Ohio Medical Marijuana Officially Becomes Law in September

Medical marijuana will be legal in Ohio on Sept. 8, 2016. But it may still be another two years before patients will gain access to the drug for medicinal purposes. In the meantime, authorities from several different state agencies have the task of drafting and establishing specific rules, regulations and guidelines for how the drug will be cultivated, processed, tested, and eventually dispensed to Ohio patients.

In June, Ohio became the 25th state to pass legislation to make medical marijuana when Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 523. The state has since established an official website, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, that will provide news, information and other resources about the state law as developments occur. State agencies involved include the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy, State Medical Board of Ohio, and the Ohio Department of Commerce.

The Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) supports the use of those drugs prescribed for medicinal purposes that have previously been clinically researched and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Because Ohio’s law allows for medical use of marijuana without conclusive clinical research as to the drug’s benefit the OSMA did not support HB 523. The OSMA, however, commended the Ohio legislature for establishing a responsible regulatory process that allowed for debate and the sharing of ideas for how Ohio would best implement a medical marijuana law.

2016 Ohio Chapter, ACS Annual Meeting

The 2016 OHACS Annual Meeting was held May 6 – 7 at the Embassy Suites Columbus Airport hotel in Columbus, OH.  Initial feedback leads to the meeting being successful in that presentations were timely and pertinent as well as adequate networking time was afforded for attendees.  Thank you to all that attended. Continue reading

Congratulations to the OCOT Paper Competition Winners

First Place

Multiple Methods to Increase Sphingosine Rescue Burn Mice from Lung Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Infection
Presented by Dr. Teresa C. Rice, University of Cincinnati Medical Center

Second Place

Endothelial Cells Endocytose Microparticles from Aged Red Blood Cells
Presented by Dr. Young Kim, Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati

OCOT Trauma Paper Competition

Submission Deadline Extended!
Deadline to submit abstracts extended to Wednesday, April 27 at 5:00 pm.

The competition is open to all general surgery residents, surgical specialty residents and trauma fellows.  Medical students are not eligible.

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Provisions in the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule that will affect surgical practice: An overview

New payment policy and coding and reimbursement changes set forth in the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule took effect January 1, 2016. The MPFS, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updates annually, lists payment rates for Medicare Part B services and introduces and updates a number of other policies affecting physician reimbursement and quality measurement. On September 8, 2015, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) submitted comments related to the MPFS proposed rule. These comments provided feedback to CMS on a number of policies outlined in the final rule released October 30, 2015. Although the MPFS final rule introduces important payment and policy changes that affect all physicians, this article focuses on updates that are particularly relevant to general surgery and its related specialties.

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The Calling of Rural Surgery

Large healthcare systems, massive surgery centers – these are the realities for some urban surgeons. In contrast, there are small hospitals in rural corners of the country. Here, there are often a shortage of surgeons as the older generation retires, without younger counterparts to fill in. This shortage is the subject of a film series, which got its start five years ago at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Conference. The director and her father attended one of the sessions on rural surgeons, where she learned about the shortage. So, she directed her talents to the issue.

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Patient-Centered Medical Home Survey

The Ohio Department of Medicaid invites primary care practices to participate in a survey that will inform the design of a statewide Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) care delivery and payment model. One office manager and one clinician from each practice are asked to complete the questionnaire. In addition to providing important feedback, clinicians and office managers can elect to receive a $25 Visa gift card in recognition of their time. The survey takes 20-25 minutes to complete and will be open until December 7, 2015. Both clinicians and office managers can access the questionnaire via the following link:


PCMH Survey FAQ’s