Ohio House Bill 176 Enlarges the Scope of Practice for Athletic Trainers

December 7, 2021Articles

Ohio has more than 2,300 athletic trainers. H.B. 176, signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine on Oct. 27, 2021, updates the scope of practice for athletic trainers for the first time since 1991. These changes to Ohio’s athletic trainer scope of practice may create new opportunities for your business, facility or practice. 

Beginning Jan. 25, 2022, athletic trainers will be able to enter into collaboration agreements with physicians and podiatrists. This expands the scope of practice under such collaboration agreements, which will permit athletic trainers to:

  1. Examine and give athletic training diagnoses of injuries or emergent conditions resulting from physical activities that require physical skill and utilize strength, power, endurance, speed, flexibility, range of motion and agility and sports;[1]
  2. Complete management, treatment, disposition and recondition of injuries or emergent conditions resulting from physical activities;
  3. Provide emergent care, therapeutic interventions and rehabilitation for injuries, which result from physical activities;
  4. Promote and educate about wellness;
  5. Administer drugs, including topical drugs, which have been prescribed by a licensed health professional or that are taken on an as-needed basis;[2]
  6. Perform athletic training research;
  7. Organize and administer education programs and athletic training facilities; and
  8. Educate and consult with the public as it pertains to athletic training.

The new law also allows athletic trainers, acting on referrals from physicians, dentists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and physician assistants, to have an expanded scope of practice, even outside of a collaboration agreement. The expanded scope of practice for athletic trainers without a collaboration agreement includes the administration of topical drugs (but not injections). Athletic trainers may also receive referrals from certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

For help in understanding the ramifications of this new law and what it means for you, please contact LaTawnda Moore, or your Dinsmore health care attorney.


[1] Athletic trainers may practice in occupational health settings where the injuries or emergent conditions result from physical activity, such as overuse or range of motion injuries.

[2] This does not include injections to bone or joints.