We have had several successful grass roots efforts at the end of 2016!
Firstly, HB 350 passed (as an amendment to HB 463), requiring fully insured health insurance plans to cover the treatment of autism. Did you know that Ohio was one of only 6 states left who had NOT passed legislation that required fully insured health insurance plans cover this type of treatment? HB 350 ensures that individuals ages 0-21 years old have access to such services as: screening, diagnosis, evidence-based treatment, speech and occupational therapy, psychological, psychiatric, and pharmaceutical care. This bill also ensures that intensive behavioral intervention utilizing applied behavioral analysis is a covered service.
Secondly, our efforts have defeated SB 366 and HB 617, stopping the formation of a “Super Board” by combining OBSLPA and the Optometry Board. But our work isn’t finished, expect this topic to be reintroduced as part of a budget bill in 2017. Be vigilant, we may be asking for more help in 2017!
And Lastly, HB 89 (Medicaid schools bill) was passed, allowing school therapists and audiologists to become ORP (Ordering, Referring, and Prescribing) providers for their own services in the school-based Medicaid program. This eliminates the need to obtain a physicians order for school treatment.
Thank you to those who sent letters to your state legislators and to all our advocates across the state!