Governor Signs OSMA-Supported “One-Bite” Rule


Late last week, Governor Kasich signed HB 145, also known as the “One-Bite” rule. The measure requires the Medical Board to establish a confidential program for the treatment of impaired practitioners. It allows a practitioner who has not previously participated in One-Bite or been sanctioned by the Board for impairment as a result of drugs, alcohol, or other substances to avoid discipline, if specified conditions are met, including completing treatment.
The bill also requires the Medical Board to contract with one organization to conduct the One-Bite program and perform monitoring services related to the program. It is expected that the organization selected will be the Ohio Physicians Health Program (OPHP). For more than four decades, the OPHP has been confidentially helping impaired physicians regain the health and well-being needed to serve their patients. 
The OSMA, the OPHP, and a coalition of other state and local advocacy groups worked together with the State Medical Board to develop the provisions of this proposal. Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton and former State Representative Cheryl Grossman were key advisors on the effort as well.  
This legislation is the result of months of discussion on how best to provide Ohio physicians with this valuable one-time opportunity to seek treatment for substance abuse-related impairment. It is imperative that our practitioners be offered this powerful chance to access treatment without fear of repercussion or negative career implications through reporting to the Medical Board. HB 145 does just that—and puts the practitioner on the path to recovery.