On June 18, Governor DeWine lifted Ohio's COVID-19 State of Emergency (SOE).
With the end of the SOE, many of Ohio’s agencies and boards are releasing information indicating they are reverting many of their regulations back to pre-pandemic practices. We’ve included a summary of the changes released below and will continue to keep you informed as we learn more.
The OhioMHAS Bureau of Licensure and Certification issued a memo updating rules following the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency declaration on June 18. The affected rules include:
OAC 5122-30-27 Transfer and discharge rights;
OAC 5122-21-03 (E)(4) PASSR;
OAC 5122-29-29 (D) Assertive Community Treatment; and
OAC 5122-40-07 Program policies and patient records.
ODJFS has announced that that they are lifting the following orders:
March 30, 2020 FCASPL 348 COVID-19 Pandemic Guidance
July 15, 2020 FCASPL 356 COVID-19 Pandemic Guidance
17, 2020 FCASPL 359 COVID-19 Pandemic Guidance (combining and replacing FCASPL 348 and 356)
To facilitate the transition with agencies, ODJFS will remain flexible and provide technical assistance through July 31, 2021.
Please note that federal requirements in the Consolidated Appropriations Act preventing youth from aging out of foster care will remain in effect through September 30, 2021. In addition, House Bill 404 of the 133rd Ohio General Assembly included language to allow ODJFS to further extend all foster home recertification and adoption updates due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The time-frames were updated in FCASPL 363 and will remain in effect until July 1, 2021.
More information about the changes as a result of the SOE being lifted can be found in PL 371.
CSWMFT licensees providing teletherapy must immediately begin:
Using a face-to-face session when meeting with a new client for the first time. Video is considered “face to face”. Following an initial face-to-face session, services may transition to telephone sessions, if appropriate confidentiality can be established and maintained.
Obtaining written acknowledgment of informed consent from all new clients. Provided an existing client’s verbal consent to treat is clearly documented in the client’s file, written consent is not necessary from existing clients receiving services through teletherapy.
Implementing HIPAA-compliant platforms for providing services to new and existing clients.
A transition period is not included as the COVID-related provisions are directly related to the establishment of new client relationships. Licensees do not have to terminate any existing teletherapy services because of the termination of the state of emergency. Additionally, licensees are not required to obtain a signed written consent from any client who consented verbally under Rule 4757-5-13 while the state of emergency was in effect. If the licensee is using a non-HIPAA compliant platform, they must establish a plan to transition quickly to such a platform.
On June 9, the Medical Board voted to resume enforcement of rules that require in-person visits. Enforcement of these rules were to begin three months after the lifting of the state declaration of emergency. The board intends to resume enforcement of these rules on September 17, 2021. The Medical Board will soon provide additional information and resources to clarify Ohio’s telemedicine requirements.
The Ohio Department of Medicaid has stated that their temporary rule changes are tied to the federal state of emergency, not the Ohio state of emergency. As a result, when the federal SOE is lifted they will provide guidance at that time.