Saturday, June 15, 2024

Senate passes Romanchuk bill to aid mental health care admission process

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COLUMBUS — The Ohio Senate has concurred with changes to Senate Bill 81, legislation sponsored by Sen. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) to improve Ohio’s mental health care.

Senate Bill 81 will provide flexibility to patients and their families to expedite the admission process, enhance the ability of clinicians to begin necessary treatment, stabilize patients quickly, and allow a smooth discharge process.

“Ohio is experiencing a shortage of qualified behavioral health workers, including an acute shortage of psychiatrists,” Romanchuk said. “According to the Association of American Medical College, we are not on track to replace current psychiatrists as they retire. Senate Bill 81 will ensure all Ohio patients receive compassionate care and best practice techniques.”

The new bill would permit hospital-based, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Physician Assistants the ability to sign certain documents under the supervision of physicians. This change will eliminate barriers for mental health care when the need is at an all-time high. These documents include intake, treatment, and discharge orders only for inpatient behavioral health services.

The bill — passed during Mental Health Awareness Month — now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk.

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