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Governor Mike DeWine and The Ohio State University Introduce the SOAR Study on Ohio Mental Illness

Client Alert

On January 19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and The Ohio State University announced a new research initiative, the State of Ohio Adversity and Resilience (“SOAR”) study, which will investigate all factors influencing Ohio’s mental illness and addiction epidemic. SOAR will focus on Ohio families across generations to:

  • Identify factors or risks that lead to persistent distress, mental illness, substance abuse, use disorders, or overdose,
  • Understand how exposure to such risks impacts one’s behavior, biology, and brain function,
  • Identify patterns of intergenerational transferal of illnesses, and
  • Discover methods to promote resilience allowing one to face adversity.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine will collaborate with a number of Ohio universities to lead the study. Bowling Green State University, Case Western/ University Hospital-Cleveland, Central State University, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, among others, will join Ohio State in the study.

Beginning its initiative, the SOAR study will start with two paralleled projects. First, under the SOAR Wellness Survey, as many as 15,000 Ohioans will be surveyed to collect information on social and psychological makeup, life experiences, and the participants’ mental health. Second, the SOAR Brain Health Study will examine about 3,000 Ohio families to study biological, psychological, and social factors to determine who does well facing adversity, and who does not.

Over the past decade, Ohio has witnessed a rise in mental illness and drug overdose, which has been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidencing the state’s attempt to improve these issues, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has funded the SOAR study with an initial $20 million grant.

In performing extensive analysis on Ohio individuals, families, and multiple generations, SOAR study researchers hope these findings lead to “new strategies” that support resilience and enable families to “break the chain” of mental illness and substance abuse.

If you have questions about the content of this Client Alert, please contact BMD Healthcare Member Daphne Kackloudis at dlkackloudis@bmdllc.com.


The Ohio State University Launches Its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

In response to Ohio’s nursing shortage, The Ohio State University College of Nursing is accepting applications for its new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (aBSN). Created for students with a bachelor’s degree in non-nursing fields, the aBSN allows such students to obtain their nursing degree within 18 months. All aBSN students will participate in high-quality coursework and gain valuable clinical experience. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to take the State Board, National Council of Licensure Exam for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN).

Another Transparency Obligation: The FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements

Many physician practices and healthcare businesses are facing a new set of federal transparency requirements that require action now. The U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements (the “Rule”), which was promulgated pursuant to the 2021 bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act, is intended to help curb illegal finance and other impermissible activity in the United States.

“In for a Penny, in for a Pound” is No Longer the Case for Florida Lawyers

On April 1, 2024, newly adopted Rule 1.041 to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedures goes into effect which creates a procedure for an attorney to appear in a limited manner in civil proceedings.  Currently, when a Florida attorney appears in a civil proceeding, he or she is reasonable for handling all aspects of the case for their client.  This new rule authorizes an attorney to file a notice limiting the attorney’s appearance to particular proceedings or specified matters prior to any appearance before the court.  For example, an attorney can now appear for the limited purpose of filing and arguing a motion to dismiss.  Once the motion to dismiss is heard by the court, the attorney may file a notice of termination of limited appearance and will have no further obligations in the case.

Enhancing Privacy Protections for Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized updated rules to 42 CFR Part 2 (“Part 2”) for the protection of Substance Use Disorder (“SUD”) patient records. The updated rules reflect the requirement that the Part 2 rules be more closely aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy, breach notification, and enforcement rules as mandated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.

Columbus, Ohio Ordinance Prohibits Employers from Inquiries into an Applicant’s Salary History

Effective March 1, 2024, Columbus employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history. Specifically, the ordinance provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to: