deviation from the intent that was voiced and agreed upon by all sides during the formation of House Bill (HB) 145, the piece of legislation that set forth changes to the SMBO’s existing one-bite program.
The MAC has requested that CSI assemble a group of interested parties to discuss concerns related to this most recent draft of the one-bite program rules. We suggest that the group include representatives from the OPHP, medical associations, the treatment provider community, and the SMBO. We also request that CSI include legislators who were instrumental in the passage of HB 145 so that they may offer perspective regarding whether the SMBO’s proposed rules align with the legislative directive and intent.