AMCNO Joins Other Medical Associations to Voice Concern About Changes to One-Bite Rule

The Academy of Medicine of Cleveland & Northern Ohio (AMCNO) and eight other medical associations have sent a joint letter to the State Medical Board of Ohio regarding the medical board’s proposed changes to Ohio’s “One-Bite" rule, which outlines how the SMBO deals with impaired physicians.  The current rule allows impaired physicians and other licensed health care professionals who complete treatment and aftercare at a medical board approved provider to remain in the private sector for monitoring, as long as their acts did not result in a criminal conviction or put patients or others at risk.  However, the SMBO’s suggested changes threaten the anonymity of the One-Bite rule and could result in physicians who want help to actually avoid seeking treatment for fear of being publicly exposed. 

In addition to voicing concerns about changes to the One-Bite rule, the medical associations want the SMBO to alter the manner in which they screen physicians who have received treatment for mental health issues. Although other state regulatory boards have removed questions regarding treatment for mental health issues from their licensure applications, Ohio continues to ask these questions and then actively investigates these matters.  The AMCNO and the other medical groups have suggested that the state licensure application be aimed at evaluating impairment rather than diagnosis or a history of treatment and to ensure uniformity in the screening of physical health and mental health diagnoses.

In addition to the AMCNO, the letter was signed by the Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Osteopathic Association, Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association, Columbus Medical Association, Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, Ohio Foot and Ankle Medical Association, American College of Emergency Physicians – Ohio Chapter, and the Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine.  To read the letter sent to the SMBO click here

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