Joan K. Wehrle, education & outreach program manager for the State Medical Board of Ohio, said the rules wouldn’t water down House Bill 93, which was co-sponsored by Rep. Dr. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott.
“HB 93 set the framework for regulation of pain management clinics by requiring physician ownership of pain clinics and licensure of those pain clinics by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy,” Wehrle wrote in an email to the Daily Times. “The Medical Board’s proposed permanent rule more specifically defines the standards and procedures required for operation of a pain management clinic. Together, HB 93 and the Medical Board’s rule are among the strongest pain clinic regulations in the country.” She said for the first time, a physician owner is accountable for the supervision of the physicians working at the pain management clinics.
A July 20 Daily Times article, Wehrle said, suggested that requirements for physicians to have specific credentials in pain management were removed from the law.
“The Board’s proposed permanent rule requires the physician owner of a pain management clinic to have subspecialty certification in pain management or board certification in anesthesiology, psychiatry, neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, occupational medicine, or rheumatology,” Wehrle said. “Board-certified physician owners who do not have subspecialty certification must also have their practice investigated by the Medical Board prior to licensure as a pain management clinic by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.”
Wehrle said the subspecialty requirement for physicians working at a pain clinic was removed from the proposed permanent rule because HB 93 established that the physician owner is responsible for the direction and control of licensees practicing under their supervision. She said physicians working at a pain management clinic do not need to be board certified. Wehrle also said the Medical Board is concerned about patient access to care as Ohio has a limited number of physicians who meet the subspecialty requirements. She said for the first time, a physician owner is accountable for the supervision, direction and control of employees and care providers, including other physicians at their facility.
The Board’s rule also requires both physician owners and physicians working at a pain clinic to have 20 hours of continuing medical education in pain management every two years. One or more of the courses must address the potential for addiction.
“The article also raised concern with respect to the hospital privileges requirement being removed. The hospital privileges requirement was removed from the proposed permanent rule because hospital privileges do not extend to private medical practices,” Wehrle wrote in the email. “Hospital staff privileges and regulations do not apply to physicians practicing in pain management clinics which are not part of a hospital.”
The Board’s rules do not water down HB 93, she says.
“In fact, the proposed permanent rule in conjunction with HB 93 creates stronger pain clinic regulations.”
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or email@example.com.