Summary from April 2020 Board Meeting On April 8, 2020, the Medical Board conducted its first livestreamed board meeting. It can be viewed here. In addition to its standard agenda, the board discussed arising challenges and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you will find a summary of the board’s discussion.
The board voted to suspend enforcement of Section 4760.08, Ohio Revised Code and Rule 4731-24-02, Ohio Administrative Code to the extent that an anesthesiologist who supervises an anesthesiologist assistant will not be required to adopt a written practice protocol for the duration of the declared COVID-19 emergency.
Respiratory Care Limited Permit Holders
In the absence of a licensed respiratory care professional, the board recognizes that R.C. 4761.17(B) permits a physician, certified nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, certified nurse specialist, or physician assistant (who is authorized to prescribe or order respiratory care services. under the supervision of a physician) to also supervise a graduate-based respiratory care limited permit holder. It will still be at the discretion of the hospital to allow a limited permit holder full scope of practice.
In conjunction with the Board of Pharmacy and the Board of Nursing, the board voted to allow physicians practicing under a consult agreement in a hospital or institutional setting to delegate duties to an advance practice registered nurse or physician assistant for the period of the declared COVID-19 emergency, as declared by the governor. This ability to delegate to advance practice nurses or physician assistants will stop when the emergency order is lifted by the governor.
The board has two existing statutory provisions in ORC 4731.36 that support out-of-state telemedicine:
Physicians treating patients who are visiting Ohio and unable to leave because of the emergency
Physicians in contiguous states that have existing patient relationships with Ohio residents
Ohio does not have a legal mechanism to allow out-of-state licensees to practice in Ohio or to automatically reactivate inactive licensees. Board members were surveyed for opinions and comfort level. In the event the Medical Board is provided the legal authority to allow out-of-state licensees or inactive licensees who reactivate their licenses to practice, the responses showed the board is comfortable with issuing emergency licenses with necessary parameters.
The Secretary and Supervising Member asked for board member feedback regarding board-ordered chemical dependency evaluations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike forensic psychiatric evaluations, which are currently being conducted by video, chemical dependency examinations must be conducted in person due to the laboratory component. This holds true for massage therapist outpatient exams, as well as the mandatory 72-hour inpatient requirement for other licensee types. Additionally, other types of board ordered evaluations such as neurological assessments or occupational medicine assessments require an in-person component.
The board supported the Supervising Member and Secretary’s three recommendations for ordering licensee evaluations:
Continue psychiatric evaluations by video until in-person evaluations can safely be resumed.
For licensure applicants, who pose no risk of patient harm as they are not currently practicing here, defer scheduling all evaluations that require an in-person component until at least such time that the “Stay at Home” order is lifted and the anticipated surge is over.
For current licensees with a suspected inability to practice due to a physical condition, and for those with suspected impairment who either have failed a One Bite referral or are otherwise ineligible for One Bite, each case will be assessed on its individual facts. If an appropriate settlement cannot be reached, the Secretary and Supervising Member will consider whether there is sufficient peripheral evidence, absent the customary evaluation result, to support possible summary suspension.
HB 197 was signed into law by Governor DeWine on March 27, 2020. The provisions related to the COVID-19 emergency are effective immediately.
Medical Board licensees who have licenses that will expire during the period of emergency have until 90 days past the end of the emergency or December 1, 2020 to renew their license.
Medical Board hearings and meetings can be conducted electronically. The board must provide at least 24 hours advance notice of a meeting to the public, media who have requested advance notice and any parties required to be notified.
The Ohio Department of Medicaid has designated physicians, physician assistants and dietitians as eligible to provide telehealth services.
Any other criminal, civil, or administrative time limitation or deadline under the Revised Code set to expire between March 9, 2020 and July 30, 2020, will be tolled.
Essential Versus Non-Essential Surgeries COVID-19 Checklist The Ohio Department of Health published further clarification of “essential” procedures on April 8. Read it here.
Medical Board Staff Update
Governor DeWine announced that he is extending the directive that State of Ohio employees work remotely through at least Friday, May 1. This includes State Medical Board of Ohio employees. Staff will continue serving the needs of licensees and protecting the health and safety of Ohioans. Your continued patience in any delayed response is appreciated. For the most rapid response, inquiries should be sent to License@med.ohio.gov (licensing questions) or Contact@med.ohio.gov (general questions).
EMS Public Record Exemptions
The board is updating its contact information in accordance with Ohio law. Please take a moment to complete* the short survey if you work as:
An EMS medical director
An EMS Regional Physician Advisory Board (RPAB) member
A correctional institution employee
A youth services employee
*If you have already completed the survey, you do not need to complete it again.
Board Seeks Subject Matter Experts The State Medical Board of Ohio has been tasked with reviewing the petitions to add qualifying medical conditions to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP). The board is seeking qualified subject matter experts to review the materials submitted in support of these petitions.
The subject matter expert shall render a written opinion on the suitability of medical marijuana for the proposed disease or condition within 45 days following receipt of the materials to be reviewed. It is anticipated the report will be 2-5 pages in length.
If you are interested in becoming a subject matter expert reviewer, please submit a completed questionnaire and a current copy of your curriculum vitae to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your name will be added to our list of subject matter experts. When the board receives a petition matching your background, experience, and specialty, board personnel will contact you with further details.
DATA 2000 Prescriber Training
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is offering free DEA DATA 2000 Waiver Training for MAT with CMEs. Open to physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and physician residents who hold an Ohio license and a current DEA number. Online modules are offered.
Update Your Address Medical Board licensees are required to give notice of a change of address (residence, business or electronic) no later than 30 days after the change occurs.