“To facilitate the health and wellness of healthcare professionals in order to enhance patient care and safety.”
OPHP accepts referrals from any source including physician peers, self, professional colleagues, hospitals, medical staffs, office staffs, regulatory agencies, attorneys, treatment centers, family, and friends. OPHP protects the confidentiality and anonymity of program participants and referral sources.
Ohio's "One-Bite" Rule
The Ohio Physicians Health Program aims to get information out to healthcare professionals regarding Ohio’s “One-Bite” rule. In 1987, the Ohio General Assembly carved out a one time “one-bite” exception for residents and physicians that allow them to escape the State Medical Board of Ohio intervention, and excuse anyone from reporting their impairment, so long as they complete treatment at a board approved treatment provider, maintain uninterrupted sobriety, violated no other provisions of the Ohio Medical Practice Act, and adhere to all other statutory requirements. OPHP specializes in providing post treatment monitoring, recovery documentation services, and advocacy for physicians and other healthcare professionals that qualify for Ohio’s “One-Bite” rule.
For more information on Ohio’s One-Bite Rule,
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The Ohio Physicians Health Program (OPHP) is a confidential resource that assists with identification, intervention, referral, monitoring, and recovery documentation of physicians and other healthcare professionals who may be affected by substance use disorders or other issues impacting their health and well-being. OPHP provides recovery documentation, education, support, and advocacy; from evaluation, through treatment and recovery.
Through its commitment to the health and well-being of Ohio’s physicians and other healthcare professionals, OPHP contributes to the health, safety, and welfare of all the citizens of Ohio.
History of Ohio Physician Health Program
In 1973, The American Medical Association recommended that state medical associations develop programs to help physicians impaired by alcohol, drug abuse, mental/emotional problems, and problems of aging. The Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) was one of the first to respond. Within the year, OSMA developed an Impaired Physicians Committee (later changed to Physicians Effectiveness Committee). The Committee began with several volunteer physicians. In less than two years, it grew to approximately 25 physicians from throughout Ohio.
The Committee organized a Physicians Effectiveness Program (PEP) where information from phone calls or written contacts regarding concerns about the health or well being of a physician was relayed to a volunteer committee member in the closest geographical area. Despite the hard work and dedication of the volunteer physicians, the PEP had a significant weakness. The majority of volunteer physicians had little or no experience, or training, in intervening with impaired physicians. During the late 1980s, the committee began working on the development of a funded, full-time program with professional staff. In early 1991, OSMA became a major sponsor, including staff liaison services, for the first three years of operation.
Subsequently, OSMA and several individuals lobbied vigorously to obtain funding from the newly created Ohio Medical Quality Foundation (OMQF). Through these efforts, funding was obtained into the year 2001 at which time OMQF provided additional funding for a comprehensive review of OPEP. This study resulted in OMQF providing additional funding for a full-time President & Medical Director in 2002 and continues as the primary source of funding for the program.
In 2004, under the leadership of the Stan Sateren, M.D., OPEP changed its name and became known as the Ohio Physicians Health Program (OPHP). Dr. Sateren retired from the organization in 2009. Peter D. Rogers, M.D., MPH, FASAM was selected as the new President & Medical Director. In 2011, following an OPHP Board Retreat, the organization updated its mission to “facilitate the health and wellness of healthcare professionals in order to enhance patient care and safety”. It was decided to focus the organization’s efforts on the education of Ohio’s One-Bite Rule and OPHP’s role in private sector monitoring and advocacy. David D. Goldberg, D.O. was selected as the new Medical Director and Kelley Long was selected as the organization’s Executive Director.
OPHP initially was formed to assist physicians with substance use disorders and impairment issues. Today, with stress and pressures on the increase among physicians and other health care professionals from demands on their time, decreased reimbursement, ever-increasing malpractice premiums and related issues, expansion of services and activities to support all aspects of the health and well being of physicians are necessary. OPHP is responding to this need through expanded services including education programs and by making its services better known and accessible not only to individuals, but also through working with local physician health committees, medical staff leadership, hospital administration, residency directors, medical schools, etc.