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Kasich Says Background Checks Rule Won't Cost Medicaid Providers With Drug Convictions Their Jobs

Jim Tassie, assistant director of Ohio Medicaid, and Gov. John Kasich talk about the change in the rule requiring background checks on Medicaid providers.
Jim Tassie, assistant director of Ohio Medicaid, and Gov. John Kasich talk about the change in the rule requiring background checks on Medicaid providers.

Gov. John Kasich says his Medicaid department has made some changes in required background checks on behavioral and mental health providers – a requirement that came from an executive order he signed in July. Hundreds of providers said the change made them fear 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 said 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.

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