State Representative Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) applauded the Ohio House of Representatives’ passage of House Bill 320, which would strengthen the operations of free clinics and allow Medicaid patients to have greater access to health care options.

Specifically, House Bill 320: extends qualified immunity from civil liability for certain volunteer health care services provided to individuals eligible for or receiving Medicaid; makes changes to the state’s physician and dentist loan repayment programs; creates a volunteer’s certificate for retired nurses; designates the month of December as “Free Clinic Appreciation Month.”

“This legislation helps to promote the valuable services of free clinics and makes them easier to locate for the public," Rep. Romanchuk said. “Free clinics serve an important niche for those who cannot afford normal channels of health care.”

Groups that have supported H.B. 320 include the Ohio Association of Free Clinics, the Ohio Osteopathic Association, the Ohio State Medical Association, the Ohio Nurses Association and the Ohio Dental Association.

House Bill 320 passed by a vote of 91-1 and will now move to the Ohio Senate.