|UCAOA Representatives Travel to Ohio Statehouse for Meetings|
UCAOA representatives traveled to Columbus, OH this week (Jan. 27) to meet with key state lawmakers to clear up any misunderstandings after a television news story about an Ohio urgent care center caught their attention.
The news story, which stemmed from a consumer complaint, aired Sept. 22, 2014 on a Dayton television station and referred erroneously to urgent care centers as "unregulated." Two state senators, Sen. Shannon Jones and Sen. Bill Beagle, vowed to look into the matter.
The UCAOA Health & Public Policy (HP&P) Committee swiftly responded to the story by issuing a “call to action” for Ohio urgent care centers and arranging meetings at the Ohio Statehouse to set the record straight on urgent care centers and to avert undue legislative or regulatory actions aimed at urgent care centers in Ohio.
Participating in the January 27 meetings were UCAOA and UCCOP Board Member Sean McNeeley, MD, who practices in Ohio and also serves on the HP&P Committee, and representatives of Ohio-based Hometown Urgent Care, Manoj Kumar, JD, CPA, chief executive officer, and Narinder Saini, MD, medical director.
Meetings were held with Sen. Capri Cafaro (D), who is expected to reassume her position as ranking member of the Senate Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee, and Sen. Beagle (R) who is from Tipp City, which is located just north of Dayton. UCAOA representatives also met with staff for Sen. Jones (R), who is expected to reassume her position as Chair of the Senate Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee. In addition to her influential committee position, Sen. Jones is from Springboro, the location of the urgent care center featured in the television story.
During the meetings, the senators were provided with information about the urgent care industry including its many benefits and its role in providing access to care, UCAOA’s opposition to regulating urgent care centers beyond what is required of physician offices, and examples of what many urgent care operators do to ensure an exceptional patient experience. The meetings also offered an opportunity to discuss ways in which urgent care centers can partner with the state to benefit Ohio and its residents, including adequate Medicaid reimbursement, access to care, and Opioid prescribing guidelines.
UCAOA will continue its communication with these lawmakers and encourages Ohio urgent care centers to also reach out to their state representatives and senators to broaden the dialogue. Ohio urgent care centers wanting assistance in arranging a meeting with Ohio state lawmakers or in extending an invitation to them for a facility tour, please contact UCAOA HP&P Committee Staff Liaison Patricia Ferchland at firstname.lastname@example.org.