The Medical Association Coalition, a group of physician organizations and other interested parties that support House Bill (HB) 145, met on October 5. HB 145 establishes a confidential self-reporting program for physicians impaired due to substance abuse. The bill passed the House earlier this year and action is pending in the Senate. The State Medical Board of Ohio sees this legislation as moving quickly and as a result is tacking on some board consolidation provisions that they need passed as soon as possible. That is an encouraging sign that the legislation will pass prior to the end of the year.
When drafting HB 145, the coalition decided to omit from the legislation establishment of a confidential reporting program for physicians with a mental illness diagnosis. The thought was that we would work on that through rule and focus on the confidential reporting program for substance abuse. Work on mental illness reporting program will continue once HB 145 is passed and signed into law.