Ohio policy

DeWine vetoes law prohibiting local tobacco bans

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed legislation Thursday that would’ve preempted local bans on flavored tobacco (Source: “Ohio Gov. DeWine vetoes tobacco measure that would prohibit local bans,” Ohio Capital Journal, Jan. 6).

“This measure is not — is not in the public interest,” DeWine said of HB 513.

Because a new General Assembly has begun, DeWine’s office contends lawmakers can’t initiate a veto override.

Speaking Thursday, DeWine acknowledged the merit of uniform statewide policy. “The easiest way to do that, it seems to me, is to have a statewide ban of flavored cigarettes and flavored vaping,” DeWine said.

State health director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff noted Ohio’s rates of tobacco use are higher than national averages, and tobacco remains the leading preventable cause of death in the state. According to Vanderhoff, deaths attributable to tobacco use top 20,000 a year. And treating tobacco-related illness isn’t cheap. According to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, he said, health care costs tied to cigarettes are about $6.8 billion a year.


DeWine announces plans to prioritize mental health services in second term

Gov. Mike DeWine, who just won his bid for re-election, said he’s going to focus on improving the physical and mental well-being of Ohioans in his second term in office (Source: “DeWine's plans for improving mental health services in Ohio includes paid internships,” Statehouse News Bureau, Nov. 30).

At an Ohio Chamber of Commerce event focusing on health care Wednesday morning, DeWine said his office is working with lawmakers in three key areas during his second term.

“One, growing our behavioral health force so it is the most robust in this country. Two, leading the nation in mental health research and innovation. And three, providing Ohioans with the best access to behavioral health care in this country," DeWine said.

DeWine wants the state to invest more in high school workforce programs and he wants to invest $85 million dollars in federal funds to pay students for internships and residencies for those who are studying to work in these areas at Ohio's universities.

DeWine said he wants the state to do a landmark study on mental health barriers. That information can then be used to come up with ways to break those barriers down. He also said he wants to build a statewide center of innovation for behavioral health along with increasing research capacity for Ohio’s universities. DeWine said these changes would make mental and behavioral health services more accessible for Ohioans.


Ohio bill aims to boost mental health workforce

As the demand for mental health services grows — and with many psychologists aging and near retirement — Ohio lawmakers are sponsoring a bill aimed at increasing the number of mental health care providers (Source: “Ohio lawmakers propose a new way to increase the number of mental health providers,” Statehouse News Bureau, Oct. 13).

State Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) said her bill would create more access to mental health professionals by allowing colleges to offer specialized master's degrees.

"It creates a new licensed professional in the state of Ohio who has the ability to prescribe and work under the supervision of a medical professional and just creates greater access for individuals in need of mental health services," Gavarone said.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Ohio estimates one in five people experience mental illness each year. Many times, people who need help for a mental health problem cannot get in to see a provider because there aren’t enough of them. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shows between 2013 and 2019, there was a 353% increase in demand for mental health services.

Gavarone said she doesn’t expect this bill to be taken up before the end of this year but added she wants lawmakers to start considering the proposal soon.


Firearms most common method of suicide in Ohio, HPIO analysis finds

SuicideMethodsTrend_StandaloneGraphic_09.16.2022

Firearms are the most common method of suicide in Ohio, according to analysis from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (as illustrated in the graphic above).

Between 2007 and 2021 (the most-recent year in which data is available), the rate of suicide deaths in Ohio that involved a firearm increased by more than 50%. In 2021, suicides involving a firearm accounted for more deaths than all other means combined.

Suicide is preventable and the state’s 2020-2022 Suicide Prevention Plan include evidence-informed strategies that both public- and private-sector leaders can implement to address the issue.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, please call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. If you don’t like talking on the phone, consider using the Crisis Text Line at www.crisistextline.org or text “4HOPE” to 741-741.


HPIO brief explores impact of pretrial incarceration, money bail system on health, safety and well-being of Ohioans

CJH_Pretrial_StandaloneGraphic_Fig3
HPIO has released a new policy brief that explores the impact of pretrial incarceration and the money bail system on the health, safety and well-being of Ohioans and their communities. It is the latest in a series of HPIO publications on the connections between criminal justice and health.

The brief, Pretrial Incarceration and the Bail System, includes state and local policy options to reform the money bail system, including options for courts, local governments, prosecutors and the state legislature.

Analysis from 2019 found the number of Ohioans incarcerated pretrial has increased since 2016, and 61% of people in local jails have not been convicted of a crime (outlined in graphic above).

HPIO will be hosting a free 30-minute webinar on the findings in the brief from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29. To register, visit: www.hpio.net/criminal-justice-and-health
 
Downloadable graphics and key data points from the publication, which can be used in presentations and reports, are available on HPIO’s Criminal Justice and Health Facts & Figures page.

This brief was financially assisted by the Ohio State Bar Foundation.


State report details $733 million in spending on substance abuse efforts

Tax dollars are funding more than $733 million in substance abuse education, prevention and treatment in Ohio, according to a report from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office (Source: “Ohio spending $733M on substance abuse and recovery efforts,” Mahoning Matters, Sept. 6).

The Recovery Ohio 2021 Annual Review details spending on at least 47 projects related to education, workforce development, prevention, treatment, data and technology, harm reduction and public safety.

Accidental drug overdoses have been the leading cause of death in Ohio since 2007, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In 2020, 5,017 people died of overdoses in the state, a 25% increase over the previous year. 

Most of Recovery Ohio funding in 2021, $695 million, was spent on prevention programs and resources for school children.


Model predicts potential new wave of accidental drug overdoses

According to modelling from a Northwestern University researcher, the current rise in opioid deaths is not expected to slow anytime soon, and, in fact, may be a warning for one of the largest death waves due to opioids the country has seen to date, with Ohio potentially on the frontline once again (Source: “Model suggests coming wave of opioid deaths bigger than seen before,” Cleveland.com, Aug. 29).

Those who study opioid addiction refer to overdose deaths as coming in waves. And according to research published at the end of July, we may be headed for a tsunami.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio ranked fourth in the rate of drug overdose mortality in 2020; 75% of those deaths were due to opioid overdose, the CDC found. The overwhelming majority of those — 82% — are synthetic opioids manufactured illicitly, rather than prescription drugs being re-sold on the street.

Lori Ann Post, who studies opioid abuse trends at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said the goal of modeling is to get out in front of the problem because by the time all the toxicology reports come back and the data is input into the CDC databases, policymakers are a year behind; it’s too late by then to make the policy changes that are needed.

HPIO created the Addiction Evidence Project to provide policymakers and other stakeholders with the information needed to evaluate Ohio’s policy response to the opiate crisis and accelerate and continually improve strategies to address substance use disorders in a comprehensive, effective and efficient way.


ODH releases monkeypox data dashboard

The Ohio Department of Health launched a monkeypox data dashboard Thursday, showing cases statewide and per county, and by age ranges, sex, hospitalizations, deaths and other information (Source: “Ohio Department of Health launches new monkeypox data dashboard and interactive map showing locations of all 147 cases,” Cleveland.com, Aug. 25).

ODH plans to update the dashboard each Thursday. Currently, there have been 147 confirmed cases across 19 counties. Cuyahoga County, with 69 cases, has the most, followed by Franklin County, which counts 33 cases. 

Just nine people have been hospitalized and no one has died with monkeypox in Ohio thus far.

The state’s first monkeypox case was reported June 13. Cases have increased in Ohio and across the country in the past few weeks.


State campaign aims to highlight financial resources for substance use disorder treatment

The state is setting up a new education program for financial advisers, to teach them how to better help their clients who are dealing with the impacts of substance use disorder and to pass on information about available resources (Source: “New state program aims to make treatment for substance use disorder more affordable for Ohioans,” Statehouse News Bureau, Aug. 23).

Those on the front lines who are dealing with substance use disorders say families of thousands of Ohioans who go through treatment for it often dip into their retirement savings or destroy their nest egg to access care.

Andrea Seidt, the Ohio Securities Commissioner for the Ohio Department of Commerce said the new state campaign called Recovery Within Reach will include public service announcements on television as well as digital ads. And she said resources are now available on a state website, 
RecoveryWithinReach.Ohio.gov, including a map that shows where treatment is available and gives a variety of payment options for those services.


CMS approves Ohio Medicaid coverage extension for new moms

Federal officials have approved Ohio Medicaid’s plan to extend benefits for new mothers from 60 days to 12 months after the birth of their child (Source: “Ohio Medicaid extends postpartum coverage for new mothers,” Dayton Daily News, Aug. 17).

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), on Tuesday approved the state’s request to extend the coverage.

“Maternal health is a strong predictor of a child’s health, so by extending health coverage for new moms, we are helping to provide the healthiest possible start in life for Ohio’s children,” said Gov. Mike DeWine.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided the option for states to expand this Medicaid coverage for new moms from 60 days to 12 months. The state of Ohio’s budget included this expanded coverage in its portion of Medicaid funding. DeWine said the state of Ohio began this extended coverage on April 1 and CMS’s final approval is the last step to continuing those services.