Government Relations Legislative Update :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

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Legislative Update

2012 Legislative Wrap-Up; January 2013


State

With the 130th Ohio General Assembly now sworn in, here are some key pieces of legislation which passed in 2012.

Certificate of Conceded Eminence
House Bill 487, Signed by the Governor on June 11th, 2012, enacted a new Ohio Revised Code §4731.297 that authorizes Ohio State Medical Board (OSMB) to issue a “certificate of conceded eminence” to international medical physicians who hold a medical degree from an educational institute listed in the international medical education directory and meets a number of other very specific requirements.

Protecting youth athletes suffering head injuries
House Bill 143, meant to protect youth athletes who suffer head injuries, was signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 20th, 2012. It requires coaches and referees to remove a player from a game or practice who is suffering from symptoms of a concussion or head injury and will not allow the player return to play until being cleared by a doctor or health care provider.

September is now Craniofacial Acceptance Month
The passage of Senate Bill 135 designates the month of September as "Craniofacial Acceptance Month" was signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 11th, 2012. Some of our Nationwide Children's families who testified in order to see the bill was passed were on hand for the bill signing. Click here to see a video of 3 year old Joseph Baylis, son of Nationwide Children's Dr. Adrianne Baylis, Director, Resonance Disorders Program, helping Governor Kasich sign this bill into law.

Governor Expands Autism Coverage
On December 21st, Governor Kasich’s announced autism coverage will be expanded to include state employee health insurance, private health insurance and insurance sold through the future federally managed health insurance exchange. This plan will help make autism services available to the more than 50,000 Ohio families who are affected by autism.

Federal

At the federal level, it was New Year’s Day 2013 before children’s hospitals had outcomes on many key 2012 legislative priorities.   

Fiscal Cliff Bill Includes Medicaid, Research and Education
The “fiscal cliff” legislation was resolved by Congress and the President at New Year’s with a focus on tax issues.  Medicaid, of critical importance to children’s health coverage, remained largely intact in the bill after being under consideration for cuts all year.   The fiscal cliff bill also postponed for two months automatic, across-the-board cuts known as the” sequester,” which could cut many federal programs including NIH, Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education, and other child health programs.   The newly sworn-in Congress plans to tackle major financial decisions early this year.

TRICARE for Kids will Help Children in Military Families
Congressman Steve Stivers worked with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to develop the TRICARE for Kids provision passed as part of the final National Defense Authorization Act of 2013. The provision directs the Secretary of Defense to perform a comprehensive review of children’s health care policy in the TRICARE military health insurance program, including a focus on support for children with special health care needs.

Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Gains Support but Left Pending
The CHGME program, which helps fund the training of tomorrow’s pediatricians and puts children’s hospitals on a level playing field with other teaching hospitals, awaits a reauthorization (renewal) of the legislation that defines the program.   While the House passed the legislation with overwhelming support (H.R. 1852), the Senate bill (S. 958) did not make it to a vote in spite of widespread support. The need to reauthorize the CHGME program does not prevent the program from receiving annual funding.  Congress indicated strong support for CHGME funding in the appropriations process this year, and the Ohio delegation played a crucial role in support for CHGME funding.

New Pediatric Research Legislation Makes Progress
The Pediatric Research Network Act passed the House (H.R. 6163) and made progress in the Senate (S. 3461), where the bill was introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown. The bill will be reintroduced in 2013 to address opportunities for pediatric research infrastructure support through NIH, including in the area of pediatric rare diseases.

Pediatric Drug and Device Laws Strengthened
The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187) included strong provisions to address the safety and effectiveness of pediatric drugs and medical devices used in children.  The bill permanently reauthorized the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) and the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA).   Nationwide Children’s advocated to keep a continuing focus on drugs for pediatric oncology within the BPCA.

Questions? Please contact the Government Relations department (614) 355-0701.

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