The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians joined forces with several other physician organizations on March 8 to ask state senators not to sign on as sponsors of anticipated legislation to allow psychologists to prescribe mental health medications. Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati, OH) has indicated his intent to introduce such legislation for consideration in the near future.
The letter sent to 32 state senators stated, “As physicians, who completed four years of medical school followed by no less than a three-year residency, we sincerely value the professional abilities of psychologists, and work collaboratively with them to treat patients who suffer from mental disorders. However, we believe psychologists do not have the medical training necessary for them to safely prescribe medication.”
The letter goes on to say, “Our organizations are interested in working with Senator Seitz, other members of the legislature, as well as with health insurance companies in Ohio, to discuss issues related to psychiatric services, including access, for Ohio’s citizens who suffer from mental disorders. We feel strongly, however, that expanding the scope of practice for clinicians without adequate medical training jeopardizes the safety of Ohio’s citizens.”
State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield, OH) has indicated his intent to introduce companion legislation on psychologist prescribing in the Ohio House of Representatives. We will be contacting House members to encourage them not to sign on as sponsors of the House legislation.
The OAFP has a long-standing policy statement on non-physician prescriptive authority. This policy serves to guide the OAFP and its lobbyist in a consistent manner relative to the consideration of scope of practice proposals.