State Report: Ohio

September 1, 2008

Commonwealth Fund Ranking (2007): 24

Roughly 56% of Ohio residents have a chronic condition. While residents' coverage cannot be canceled because of their illnesses, insurers legally can deny coverage based on health histories of people whose insurance has lapsed for more than 62 days. That can present problems for people who lose their jobs or those who allow their coverage to lapse when switching jobs, as some employees may not be eligible for health benefits under their new employer's policies for at least 90 days. In addition, once an employee becomes eligible for new group insurance, insurers can deny coverage based on a pre-existing condition or on treatment of prior chronic health conditions for up to 12 months. The state's Healthcare Coverage Reform Initiative, a task force developed by Gov. Ted Strickland is working to develop recommendations to address these issues.

EXPANDED COVERAGE FOR KIDS

HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS

Childbirth was the number one reason patients were admitted to Ohio hospitals in 2006, excluding emergency department admissions, according to the Ohio Hospital Assn. Other top reasons away from the ED include heart-related problems, joint-related conditions, pneumonia and rehabilitation needs.

TELEMEDICINE GROWING IN OHIO

The number of Ohio hospitals that are using a computer network to conduct exams and transfer medical information continues to grow, according to the Canton Repository. Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus is among the hospitals pursuing the strategy. Nationwide is set to install high-definition cameras and video monitors at a hospital in Zanesville later this year, and plans to establish remote connections with four other rural hospitals in 2009.

MHE Sources: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Urban Institute; Kaiser Family Foundation; U.S. Census Bureau; The Commonwealth Fund.