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Gov. Kasich Says Background Check Rule Won't Cost Medicaid Providers Their Jobs

Gov. John Kasich talks about the latest official fatal overdose numbers from the Ohio Department of Health at a Statehouse press conference.
Karen Kasler
Ohio Public Radio

Gov. John Kasich says his Medicaid department has made some changes to required background checks on behavioral and mental health providers – a requirement that came from an executive order he signed in July. The change is good news to hundreds of providers who feared for their jobs.

Providers had said counselors and other employees who were in long-term recovery but have felony drug convictions might not be able to get Medicaid provider numbers. Kasich says those working as providers can file with the courts but get provider numbers while the court process is pending.

“The complaint was, I think, that it takes too long for somebody to be able to get a court decision. So if they’ve been clean and they’re recovering, we don’t want to take them out of their work," Kasich said.

Providers had said the rule not only could cost them good employees, but a loss of hundreds of workers could overload the system that’s already stretched thin by the opioid crisis.