Complete Story


Weekly Advocacy Update - 7/09/2008

A Weekly Update of Important Government and Legislative Issues

Weekly Advocacy Update - 7/09/2008
A Weekly Update of Important Government and Legislative Issues


On the eve of the July 4th holiday, CMS released the 2009 proposed update for ASC reimbursement. While the agency plans to continue with the second year of the phased-in new reimbursement system, the regulations do not include the anticipated quality reporting for ASC in 2009.

Click here to view the CMS fact sheet on the new ASC rules

Click here for the proposed regulation



The Governor recently signed Executive Orders (Eos) increasing the Medicaid reimbursement rates for selected providers by 3 percent effective July 1 - the first day of Fiscal Year 2009.


Under the two Medicaid-related EOs, PASSPORT and Choices providers receive the 3 percent increase while community providers including but not limited to advanced practice nurses, ambulatory health care clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, chiropractors, dentists, occupational therapists, optometrists, physical therapists, physicians, podiatrists, psychologists and ambulance and ambulette transportation providers receive an "aggregate average" 3 percent increase, "based on the type of service provided."


The PASSPORT and Choices programs are two Medicaid programs that allow recipients "who would otherwise require long-term care in a nursing facility to instead receive home and community-based services." The increase, according to the governor's order, means that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) "will ensure that providers of

these services are adequately compensated, which will mean that they will continue to offer their services. As a result, Medicaid consumers will retain access to an established pool of qualified providers, and Ohio will maintain its commitment to providing home and community-base alternatives to nursing homes."


A similar rationale was postulated for the community providers.




Attorney General (AG) Nancy Rogers has appointed the law firm of Littler Mendelson to represent the state in mediation in settling sexual harassment claims from two employees - claims that precipitated the resignation of former AG Marc Dann. The two are asking for about $400,000 each plus $75,000 in attorney's fees.



Rep. Chris Widener (R-Springfield), chief sponsor of the state's payday lending reform bill, asked the attorney general to reject the second iteration of the ballot language seeking repeal of the new law. Widener said they still fail to give a "fair and truthful summary of the proposed law" because it describes the law being repealed, rather than the effects of HB545 itself.


 The Ohio Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission over a fundraiser put on by the Ohio Bankers League for state Sen. Steve Stivers (R-Columbus), a candidate for the 15th Congressional District seat, alleging that, as a nonprofit corporation, the organization is prohibited from facilitating fundraising for a federal candidate.

 Republicans Ken Blackwell, Betty Montgomery, Rep. Bill Batchelder and State Auditor Mary Taylor have reached an agreement with Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to return a total of $30,000 in contributions to the Go-Go and Main Street political action committees, which were used to funnel contributions from charter school operator David Brennan. Brennan and his wife, Ann, the only contributors to the two PACs since 2005, had already given the maximum amount allowed to each of the candidates.



 Connect Ohio, a nonprofit targeting public-private broadband partnerships in every county in keeping with Gov. Ted Strickland's campaign pledge to bridge the digital divide, released the first ever map of high-speed Internet's footprint in Ohio along with a detailed survey of broadband use and interest in the state.



Gov. Ted Strickland announced that he will hold a series of 12 forums across the state this summer focusing on reforming education. The 12 forums, which begin Tuesday, July 22 in Columbus, will focus on his six principles for education reform. They will also be webcast, and most will be broadcast on local PBS stations. In addition, a website,, has been launched to provide another way to provide feedback during and after the forums. A second round of regional meetings is planned for the fall to focus on financing a reformed system of education.

 State leaders must now determine whether Ohio will adopt a new federal intervention scheme for underperforming school districts under No Child Left Behind after the state was one of six approved by the U.S. Department of Education for the "flexible and innovative improvement options" in addressing flagging Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Participation, however, requires legislative approval.


The Public-Private Collaborative Commission issued the first comprehensive draft of its report, "Supporting Student Success: A New Learning Day in Ohio." This 39-page prospectus, which is intended to push the state to the forefront of 21st century learning, is to be finalized by Aug. 18.



 The SweatFree Ohio campaign, a coalition of political, labor, business, religious and human rights interests, released a report this week alleging that companies either based in Ohio or doing business with the state operate overseas factories with poor working conditions and labor and human rights violations. The companies include Ohio-based Cintas, Fechheimer Brother Co., Lion Apparel and Rocky Brands Inc. and North Carolina-based Bob Barker Co. Subsequently, the state indicated that it will consider purchasing changes possibly through standard contract language addressing sweatshops and by defining sweatshops.




The first set of staff-proposed rules implementing the provisions of the energy reform bill, SB221, - these dealing with the requirements and procedures for electric distribution utilities when filing either an Electric Security Plan or a Market Rate Option, corporate separation plans and transmission riders - have been released for public comment. The deadline for public comment is July 22. Still to come are rules addressing alternative energy portfolio standard benchmarks and requirements, energy efficiency programs and governmental aggregation.





Gov. Ted Strickland rejected a call for the outright ban on the sale of consumer fireworks made Tuesday by Prevent Blindness Ohio at a Statehouse news conference. Prevent Blindness said that over 1,000 serious injuries occurred last year due to the use of sparklers - half to children under the age of five. Only five states prohibit the private use of all fireworks.





The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) said the state has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to provide up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment compensation benefits to as many as 280,000 eligible Ohioans. These extended benefits are federally funded.





The Bureau of Workers' Compensation approved further reductions to the premium discounts offered to employers enrolled in group rating programs - the first phase in its long-term plan to improve pricing accuracy and equity when determining premiums for all Ohio employers.

2008 -- Provided by
The Hannah Report - A Publication of Rotunda, Inc. & Hannah News Service

Printer-Friendly Version