Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

CLIENT ALERT: Ohio Managed Care Organization (MCO) Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment started April 30, and will continue through May 25, 2018, for your MCO (Managed Care Organization).  Every State Fund Ohio employer can select their MCO for the coming policy year.  The MCO is responsible for helping to manage Ohio Workers’ Compensation claim costs.  All State Fund employers will begin to receive correspondence urging them to select that particular MCO, or urging them not to make a switch.               

 

Legislation introduced in 1993, which eventually became law after amendments, made managed health care a part of the Ohio Workers’ Compensation system.  That system has evolved over the years, and MCOs now make initial decisions involving most medical management issues in state fund claims.  Their importance cannot be overstated, as the medical management often dictates the path a particular claim will take.  It would be a mistake for any State Fund Ohio employer to simply allow the “default” MCO manage their claims.  Instead, they should examine their MCO (every State Funded employer has one – and if the employer has not selected one, then one is selected for that employer at random), and decide whether they want to switch or keep their MCO.

 

The Ohio BWC provides helpful information for those looking for basic information (which can be found at https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/brochureware/brochures/MCOGuide.pdf).  Of course, anyone who wants to discuss their overall claims situation is free to contact Richard Williger, and I’d be happy to spend some time looking at their overall Experience.

CLIENT ALERT: Taxpayer Passport Application will be Denied Due to Unpaid Taxes

In late 2015, Congress passed The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) into law. This law allows the IRS and State Department to refuse to issue a Passport if the taxpayer has a seriously delinquent tax debt. The law also permits the IRS and State Department to revoke a taxpayer’s Passport for these same delinquent tax debts. To be considered a seriously delinquent tax debt, the tax debt must total more than $51,000.

CLIENT ALERT: New Opportunity Zone Incentives Promise to Spur Economic Development

Created as part of the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, “Opportunity Zones” are designed to encourage long-term investments in underserved communities. By offering tax benefits to private investors who choose to invest their capital at the nexus of need and opportunity, the program supports a broad array of investments and offers opportunity for creative problem-solving strategies to address community needs. The program offers investors tiered tax benefits depending on the term of the investment, including a temporary deferral and partial reduction of unrealized capital gains, as well as the potential to exclude all future appreciation on the investment. The program is designed to tap into the estimated $6T+ of unrealized capital gains held by U.S. individuals and companies by incentivizing investors to re-invest that capital in low-income communities to spur economic development and job creation.

CLIENT ALERT: Medicare Trust Fund to Run Out of Funding Beginning in 2026, Likely to See an Increase in Audits, Overpayment Demands and Extrapolations

Pursuant to a Medicare Trustee Report released on June 5, 2018, the Medicare trust fund will run out of funding beginning in 2026, which is three years earlier than previously expected. Although the Trustee’s report requests that Congress and the President act with urgency to remedy this problem, in the short term, we expect to see an increase in government payer audits, overpayment demands, and extrapolations.

CLIENT ALERT: The European Union's New Data Privacy Law Goes Into Effect

On May 25, 2018, the European Union’s (“the EU”) new data privacy law went into effect. The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) concerns the processing of personal data that can be searched according to specified criteria such as geographical scope.

CLIENT ALERT: Class Action Waivers in Employment Contracts Upheld by Supreme Court

On May 21, 2018, in a 5-4 decision and a major win for employers, the United States Supreme Court upheld the legality of waivers in employment contracts that prohibit employees from grouping claims together in collective or class actions in favor of individual arbitration proceedings. See Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, ___U.S.___ (2018).