Ask Nurse Jesse: Hospital Licensure

Anonymous Nurse: Nurse Jesse, I heard that Ohio hospitals will now be licensed. What does this mean?  

Nurse Jesse:

HB110, the newly passed Ohio budget bill, contains a new section that will require hospitals to be licensed. This is a big win for Ohioans, as prior to this bill, Ohio was the only state to not require hospitals to be licensed. As ONA shared in its proponent testimony for the bill, “ONA fully supports a statewide hospital licensing system and would like to see additional regulation and inspection requirements that ensure all hospitals are meeting appropriate standards of patient service and safety.” 

Here’s what we know so far: 

  • Hospital licensing begins three (3) years after the effective date of the bill, but the application process will begin one (1) year after the effective date.  
  • The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) will oversee hospital licensure and will have the authority to issue, suspend, and revoke licenses. 
  • The bill “directs ODH to adopt rules for quality standards for hospital licensure, as well as license application/renewal/transfer procedures, compliance, fees, standards for correcting violations, standards for reducing exposures to risk conditions, standards for data reporting, emergency preparedness and technical assistance.” 
  • The application process will include, among other components:  
  • Paying a fee 
  • Being accredited 
  • Complying with standards 
  • Specifying number of beds. 
  • Site visits and inspections*  

*Specifies that on-site surveys submitted to avoid inspections must include CMS or accrediting organization reports  


The bill also includes additional requirements related to hospital licensure that will benefit Ohio patients and healthcare professionals. These provisions include: 

  • Requiring each hospital to have a governing board overseeing assignment of privileges to medical staff and establishing protocols for admission and treatment of patients. 
  • All maternity units must report the number of newborns born diagnosed as opioid dependent and ODH is required to compile that information and make it publicly available. 
  • Requiring hospitals to report the diseases, unusual infections, or biological toxins for which it provides treatment to patients and have that information be able to be released in summary form (with protected information protected). 

*The law also authorizes third-party organizations to report the following to the Director of Health on behalf of hospitals: the number of opioid dependent newborns and the contagious, environmental, or infectious diseases, illnesses, or health conditions or unusual infectious agents or biological toxins for which hospitals provide treatment to patients. 

  • ODH will be allowed to penalize hospitals for licensure violations through:  

(1) imposing a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 and not more than $250,000;  

(2) requiring the license holder to submit a plan to correct or mitigate the violation; and  

(3) suspending a health care service or revoking a license issued if the Director determines that the license holder is not in substantial compliance. 



What happens next?  

This new law will need to go through the full rule-making process. ONA will share information as it becomes available to keep Ohio nurses informed of this exciting change. If you have questions about hospital licensing, please contact the ONA Health Policy Department.