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Latest Update on State Health Care Reform

 Although it is unlikely that any health care reform proposal will make it into law in 2008, it promises to be a topic discussed intensively as the Legislature prepares for 2009. 

Ohio Department of Insurance Chief Policy Officer, Doug Anderson, gave OAASC members an overview of Governor Strickland's policy development process at our recent Government Day event. 

OAASC Director of Government Affairs, Mike Carroll, outlined the legislature's parallel track for health care reform.  Anderson shared that the Governor has appointed a health care State Coverage Initiative team to review the issue and make recommendations to him.  

He expects to receive his report in a few months. 

Rep. Jim Raussen (R-Springdale) has introduced House Bill 456, the legislature's vehicle for addressing health care reform.  HB 456 includes a variety of broad topics, including:

  • Tax credits for self-employed Ohioans who purchase insurance
  • Stricter charitable care requirements for hospitals
  • Statewide pharmaceutical purchasing pools for state employees and institutions
  • Workers' Compensation discounts for businesses who meet certain employee wellness criteria
  • Increasing the age to which a child can be considered a "dependent" through age 29 for insurance coverage purposes only
  • Changes in data reporting requirements and the use of health information technology

Among the data reporting changes is a proposal to require ASCs to report their billed charge data for patients for the top 50 billed DRGs.  Many of you will recall legislation enacted several years ago (HB 197, also sponsored by Rep. Raussen) that required hospitals to report this data to the Ohio Department of Health.  This version of the Bill would also require this reporting for ASCs.

Hearings on the Bill will continue through the spring.  Chairman Raussen intends to unveil a substitute version of the Bill in mid-May.


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