Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

BMD Integral part of Lake Nona Performance Club – a Health and Wellness Facility Like No Other in the Nation

Lake Nona Performance Club in Orlando, the nation’s preeminent health and wellness facility, opened with a VIP event earlier this summer; and the legal team at BMD has been looking forward to this culmination for the past seven years.

El Contrato Escrito: La Herramienta Predilecta

No existe mejor herramienta a una disputa contractual que un documento firmado por las partes en el cual se expongan las obligaciones y acuerdos entre éstas.

New State Budget Institutes Licensure Requirement for Ohio’s Hospitals

On July 1, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio’s final budget codified at Ohio Revised Code 3722.01 et seq., which includes a new licensing requirement for Ohio’s hospitals. For years, Ohio was the only state in the country that did not license its hospitals. This approach will now be replaced with new, detailed requirements that will require careful review and compliance. Here are some of the highlights concerning these new changes:

Healthcare Provisions in the Ohio FY 22-23 Budget

Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio’s Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget bill (HB 110) into law on July 1, 2021. At almost 1,000 pages and 74.1 billion dollars, the budget lays out the State’s spending for the next two years. Below are a few highlighted provisions from the budget that will be important for the healthcare industry in Ohio

Interim Final Rule for Surprise Billing

In an effort to implement the new bipartisan No Surprises Act, on July 1, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the Departments of Labor and Treasury, issued an interim final rule to safeguard patients against unforeseen medical bills arising from out-of-network care.

President Biden Seeks to Limit Non-Compete Agreements

Today, President Biden announced he would issue an Executive Order that calls on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to adopt rules to curtail worker non-compete agreements. Interestingly, a week ago, the FTC approved changes to its Rules of Practice to modernize and expedite the way it issues Trade Regulation Rules. If you have followed our alerts, we predicted the elimination of non-competes would probably happen. In 2016, then-Vice President Biden was a vocal opponent against non-compete agreements. He led the Obama administration’s initiative seeking to limit or eliminate non-compete agreements. In his presidential campaign, Biden promised to “work with Congress to eliminate all non-compete agreements, except the very few that are absolutely necessary to protect a narrowly defined category of trade secrets . . ..”

New NIL Opportunities for Student-Athletes Require Diligent Review

On June 28, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine signed Executive Order 2021-10D, “Establishing the Duties of Colleges and Universities as to Name, Image, and Likeness Compensation of Student-Athletes.” The Executive Order was motivated by the passage of similar name, image, and likeness (“NIL”) regulations in seventeen (17) other states; Ohio followed suit to avoid a significant competitive disadvantage in attracting student-athletes to the state.

Tax Savings Potentially on the Chopping Block under President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan

Recently, President Biden has proposed several tax law changes in his American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. Outlined below, are a few of the tax savings that could be significantly changed or eliminated under Biden’s plans.

Here are the Final Candidates for Mayor of Cleveland

Earlier this year, current Cleveland Mayor, Frank Jackson, announced he would not run for re-election this fall. With no need to beat an incumbent, the Cleveland mayoral race suddenly became competitive. Thirteen individuals declared their intent to run for mayor. The City of Cleveland, however, has a difficult qualification requirement to run: 3,000 valid signatures from Cleveland residents. The deadline to file a petition to run, with the 3,000 valid signatures, had to be submitted by June 16 (yesterday).

What Happens to a Pandemic Stimulus Payment Upon Death?

On January 1, 2021, the federal government issued stimulus payments (also known as Economic Impact Payments) to American citizens – on paper. However, many of the stimulus payments were not received until several months later. Sometimes the stimulus payments did not arrive until after an individual died.

The Masks Are Back: New OSHA Regulations for Healthcare Employers

Employment Law After Hours is back with a News Break Episode. Yesterday, OSHA published new rules for healthcare facilities, including hospitals, home health employers, nursing homes, ambulance companies, and assisted living facilities. These new rules are very cumbersome, requiring mask wearing for all employees, even those that are vaccinated. The only exception is for fully vaccinated employees (2 weeks post final dose) who are in a "well-defined" area where there is no reasonable expectation that any person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be present.

New OSHA Guidance for Workplaces Not Covered by the Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard

On June 10, 2021, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for occupational exposure to COVID-19, but it applies only to healthcare and healthcare support service workers. For a detailed summary of the ETS applicable to the healthcare industry, please visit https://youtu.be/vPyXmKwOzsk. All employers not subject to the ETS should review OSHA’s contemporaneously released, updated Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. The new Guidance essentially leaves intact OSHA’s earlier guidance, but only for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers (“at-risk” meaning vaccinated or unvaccinated workers with immunocompromising conditions). For fully vaccinated workers, OSHA defers to CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People, which advises that most fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, or local laws or individual business policies.

Employer Liability for COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

As employers encourage or require employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, they should be aware of OSHA recording obligations and potential workers’ compensation liability. Though OSHA has yet to revise its COVID-19 guidance in response to the latest CDC recommendations, OSHA has revised its position regarding the recording of injury or illness resulting from the vaccine. Until now, OSHA required an employer to record an adverse reaction when the vaccine was required for employees and the injury or illness otherwise met the recording criteria (work-related, a new case, and meets one or more of the general recording criteria). OSHA has reversed course and announced that it will not require recording adverse reactions until at least May 2022, irrespective of whether the employer requires the vaccine as a condition of employment. In its revised COVID-19 FAQs, OSHA states:

The New Rule 1.510 - Radical Change for Summary Judgement Procedure in Florida

In civil litigation, where both sides participate actively, trial is usually required at the end of a long, expensive case to determine a winner and a loser. In federal and most state courts, however, there are a few procedural shortcuts by which parties can seek to prevail in advance of trial, saving time, money and annoyance. The most common of these is the “motion for summary judgment”: a request to the court by one side for judgment before trial, generally on the basis that the evidence available reflects that a win for that party is legally inevitable and thus required. Effective May 1, 2021, summary judgment procedure in Florida has radically changed.

Vacating, Modifying or Correcting an Arbitration Award Under R.C. 2711.13: Three-Month Limitation Maximum; Not Guaranteed Amount of Time

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that neither R.C. 2711.09 nor R.C. 2711.13 requires a court to wait three months after an arbitration award is issued before confirming the award. R.C. 2711.13 provides that “after an award in an arbitration proceeding is made, any party to the arbitration may file a motion in the court of common pleas for an order vacating, modifying, or correcting the award.” Any such motion to vacate, modify, or correct an award “must be served upon the adverse party or his attorney within three months after the award is delivered to the parties in interest.” In BST Ohio Corporation et al. v. Wolgang, the Court held the three-month period set forth in R.C. 2711.13 is not a guaranteed time period in which to file a motion to vacate, modify, or correct an arbitration award. 2021-Ohio-1785.

Employment Law After Hours Podcast: Paying Employees in Cryptocurrency

As cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin, Bitcoin, and Ethereum rise in popularity, employers are asking: can it be used as compensation for employees?

EEOC Provides Updated Guidance Regarding Employer COVID-19 Vaccine Policies

On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its guidance regarding employer COVID-19 vaccination policies. The new guidance provides much-needed clarification of expectations for employers seeking to promote workplace safety and prevent the spread of COVID-19, including discussion of mandatory vaccination policies, voluntary vaccination incentives, and accommodation of employees based on disability or sincerely held religious beliefs. The full text of the update is found in Section K of the EEOC’s COVID Q&A document. You can also learn more about these and other developments from BMD's Bryan Meek and Monica Andress through the Employment Law After Hours YouTube channel, available here.

What Telemedical Barriers Practices Face and How They Can Manage Them

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many businesses and industries having to rapidly adapt new practices in order to stay profitable, and the healthcare industry is no exception. Although telehealth tools and practices have existed and been used since the Vietnam War, the pandemic has caused many individual healthcare practices to heavily rely on telehealth as a large portion of their service mix in order to continue to provide care for patients. Because of this rapid adoption of telehealth practices in order to combat the restrictions of COVID-19, the telemedicine industry’s revenue has exploded in the last year. Experts predict that telehealth will continue to grow in use beyond the current pandemic, estimating the industry’s worth to be $25 billion by 2025. However, this rapid adoption of telehealth was prompted out of need and has not been without its own barriers that practices now face.

Which Entity Should I Form When Starting a New Business?

As a tax law attorney, friends and acquaintances ask me this question all the time: what type of entity should I form when starting a new business? With many business options available it can be confusing determining which business structure would be appropriate. Below is a general overview of each business structure and the tax responsibilities of each.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: IRS Opens Portals for Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) expands the Child Tax Credit for tax year 2021. In addition to expanding the Child Tax Credit, the Act provides for advance payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit. Beginning in July, the IRS will automatically send Advanced Child Tax Credit payments to eligible taxpayers based on their 2020 tax return (or 2019 tax return if the 2020 tax return has not been filed and processed yet). The amount of the advanced payment will be up to $300 each month for each qualifying child under 6 years old at the end of 2021 and $250 each month for each qualifying child between 6 and 17 years old at the end of 2021. For example, if you have 2 qualifying children, one 4 years old and one 8 years old, you may receive up to $550 each month in advance child tax credit payments.

Employment Law After Hours: CDC SAYS NO MORE MASKS FOR VACCINATED PEOPLE: What does this mean for employers and employees?

This morning, ELAH published an emergency episode discussing the questions employers sent us since the CDC’s release of its revised mask guidance late last week. This episode explores questions such as whether an employer can allow vaccinated people to go without masks, while requiring unvaccinated people to wear a mask, whether employers can inspect an employee’s vaccine card, and it discusses the risks of liability an employer faces based on the decisions and policies it makes following the release of this CDC guidance, along with many other questions.

COVID, Privacy and More! New Challenges for Physicians in 2021

While hopefully we are coming out of the pandemic, the legal repercussions related to legislative initiatives and other actions during that time continue to apply to businesses in general and healthcare practices. It is a helpful reminder that practices make certain that they maintain accurate records in order to satisfy the reporting requirements under the various COVID-related bills and protect yourself from future employment claims.

Banking and Cannabis: Bank Lending, The Next Frontier

A fortuitous combination of developments and circumstances present the banking and cannabis industries a large opportunity to enhance each of their respective bottom lines: conventional bank lending, payment processing, treasury management and other services, and bank administered SBA and revenue bond financing to cannabis businesses.

EKRA Updates: COVID-19 Testing, Employment Agreements, and More

Ever since the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (“EKRA”) was passed by Congress in 2018, we have been waiting to see how the law is interpreted and ultimately enforced. As a reminder, EKRA seeks to eliminate kickbacks in return for patient referrals to facilities that treat those overcoming addiction, such as recovery homes, clinical treatment centers, and laboratories. (NOTE: EKRA applies to all laboratories, not just those related to addiction treatment.) It is essentially an expansion of the Anti-Kickback Statute, which only applies to those services that are reimbursable through federal healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, to now also cover services reimbursable through private insurers.

New Interpretation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Rocks the Industry

It’s not lost on us that our interpretation of § 1692c(b) runs the risk of upsetting the status quo in the debt-collection industry. This quote from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal in its April 21, 2021 opinion from the case of Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc. is possibly the biggest understatement in the history of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. At a minimum, the Eleventh Circuit’s opinion has sent shockwaves and fear throughout multiple sectors of the financial services industry.

Construction Industry Trends and Predictions Through 2021 and Beyond: Insurance and Emerging Threats

A 2021 survey identified three key issues impacting the construction industry in 2021: (1) the financial health of contractors; (2) the continuing risk of the pandemic; and (3) technology driving productivity, but also increasing the risk of cybersecurity threats. With this backdrop, insurance premiums in the construction industry are generally on the rise in 2021.

Senate Bill 39 Allows Up to $100 Million in Business Incentive Credits for Transformational Mixed-Use Development in the State of Ohio

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 39 on December 29, 2020, which created a new tax credit applicable to insurance premium taxes. This tax credit is designed to provide funding for a transformational mixed- use development or “TMUD” in the state of Ohio.

Medicaid Announces Next Generation of Managed Care Organizations

For the first time since 2005, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (“ODM”) made significant changes to the structure of the Medicaid program by finalizing the Medicaid Managed Care Procurement process. The Procurement process began in 2019 at the behest of Governor Mike DeWine who had a goal to make Medicaid managed care more focused on the health and well-being of individuals.

BMD Appellate Win Clarifies Waiver of Contractual Right to Arbitrate

Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC attorneys David M. Scott, Lucas K. Palmer, and Krista D. Warren prevailed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit regarding if/when a party waives a contractual right to arbitrate. Borror Property Management, LLC v. Oro Karric North, LLC, No. 20-3146 (the “Decision”).

Relief for Ohio Under the Federal American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) — a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — a significant portion of which will be directed to the State of Ohio to support economic recovery, as outlined below.

Cleveland Manufacturer Violated OFAC Sanctions By Allowing Shipments To Iran - Know Your Customer and Know Their Customer

UniControl, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio manufacturer of process controls, airflow pressure switches, boiler controls and other instruments, agreed to pay the Office of Foreign Assets Control “OFAC,” the financial enforcement agency of the U.S. Treasury Department, $216,464 to settle its liabilities for violations of the Iran Sanctions Program. OFAC stated that “this enforcement action highlights the importance of identifying and assessing multiple warning signs that indicate a foreign trade partner may be re-exporting goods to a sanctioned jurisdiction.”

Ohio Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations Shortened to 6 Years

On March 16, 2021, Governor DeWine signed into law S.B. 13 which shortens Ohio’s statute of limitations for filing lawsuits based on breach of contract. A statute of limitation is the time period within which a party must file a lawsuit before its claim expires as a matter of law.

Chinese Product Tariff Challenge Causes Flurry of Importer Lawsuits

A lawsuit filed late in 2020 at the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) challenging the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) implementation of Section 301 “List 3” and “List 4” duties on products from China, HMTX Industries LLC et al. v. United States (Court No. 20-00177), has resulted in the filing of thousands of additional lawsuits brought by other affected importers. There are now 3,700+ companies added to the list, including Ford, Home Depot, Target, Tesla, and Walgreens, along with many other smaller importers.

America’s New COVID-19 Relief Package — Unpacked

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the highly anticipated American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) into law, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill aimed at addressing and resolving many of the lingering questions and concerns following the expiration of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) on December 31, 2020.

Vaccinating Against Design and Construction Risk: A COGENCE Alliance Momentum Recap

Last month, COGENCE Alliance hosted a four-day conference, attended by owners, affiliates, construction managers, trades, engineers, and architects. David Scott presented and other BMD team members hosted breakout discussions on how to “vaccinate against design and construction risk.” Groups discussed new and developing risks, how to mitigate those risks, and qualities of those who best adjusted to the new and developing risks.

Healthcare Provisions of the American Rescue Plan

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “ARP”). In addition to the widely reported additional stimulus paychecks, the ARP includes many provisions related to the healthcare industry and marketplace that seek to improve access and affordability. The major provisions of the ARP that affect the healthcare sector are summarized below:

2020 EEOC Statistics – More Money and Fewer Charges

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its comprehensive report on the workplace discrimination it received in Fiscal Year 2020. The Enforcement and Litigation Statistics provide detailed breakdowns of charges of employment discrimination and resolutions under a variety of statutes. Here are the highlights:

BMD Client Spotlight: AxessPointe Community Health Centers

BMD is happy to share background on our client AxessPointe. Client Contacts: Mark Frisone, Interim CEO Jay Williamson, MD, Board President Industry: AxessPointe Community Health Centers is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) serving patients throughout Summit and Portage counties, including five current sites in Northeast Ohio: three in Akron, one in Kent and one in Barberton. As an FQHC, AxessPointe is a non-profit corporation that delivers primary medical, dental and preventive health services in medically underserved areas. AxessPointe also provides pharmacy, women’s health and behavioral health services. Across all five sites, AxessPointe currently employs 130 total medical and administrative staff. In 2019, they served more than 21,000 individual patients, with more than 66,000 encounters.

A New Formation Solution – is the SSLC Right for Your Business?

In early January 2021, Ohio adopted Senate Bill 276 which established a Revised Limited Liability Company Act (“ORLLCA”) as Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1706, which effectively replaces the current Ohio Limited Liability Company Act (Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1706). The ORLLCA will become effective on January 1, 2022. One of the principal changes within the ORLLCA is the ability to establish “series LLCs”. Ohio becomes the 15th state to adopt a “series LLC” (“SLLC”). The below FAQs will help you better understand the mechanics and nuances of a series LLC.

Surprise! A Cautionary Tale for Out-Of-Network Billing: The No Surprises Act and the Impact on Healthcare Providers

SURPRISE! Congress passed The No Surprises Act at the end of 2020. Providers, particularly those billing as out-of-network providers, should start thinking about strategies to comply with this new law, set to take effect on January 1, 2022. In its most basic sense, the new law prohibits providers from billing patients for more than the in-network cost-sharing amount in most situations where surprise bills happen. It specifically applies to non-government payers and the amounts will be set through a process described in the new law. In particular, the established in-network cost-sharing amount must be billed for the following services:

Ohio Enacts Substantial Changes to Employment Discrimination Laws

In January, Governor Mike DeWine signed into law the Employment Law Uniformity Act, amending the employment protections in the Ohio Civil Rights Act in several significant ways. Such changes to the state’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws have been considered and debated for years and finally made their way into Ohio law. What has changed for employment claims under the amended Ohio Civil Rights Act?

OHIO ADOPTS THE SERIES LLC: Implementation of Ohio’s Revised Limited Liability Company Act is Coming

On January 7, 2021, Ohio adopted S.B. 276. The new legislation establishes the Ohio Revised Limited Liability Company Act (“ORLLCA”) which effectively replaces the current Ohio LLC Act. ORLLCA will be fully effective as of January 2022. While the new law contains numerous changes to the existing LLC landscape, below is an overview of some of the key differences under the ORLLCA.

Will Federal Legislation Open Cannabis Acquisition Floodgate?

Are potential buyers quietly lobbying at federal and state levels to kick open the door to launch a new round of strategic acquisitions? Will presently pending federal legislation, the SAFE and MORE Acts, providing safe harbor for banks and re- or de-scheduling marijuana, be sufficient to mobilize into action major non-cannabis companies that previously shunned the cannabis industry due to the unknown implications of owning businesses whose activities are illegal under federal law?

BMD Client Spotlight: Eating Recovery Center

With 6,500 patients per year, locations across 7 states, and daily long-term support capabilities, ERC and Pathlight comprise the nation’s leading mental health care system dedicated to the treatment of eating disorders and primary mood, anxiety and trauma-related disorders. They aim to patch the need for more specialized behavioral health treatment across the country. ERC and Pathlight fill the gap with developmentally appropriate treatment that includes: An expert care team that coordinates therapeutic, psychiatric, medical and dietary needs of each patient Evidence-based psychotherapy treatment, with emphasis on exposure therapy to develop and practice new skills Intensive Treatment Units for patients with complex medical and/or behavioral needs Unmatched family programming with expanded spaces dedicated to family therapy and skill-building Round-the-clock nursing supervision and support An education specialist who oversees patients' academic needs, so they don’t fall behind in school

The Future of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Over the last year we all have had to adjust to the new normal ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic. Schools and daycares closed, businesses transitioned from in-office work to work from home, bars and restaurants have closed their doors...all to slow the spread and try to prevent this pandemic from spiraling out of control. The start of the pandemic was utter pandemonium. Working parents trying to balance both caring for their now at-home children and their livelihood. Businesses trying to decide how to implement leave policies with limited information. Employees determining if they could financially afford to take time off. We were all flying by the seat of our pants trying to adjust to our new normal.

Ohio Supreme Court Clarifies Medical Statute of Limitations

The Ohio Supreme Court issued a decision in late December that clarifies and finalizes the Ohio law regarding the period of time in which patients can assert claims for medical malpractice. The Court was examining the interplay between three different statutes being the statute of limitations, the statute of repose, and the savings statute.

Ohio Hospitals and Healthcare Clinics: It’s Time to Revisit Your Billing and Collection Practices

According to a recent Cuyahoga County case, certain healthcare entities may not be protected from liability when engaging in unfair or deceptive billing acts. This decision is consistent with the growing trend across the country to encourage price transparency and eliminate unfair surprise billing practices by health care organizations. Now is the time for hospitals and other health care organizations to revisit their billing and collection policies and procedures to confirm that they are legally defensible and consistent with best practices.

HIPAA Business Associate Agreements: Why These Contracts Matter

No one loves drafting, reading or negotiating HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAAs). Yet many of us need to do so, and some of us do so daily. They are often boring, dense and technical, but BAAs are important from both a legal and a business perspective, and they deserve our attention. Failure to enter a BAA when one is required can constitute a HIPAA violation that results in substantial liability, as demonstrated by certain recent Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) settlements.1 A business associate who makes a disclosure that is not authorized by the applicable BAA or required by law can be subject to civil and, in some cases, criminal penalties. Further, parties are often presented with BAAs that contain onerous one-sided indemnification and other provisions that can be devasting to an organization in the event of a HIPAA breach. The significance of a BAA is often not fully understood by the parties until something goes wrong (e.g., a HIPAA security incident or breach, an Office of Civil Rights (OCR) audit or a fracture in the relationship between the parties) and, at that point, there is limited opportunity to mitigate legal and business risk. Ideally, attention should be given at the commencement of the business associate relationship, when the parties are able, to thoughtfully addressing regulatory requirements, planning and preparing for potential adverse events and appropriately allocating risk among the parties. As with most healthcare regulatory compliance initiatives, a proactive approach with respect to BAAs is preferable. This article provides a broad overview of certain BAA requirements and some practical negotiating tips for the parties involved.

“I’m Out Of Here!” Now What?

We all know that the healthcare industry is experiencing a wave of integration. This trend has been evident for many years. Fewer physicians are willing to assume the legal, financial and other business risks associated with owning their own practices. More and more physicians, including anesthesiologists, are becoming employed by large physician groups, health systems and national providers. This shift necessarily involves not only entry into new employment arrangements but also the termination of existing relationships. And those terminations are often governed by written employment agreements, state and federal healthcare laws and employer benefit plans and other policies and procedures. Before pursuing their next opportunity, physicians should pause for a moment and first attend to the arrangement that they are leaving. Departing physicians need to understand their legal rights and obligations when leaving their current employment relationships in order to avoid unintended consequences and detrimental missteps along the way. Here are a few words of practical advice for physicians contemplating an exit from their current employment arrangements.

Investment Training for the Second and Third Generations

Consider this scenario. Mom and Dad started the business from the ground up. Over the decades it has expanded into a money-making machine. They are able to sell the business and it results in a multimillion-dollar payday for their labors. The excess money has allowed Mom and Dad to invest with various financial advising firms, several fund management groups, and directly with new startups and joint ventures. Their experience has made them savvy investors, with a detailed understanding of how much to invest, when, and where. They cannot justify formation of a full family office with dedicated investors to manage the funds, but Mom and Dad have set up a trust fund for the children to allow these investments to continue to grow over the years. Eventually, Mom and Dad pass. Their children enjoy the fruits of their labors, and, by the time the grandchildren are adults, Mom and Dad's savvy investments are gone.

American Heart Association's 2021 Go Red For Women

The BMD Season of Giving in 2020 was a great way to help out organizations that help others. Continuing community involvement in 2021, we will be looking to the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign. Healthcare and Hospital Law Member and Vice President Amanda Waesch is the Chair of Go Red for Women for the American Heart Association, which is kicking off the 28 days of Heart Health. Show your support on February 5th with “Wear Red and Give” Day. Consider hosting a Jeans Day every Friday in the month of February at your place of business in support of Go Red For Women, even encouraging remote employees to participate. Snap a pic of your team members in their red gear and post on social media (socially distanced in person or a virtual group photo will work, too!) – see the toolkit here for sharing on your favorite social platforms. Click here to learn more and donate to the GRFW Campaign.

Provider Relief Funds – Continued Confusion Regarding Reporting Requirements and Lost Revenues

In Fall 2020, HHS issued multiple rounds of guidance and FAQs regarding the reporting requirements for the Provider Relief Funds, the most recently published notice being November 2, 2020 and December 11, 2020. Specifically, the reporting portal for the use of the funds in 2020 was scheduled to open on January 15, 2021. Although there was much speculation as to whether this would occur. And, as of the date of this article, the portal was not opened.

Ohio S.B. 310 Loosens Practice Barrier for Advanced Practice Providers

S.B. 310, signed by Ohio Governor DeWine and effective from December 29, 2020 until May 1, 2021, provides flexibility regarding the regulatorily mandated supervision and collaboration agreements for physician assistants, certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse practitioners working in a hospital or other health care facility. Originally drafted as a bill to distribute federal COVID funding to local subdivisions, the healthcare related provisions were added to help relieve some of the stresses hospitals and other healthcare facilities are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HHS Issues Opinion Regarding Illegal Attempts by Drug Manufacturers to Deny 340B Discounts under Contract Pharmacy Arrangements

The federal 340B discount drug program is a safety net for many federally qualified health centers, disproportionate share hospitals, and other covered entities. This program allows these providers to obtain discount pricing on drugs which in turn allows the providers to better serve their patient populations and provide their patients with access to vital health care services. Over the years, the 340B program has undergone intense scrutiny, particularly by drug manufacturers who are required by federal law to provide the discounted pricing.

S.B. 263 Protects 340B Covered Entities from Predatory Practices in Ohio

Just before the end of calendar year 2020 and at the end of its two-year legislative session, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 263, which prohibits insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”) from imposing on 340B Covered Entities discriminatory pricing and other contract terms. This is a win for safety net providers and the people they serve, as 340B savings are crucial to their ability to provide high quality, affordable programs and services to patients.

DOL Finalizes New Rule Regarding Independent Contractor Status, But Its Future Is In Jeopardy

On January 6, 2021, the Department of Labor announced its final rule regarding independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As described in a prior BMD client alert, this new rule was fast-tracked by the Trump administration after its proposal in September 2020. The new rule is set to take effect on March 8, 2021, and contains several key developments related to the "economic reality" test used to determine whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee under the FLSA.

Bankruptcy Law Changes - 2020 Recap And What To Expect In 2021

In a year of health challenges and financial distress to many individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic, the year 2020 brought some significant changes to the bankruptcy laws. Some of these changes were in place prior to the pandemic; others were a direct response to the pandemic with the goal of helping struggling businesses and individuals. Ahead, we can likely expect further changes to the Bankruptcy Code with the incoming Congress.

UPDATE - SBA Releases Rules and Guidance for Second Round PPP Funding

Late yesterday (January 6, 2021), the U.S. Small Business Administration released rules and guidance for businesses wishing to take part in the long awaited second round of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) funding. As most businesses are aware, the rules governing PPP loans have been updated as part of The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (“Act”). The Act was just one section of the massive 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on December 27, 2020. To combat the ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Act generally provides (a) first time PPP loans for businesses that did not obtain a loan in the first instance, (b) PPP second draw loans for businesses that already obtained a loan but need additional funding, and (c) additional funding for businesses that returned their first PPP loan or did not get the full amount for which they qualified.

COVID-19 Legal Issues Update and Ask Us Anything Webinar Recording

Join Brennan Manna Diamond Employment & Labor law Member Jeffrey Miller and Healthcare & Employment law Partner Bryan Meek on December 10 ET for 'COVID-19 Legal Issues Update and Ask Us Anything' webinar.

UPDATE - Vaccine Policy Considerations for Employers

If you read our post from November, you’re already an informed employer. This first post of 2021 is to share good news, give a few updates, and answer some other common questions. Q: What’s the Good News? First, the EEOC confirmed that employers may require employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Second, polling indicates that the number of Americans who said they will receive a vaccine has increased from around 63% to over 71%. The number of Americans who are strongly opposed to a vaccine is about 27%. Third, initial returns show that the efficacy rate for certain vaccines is as high as 95% for some at-risk recipients.

Changes to FFCRA Paid Leave: Congress’ Revisions to Employment COVID-19 Leave Benefits Signals the Light is at the End of the Tunnel

Late in the evening on December 27th, President Trump signed into law the government’s $900 billion COVID-19 relief package (the “Stimulus Bill”). Among other economic stimulus benefits, the Stimulus Bill contains the $600 stimulus checks that will be issued to eligible individuals as well as, relevantly, changes to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The FFCRA was implemented in April 2020 and provided benefits to individuals who missed work as a result of an actual or suspected COVID-19 illness or to care for a child when their school or childcare service was closed because of COVID-19. Importantly, the Stimulus Bill extends eligibility for employer payroll tax refunds for leave payments made to employees on or before March 31, 2021 under the FFCRA, signaling to the American people that Congress believes many of the employed public will be vaccinated by this time, the light at the end of the tunnel. However, the Stimulus Bill does contain a caveat that employers are no longer required to provide FFCRA leave benefits after December 31, 2020, but if they do, they will receive the payroll tax credits, up to the maximums provided in the FFCRA, for payments made prior to April 1, 2021. Below we provide a list of questions and answers we received to date following the passage of the Stimulus Bill. We expect the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to issue additional questions and answers as the Stimulus Bill is implemented, and we will update this Client Alert as these are received.

Healthcare Speaker Programs: New OIG Alert

In a rare Special Fraud Alert issued on November 16, 2020 (the “Alert”), the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) urged companies who host speaker programs to reassess their programs in light of the “inherent risks” associated with these activities. The Alert reports that, in the last three years, drug and device companies have reported paying nearly $2 billion to health care professionals for speaker-related services.

Value-Based Care Advances – CMS Issues New Final Rules for Stark and Anti-Kickback Statutes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) issued two highly anticipated (and quite extensive) Final Rules to reform the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) regulations. The Final Rules generally take effect on January 19, 2021. The Final Rules include new safe harbors for the AKS and new exemptions to the Stark Law to allow for greater flexibility. According to the HHS, the goal of updating both laws is to make it easier for providers to engage in care coordination and value-based care programs without running afoul of the statutes. Please note that this client alert could not cover the full extent of the Final Rule changes so please contact your BMD Healthcare attorney with questions.

Mandatory Filings Under CFIUS New Rules

On September 15, 2020, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) promulgated a final rule modifying its mandatory declaration requirements for certain foreign investment transactions involving “TID US businesses” (sensitive U.S. businesses dealing in critical technologies, critical infrastructure and sensitive personal data) dealing in “critical technologies” – i.e., U.S. businesses that produce, design, test, manufacture, fabricate, or develop one or more critical technologies. The new rule also makes amendments to the definition of the term “substantial interest” (used to determine whether a foreign government has a substantial interest in an entity). The final rule became effective on October 15, 2020.

IRS Guidance on Employee Retention Credit

The Employee Retention Credit created under Section 2302 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Since the adoption of the CARES Act, employers have expressed concern that if one employer acquires another employer that previously received a PPP loan, the acquirer’s entire aggregated group may no longer be eligible to claim the Employee Retention Credit.

International Sales Contracts - COVID-19 Pandemic and Force Majeure

Identity Protection PIN Available to ALL Taxpayers in January

Beginning in January 2021, the IRS will allow all taxpayers who can properly verify his/her identity to obtain an Identity Protection PIN. An Identity Protection PIN (“IP PIN”) is a six digit number assigned to a specific taxpayer to assist in preventing the misuse of a taxpayer’s social security number on fraudulent federal tax returns. Previously, only confirmed victims of identity theft who resolved his/her tax issues with the IRS were eligible for an IP PIN.

Updates for Employers Regarding Medical Marijuana

In 2020, the momentum for marijuana legalization and decriminalization continued. In the November elections, five more states legalized either medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, or both. Although marijuana remains illegal in any form under federal law, just last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to decriminalize marijuana usage at the federal level. It's unlikely that the Senate will approve of that, but it is another milestone in what has been a rapidly shifting landscape over the last decade. Given the patchwork of state laws regarding medical and recreational marijuana, widely varied approaches for workplace protections, and the total federal ban, it can be difficult for employers to know how to deal with this issue.

Brennan, Manna & Diamond Law Firm Promotes Four Attorneys in Akron and Jacksonville Offices

Brennan Manna Diamond (BMD), a business law firm with eight offices in Ohio, Florida and Arizona, has announced that Adrian Ribovich and Duriya (DD) Dhinojwala have been promoted from partner to Member. Darren Jones and Bryan Meek have also been promoted from associate attorney to Partner.

Vaccination Considerations for Employers

Today, three Covid-19 vaccines have tested as highly effective (90%+ efficacy) and are advancing in the process for emergency use. This is especially welcome news in Ohio, which has skyrocketing cases and our strategic response has been to turn the entire state into the small town of Bomont with strict curfews and bans on social gatherings.

Did You Receive More than $750,000 in Provider Relief Funds?

The Provider Relief Funds (“PRF”) - authorized under the CARES Act - has been a vital tool for health care providers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. These funds have allowed providers to stay open and continue to offer care during these pressing times. While helpful, these funds do come with several important obligations. First, fund recipients are required to comply with certain record-keeping requirements as well as comply with certain balance billing prohibitions. See our Client Alert. Second, fund recipients are required to report their intent, use of funds, and other data elements, which helps promote transparency to the federal government. Please see our Client Alert on provider relief fund reporting requirements. Third, and perhaps a new concept for many providers, fund recipients of more than $750,000 must undergo a “single audit” to ensure program compliance and appropriate use of funds.

Important Updates Every Provider Should Know: Information Blocking

In December 2016, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures Act”) which: (1) authorized funding for the National Institutes of Health to promote medical research and drug development, (2) implemented provisions aimed at addressing the prevention and treatment of mental illness and substance abuse, and (3) reformed certain standards of the Medicare program and federal tax laws to foster healthcare access and quality improvement.

PPP Update: Loan Necessity Questionnaires

On October 26, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) published a notice in the Federal Register which foreshadowed the release of two new forms seeking information from for-profit and nonprofit organizations that received Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans of $2 million or more. If approved, the SBA would use information from these forms to evaluate and determine whether economic uncertainty made a PPP loan request necessary.

Exposure to COVID-19 Flow Chart

Exposure to COVID-19 Flow Chart

Lessons Learned: Five Tips for Buying or Selling a Practice

If you are anticipating buying or selling a practice during the coming months, you are not alone. The healthcare industry is experiencing a wave of integration. In fact, it has been occurring for several years. Many transactional healthcare attorneys have negotiated and closed dozens of these transactions for clients. They have negotiated on behalf of the sellers in some cases and the buyers in others.

Ramping Up – A Quick Guide to Pressing COVID-19 Employment Law Issues

As the country continues to grapple with a global pandemic that now seems to be never-ending, businesses everywhere are waking up to realize that the calming of the COVID-19 employment issues over the summer has come to an end. As cases rise exponentially in all 50 states as we head into the winter months, the number of employment issues related to COVID-19 will also increase dramatically. For these reasons, it is important that we return to the employment law basics that were covered this prior spring, while highlighting the many lessons we have learned along the way. As COVID-19 matters and concerns continue to hinder the working environment of every business, it is important that you reference this review to guide you through these tough issues and questions.

BMD Recognized as Best Law Firm 2021

BMD's Season of Giving

This holiday season, BMD felt an overwhelming urge to give back to the communities in which we live and work. That is how BMD’s 2020 Season of Giving program was created. In honor of our 20th Anniversary, we designated $20,000 and asked each of our offices to propose charities and causes that were important to them—organizations that lend their care, support, services, resources and education to others on a daily basis.

Your Workplace Under Biden

This is my favorite recurring post – Predictions of How a New Administration Will Affect Your Workplace. Four years ago, we accurately called the emasculation of the 2016 proposed FLSA Overtime Rules (the salary exemption threshold was set at $35,568 in 2019, rather than $47,476 as proposed), we forecasted a conservative shift of the NLRB and its results (a roll-back of employee rights, social media policy evaluations, and joint employer rules), and we nailed the likelihood of multiple conservative appointments to the United States Supreme Court and its long-term effects (although I completely failed to predict that my ND classmate Amy Coney Barrett would fill the final vacancy during the Trump administration). This time, the L+E Practice of BMD has decided to make it a group effort at predicting what will happen, what probably happen, and what might happen under President Biden. As always, please save this in your important files and pull it out four (or eight) years from now to judge our accuracy.

HHS Provider Relief Funds Reporting Requirements: Important Updates Every Provider Should Know

HHS continues to revise its reporting requirements for the use of the Provider Relief Funds. Providers with more than $10,000 in Provider Relief Fund payments must report on the use of the funds through December 31, 2020. The reporting window will begin on January 15, 2021 and providers must complete reporting obligations for FY 2020 by February 15, 2021 through a portal designed by HHS. However, providers that have unexpended funds as of December 31, 2020, will have an additional 6 months to use the remaining funds through June 30, 2021. These providers must submit a second and final report no later than July 31, 2021.

Should I Apply for Phase 3 Funds? Important Considerations Every Provider Should Know

On October 1, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced an additional $20 billion in new funding for providers through a Phase 3 distribution. Importantly, providers that previously received HHS Provider Relief Funds or already received payments of approximately 2% of annual revenue from patient care are eligible to apply. Eligible providers have until November 6, 2020 to apply for these Phase 3 Funds. However, the question from providers continues to be: Should I Apply for Phase 3 Funds?

CISA Ransomware Practices

On October 28, 2020, the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an alert warning of imminent threats to US hospitals and healthcare providers. The specific threat involves RYUK Ransomware attacks. RYUK is a novel ransomware that goes undetected by commercial anti-virus/malware detection programs. Once deployed, RYUK encrypts all data and disables systems. In short, it cripples all functionality down to phone systems and automated doors. Healthcare providers should alert their employees to remain hyper-vigilant and report any suspicious activity seen in email or on networks. It has been reported healthcare providers in New York, Pennsylvania and Oregon have been targeted in the last 48 hours. If your organization encounters issues, BMD can assist in mobilizing a response team and has contacts with forensic IT firms that are familiar with RYUK. It is advisable to engage professionals with experience dealing with this specific threat.

Ohio COVID Immunity Bill

Scott P. Sandrock, a Member of BMD shares the logistics of Amended House Bill 606, which grants immunity to essential workers who transmit COVID-19.

Webinar Recording: New Considerations for Business Succession Planning

Ray Lampner and Pattie Wagner of Sikich joined BMD’s Co-Managing Partner Justin Alaburda in “New Considerations for Business Succession Planning,” where they discussed current business succession planning considerations from an accounting, legal, and human capital perspective.

HHS Announces an Additional $20 Billion In Provider Relief Grants

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced an additional $20 billion in new funding for providers on October 1, 2020. Eligible providers include those that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments as well as previously ineligible providers, such as those who began practicing in 2020, and an expanded group of behavioral health providers confronting the emergence of increased mental health and substance use issues exacerbated by the pandemic. The new Phase 3 General Distribution is designed to balance an equitable payment of 2% of annual revenue from patient care for all applicants plus an add-on payment to account for revenue losses and expenses attributable to COVID-19.

DOL Proposes New Rule Regarding Independent Contractor Status - But How Will the Election Affect Its Future?

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a new proposed rule regarding employee and independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The full text of the proposed rule is available here. The rule's drafters intend to reduce uncertainty and enhance the precision and predictability of the long-standing "economic reality" test, which currently relies on a multifactor balancing test.

Major Change to Franklin County, Ohio Eviction Process: Landlord Testimony Required

Although there is currently a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020 in place, the eviction process in Franklin County – which processes the highest number of evictions in the State of Ohio at approximately 18,000 a year – recently changed significantly.

UPDATE: Governor Dewine Signs HB 606 Granting Short Window of Immunity from COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Ohio General Assembly, in Am. Sub. H.B. No. 606, is in the final stages of passing a law that will prohibit lawsuits seeking damages from COVID-19. This includes injury, death, or loss to person or property if the lawsuits are based, in whole or in part, on the exposure to, or the transmission or contraction of the coronavirus, unless the defendant in the lawsuit acted intentionally or recklessly. In circumstances where this immunity does not apply, H.B. 606 prohibits such claims being aggregated and brought as a class action.

Revised Department of Labor FFCRA Guidance, Effective September 16, 2020

In response to attacks on the legality of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule regarding the Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA” or the “Act”), which took effect in April 2020, the Department of Labor issued new guidance on Friday, September 11th to formally address ongoing questions and concerns related to the COVID-19 legislation.

FCC Adds $198 Million to Strengthen Telehealth for Rural Healthcare Providers

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has added an additional $198 million in funding to its Rural Health Care Program. These funds will be used to increase broadband services and telecommunications to bolster telehealth/telemedicine services for rural healthcare providers. Funding for rural healthcare providers was initially capped at $605 million in 2020, but the added funds will now allow the FCC to provide over $800 million to eligible providers.

Finding Opportunity in Adversity: Optimism for the Construction Industry

Looking for good news? If so, you are not alone. Aside from the collective mental, physical and emotional human toll imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, entire sectors of the economy have been ravaged, and old, familiar ways of doing business have been disrupted. Although deemed essential, the construction industry has not been immune to interruption and uncertainty during these unprecedented times. Amid new health and safety concerns, coupled with financial uncertainty, progress on projects has slowed, and the start dates for a number of new projects slated to begin in 2020 have been deferred. However, resilience has always been a trademark of contractors, subcontractors and other industry professionals. Reports indicate that while the construction industry lost more than one million jobs February through April, at least 600,000 of those jobs had been gained back by the end of June.

Yard Sign Do’s and Don’ts: How to Avoid Legal Challenges to Municipal Sign Codes this Election Season

As the nation heads into the tail end of the 2020 general election, municipalities will inevitably face challenges as they seek to regulate the seasonal proliferation of yard signs on residential property. While the matter may seem trifling, a seemingly benign yet content-based sign ordinance can result in significant legal exposure for municipalities that have not heeded recent Supreme Court decisions on content neutrality.

Time to Update Your HIPAA Compliance Plan for Telehealth Policies and Procedures

The delivery of healthcare in this country may be forever changed following the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing services through telehealth technologies initially allowed providers to connect with patients in a safe and socially distant manner and helped keep vital hospital beds free for COVID-19 care. Now, while still a safe, socially distant option, telehealth allows patients to access healthcare services in an efficient manner, decreases the likelihood of cancellations, and expands access to services that do not require an in-person encounter (i.e., surgery, procedure, or test). Telehealth is now widely reimbursed by both federal and commercial payors and more provider types are able to provide telehealth services within their licensed scope of practice.

The SEC Amends Accredited Investor and Qualified Institutional Buyer Definitions

The SEC Amends Accredited Investor and Qualified Institutional Buyer Definitions

Landlord Alert: CDC Issues Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions

On September 1 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020. With the July 24, 2020 expiration of the prior moratorium established under the CARES Act, the CDC based the new moratorium on the need to protect public health and the likely increase in the spread of COVID-19 if mass evictions take place.

BMD Obtains Supreme Court Victory on Behalf of Sterilite of Ohio, LLC

Columbus, Ohio – On August 26, 2020, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued its opinion in Lunsford v. Sterilite of Ohio, LLC, Slip Op. No. 2020-Ohio-4193. The Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision reversed an Ohio Court of Appeals ruling that had reinstated a putative class action against Sterilite brought by a group of current and former employees claiming that Sterilite’s use of “direct observation” urinalysis screening violated their common law right to privacy.

BMD Client Spotlight: IncludeHealth

BMD is happy to share an inspiring business backgrounder on IncludeHealth, Inc. - a Digital musculoskeletal (MSK) care & training platform for providers - and introduce its CEO and Founder, Ryan Eder. Client: IncludeHealth CEO: Ryan Eder Business: Digital musculoskeletal (MSK) care & training platform for providers. Relationship Attorney: Kate Hickner Legal Services: BMD and Kate serve as healthcare counsel for IncludeHealth, providing regulatory guidance as well as HIPAA and other data privacy and security guidance, in an evolving health care delivery, reimbursement and regulatory landscape.

BMD's Chief People Officer Mary Miles Wins Crain's Cleveland Excellence in HR Award

BMD's Chief People Officer Mary Miles Wins Crain's Cleveland Excellence in HR Award

Provider Relief Fund Phase 2 & Reporting Requirement Updates – Deadline to Request Phase 2 Funds is August 28, 2020

On July 31, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that certain Medicare, Medicaid (managed care and fee-for-service), CHIP, and other providers would be given another opportunity to receive additional Provider Relief Fund payments. HHS has allocated around $15 billion for Phase 2 distribution. Providers are eligible for these new distributions if they fulfill the following criteria and have not yet received a Provider Fund payment equal to approximately 2% of their revenue from patient care.

Five Things That Owners and Boards Need to Know About Privacy and Cybersecurity Compliance

Five tips for owners and boards about privacy and cybersecurity compliance.

Webinar Recording: Telemedicine Legal and Practical Considerations for Physicians Practices

This webinar discusses the latest developments in telemedicine for physician practices, including Medicare, Medicaid and commercial payor reimbursement requirements, state licensure considerations and HIPAA requirements. Speakers: -Kyle Sharp, MHA, FACHE, Interim Associate VP & Executive Director, OSU Physicians, Inc. -Ronnen Isakov, CPA, Managing Director, Healthcare Advisory Services, Medic Management Group LLC -Kate Hickner, Healthcare & Hospital Law Partner, BMD -Kevin Cripe, Healthcare & Hospital Law Attorney, BMD The speakers will share their personal experiences working with health care providers to implement and grow their telemedicine practices during recent months. The webinar will provide listeners with practical guidance and take-aways that will be useful in their own organizations.

Return to School Stress Amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 global pandemic has undoubtedly made the transition back to school unpredictable, causing stress for employers, school districts, educators, parents, and students.

David Scott & Amanda Waesch Promoted to Vice President Roles as Part of Continued Succession Planning

Brennan, Manna and Diamond (BMD), an entrepreneurial business law firm with six offices in Ohio and Florida, has promoted Columbus Office Managing Partner David Scott and Executive Committee Member Amanda Waesch to the position of Vice President.

Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA”) Under Attack

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA” or “the Act”) went into effect on April 1, 2020 followed closely behind by the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule on the Act which, collectively, describe the obligations of employers as well as the rights of employees under the FFCRA’s paid sick time and expanded family medical leave provisions.

Lockdowns, Landlords, & Litigation: Abercrombie & Fitch Flips The Script on Simon Property Group Inc.

Novel litigation between commercial property owners and tenants arises from COVID-19 lockdowns. Typically, owners sue for nonpayment of rent. But in Franklin County, Ohio, a large retail tenant turned the tables and sued the owner to recoup payments.

UPDATE: Ohio Businesses Remain Required to Post Exceptions to State-Wide Mask Mandate at All Entrances

On August 1, 2020, Lance D. Himes, Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued an amended order continuing the requirement that Ohio businesses post at all entrances any permitted exceptions they provide to customers, patrons, visitors, contractors, vendors and similar individuals to use facial coverings.

2020 Marcum National Construction Survey Marks a New, Post-Pandemic Construction Environment

The results of the 2020 Marcum National Construction Survey are in, and the construction industry’s outlook for the remainder of 2020 and beginning of 2021 remains cautiously optimistic despite the COVID-19 global pandemic. Ability to find skilled labor, healthcare expenses, and material costs remain the top concerns for the industry, while “lack of future work” joins the list.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in the Wake of COVID-19

Several major “essential business” employers, including Walmart and Tyson, have been served with wrongful death lawsuits in relation to COVID-19. As many Ohio employees begin to return to work, employers should be prudent in following workplace safety practices.

We are Working in a Virtual, Video-Conferencing World – But What About Wiretapping?

Businesses and other organizations often have a need or desire to record telephone conversations related to their business interests and customer dealings; however, this practice is not always permissible as federal and state laws vary on this issue. Knowing and understanding your jurisdiction’s rules and regulations on this practice is essential to remaining in compliance with the law.

President Trump Signs Executive Orders that Enable Access to Affordable Meds

On Friday, July 24, 2020, President Trump signed four Executive Orders concerning prescription drug pricing which collectively direct the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take following actions: 1. Increase Patient Access to Insulin and Injectable Epinephrine 2. Facilitate the Importation of Certain Prescription Drugs 3. Remove the Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor Protection for Prescription Rebates 4. Implement the “Most Favored Nation” Order to Lower Medicare Part B Drug Cost

Guidance for Employers Receiving HHS Funding During COVID-19 on Civil Rights Protections

On July 20, 2020, HHS OCR issued guidance to help employers receiving federal financial assistance understand their requirements to comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in HHS-funded programs during COVID-19; specifically, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VI”). Title VI states that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Ohio Businesses Required to Post Exceptions to State-wide Mask Mandate at all Entrances

On July 22, 2020, in conjunction with the state-wide mask mandate instituted by Governor Mike DeWine, Lance D. Himes, Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued an order requiring Ohio businesses to post any permitted exceptions they provide to customers, patrons, visitors, contractors, vendors and similar individuals to use facial coverings at all business entrances.

ODM and OhioMHAS Continue to Expand Telehealth

On July 17, 2020, Governor DeWine signed Executive Order 2020-29D, which allowed the Ohio Department of Medicaid (“ODM”) to immediately rescind old provisions and file a new rule (5160-1-18) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (“OhioMHAS”) to amend their current rule (5122-29-31), both expanding telehealth and introducing even more flexibility into Ohio’s healthcare system.

Top Questions of Employers - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law

One month ago, the United States Supreme Court, in Bostock v. Clayton County, determined that federal law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) protects employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Our earlier post discussed the full decision. The purpose of this article is to share and address the Top Questions of Employers since that decision was rendered.

Healthcare Acquisitions and Divestitures During the COVID-19 Pandemic

It seems as though all aspects of our personal and professional lives have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Healthcare acquisitions and divestitures are no exception. Although the ramifications depend on the specific circumstances of each transaction, we are noticing certain common threads woven among recently closed and currently in progress transactions in the healthcare industry. Here are a few of the questions that often arise as we work with clients to navigate the current business landscape both during and after the COVID epidemic.

Ministerial Exception to Title VII

On July 8, 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision holding that religious institutions, such as churches and religion-based schools, are shielded from employment discrimination lawsuits — including claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In doing so, the Court decided in favor of two Catholic schools facing legal discrimination claims from former teachers who alleged wrongful termination from their employment for age and disability.

Ohio House Passes Bill 679 Establishing & Modifying Telehealth Service Requirements

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Ohio Department of Health, Department of Medicaid, and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services issued emergency rules expanding telehealth services and increasing access to healthcare while the public was under a stay-at-home order. On June 10, 2020, the Ohio House of Representatives favorably (91 votes for and 3 votes against) passed House Bill 679 (“HB 679”), establishing new and modifying existing requirements regarding the provision of telehealth services in Ohio. This bill essentially turns the various administrative emergency rules into law and will fundamentally change the way healthcare is delivered in the state.

Ohio House Passes Bill 388 Including Out-of-Network Reimbursement Requirements

On May 20, 2020, the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 388, which would enact five new Ohio Revised Code sections regarding out-of-network care and reimbursement.

Ohio Medicaid Starts Paying Pharmacists for COVID-19 Testing & Pilots Focus on Direct Care from Pharmacists

Two significant announcements were made by Ohio’s Department of Medicaid recently. Both announcements provide greater access to healthcare services for Medicaid beneficiaries in Ohio and by utilizing the expertise of pharmacists and providing reimbursement for their services related to COVID-19 testing.

Employer COVID Toolkit

As employees come back to work and employers operate “mid-COVID” in the “new normal,” employers must update their Employee Handbook and related employment policies. BMD has put together an Employer COVID Toolkit to supplement an employer’s existing Employee Handbook and policies to ensure compliance with the Department of Labor guidance, OSHA, FFCRA, the CARES Act and state law. Below is a description of policies and their purpose.

Crain's Cleveland Recognizes Duriya Dhinojwala as a 2020 Woman of Note

Duriya (DD) Dhinojwala's heart, drive and dedication are just a few of the commendable qualities that make her a Woman of Note. Learn more about DD's background and path to success here.

SBA Releases New Frequently Asked Question (No. 49) - Maturity Dates for PPP Loans

On June 25, 2020 the SBA released a new Frequently Asked Question (No. 49) concerning the maturity dates for PPP Loans as modified by the recently passed Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. All PPP Loans received on or after June 5, 2020, will have a five-year maturity. Any PPP Loan received before June 5, 2020, has a two-year maturity, unless the borrower and lender mutually agree to extend the term of the loan to five years. Businesses should address the maturity issue with their SBA lender and discuss any available change to the loan maturity date.

Top 10 Signs that May Indicate Financial Distress

The business world has been turned upside down with COVID-19 and the financial disruption it has created. Once healthy businesses are taking protective measures to remain viable. The impact of this health and financial crisis has affected nearly all industries in some manner. Being aware of areas or issues where your company is vulnerable is critically important. We have identified ten signs to look for when evaluating whether your company has some degree of financial distress.

HHS Delays Quarterly Reporting for Provider Relief Funds

There is good news for providers that received either (1) General Distributions from the HHS Provider Relief Funds [link to my article], or (2) Targeted Distributions from the HHS Provider Relief Funds [link to Ashley’s article]. HHS reversed its stance requiring quarterly reports for providers that received Provider Relief Funds and PPP loan monies. The initial quarterly reports would have been due by July 10, 2020. However, on June 13, 2020, HHS delayed the quarterly reporting requirement.

July 20 is Important Deadline for HHS Fund Distributions to Medicaid and CHIP Providers

On June 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released details on the distribution of more CARES Act Provider Relief Fund payments. After allocating $50 billion to Medicare providers through its General Distribution fund, HHS has now announced that it will distribute $15 billion to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers who apply by the deadline through a Targeted Distribution. Applicants must apply through the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal. The application form itself can be found on the HHS website and is due by July 20, 2020.

DOJ Updates Corporate Compliance Plan Guidance

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, all healthcare providers were required to adopt and implement a corporate compliance plan. Historically, having an effective corporate compliance plan in place has been key to defending healthcare providers in fraud and abuse actions by Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial payers. Over the past couple of years, the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division has increased the number of prosecutions against U.S. corporations, including healthcare providers. Earlier this month, the DOJ’s Criminal Division updated its “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” guidance to educate prosecutors on how a corporate compliance program will be evaluated going forward.

IRS Responds - Economic Impact Payments Do Not Belong to Nursing Homes or Care Facilities

In response to the concerns that some nursing homes and care facilities have been taking patients economic impact payments (“EIP”) and claiming the EIP belongs to the facility, the IRS issued a reminder that the EIP does not belong to a nursing home or care facility even if that facility receives the individual’s payments, either directly or indirectly. The EIP does not count as income or a resource in determining an individual’s eligibility for Medicaid or other federal programs for a period of 12 months from when the EIP is received. What this means: an individual’s EIP does not have to be turned over by the benefit recipient.

Title VII to Protect LGBTQ Community

It is not every day that the United States Supreme Court issues a decision that dramatically changes the workplace, but it happened this week. In a landmark decision captioned as Bostock v. Clayton County, issued by the Court on June 15th, the Court ruled that federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of “sex” will now include protections for individuals on the basis of sexual orientation, transgender, and gender identity.

Update: President Trump Signs Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

On June 3, 2020, Congress updated the CARES Act by passing the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (“FA”). The legislation, which has not yet been signed into law by President Trump, would provide more flexibility to small businesses who received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).

Workers’ Compensation Claims and COVID-19

Can one of my employees file a workers’ compensation claim if they claim that they contracted coronavirus at work? We get that question a lot. Yes, they can, but you should oppose any application for coverage if you receive one. Generally, the claim will not be granted unless the employee has a job that poses a special hazard or risk of exposure to the virus and the employee can prove that he or she contracted the virus at work.

'Culture, Culture, Culture’: The Essence of Printing Industry M&A Deals

BMD/Signet's Tony Manna interviewed by Printing Impressions

Webinar Recording -- Paycheck Protection Program Loans: Forgiveness Applications

Paycheck Protection Program Loans: Forgiveness Applications

Ohio State Dental Board Implements Teledentistry Rules

Ohio law defines “teledentistry” as the delivery of dental services through the use of synchronous, real-time communication and the delivery of services of a dental hygienist or expanded function dental auxiliary pursuant to a dentist’s authorization.[1] The law requires a dentist who desires to provide dental services through teledentistry to apply for a teledentistry permit from the Ohio State Dental Board (“OSDB”).[2] Pursuant to the mandate under Ohio Revised Code 4715.436, the OSDB is implementing the following teledentistry permit rules and requirements (to be set forth under Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4715-23). These regulations, which were subject of a public hearing on February 19, 2020, are effective on May 30, 2020.

HHS Addresses Drug Manufacturer Coupons on Out-of-Pocket Limits

On May 7, 2020, the US Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced their Notice of Benefit Parameters for 2021 in which HHS addressed the application of prescription drug manufacturer copay coupons towards a patient’s out-of-pocket limit. Under this guidance, HHS will permit, but not require, plans and insurers to count direct support offered to enrollees by drug manufacturers (i.e., coupons) for specific prescription drugs toward the annual limits on cost-sharing, regardless of whether a generic equivalent is available.

Important Updates, Deadlines, and Clarifications for the HHS Provider Relief Funds

On May 20, 2020, HHS made important updates and clarifications regarding the General Distribution payments to providers. Between April 10, 2020 and April 24, 2020, HHS distributed an initial $30 billion to providers based on the provider’s 2019 Medicare fee-for-service receipts. These funds were distributed automatically and providers did not need to submit an application in order to receive these funds. The funds were originally touted as a “no strings attached” stimulus payment reserved for healthcare providers. But HHS issued a 10-page Terms and Conditions and required that providers sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the Terms and Conditions.

Reopening & Social Media: Tips for Businesses

As the country starts to reopen, businesses are under great pressure to keep employees and customers safe. Even if a business follows every reopening requirement, there will inevitably be scrutiny from within and outside the organization. And, in this world of social media, perception tends to become reality. Below are a few practical tips to avoid attracting negative press while restarting your business.

Back to Work: Employer Documents

The return of the workforce brings a renewed set of documentation requirements for employers, particularly those employers with fewer than 500 employees and any companies who received PPP funds. Back in March, employers needed a COVID-19 Leave Form and a Remote Work Policy, but things have changed.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Details

As PPP loan recipients start to take stock of how they’ve used funds over the eight-week period, many businesses are eager to move ahead with the forgiveness portion of the program. How much of the loan will be forgiven is determined by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”), as provided in the CARES Act.[1] Over the weekend, the Department of Treasury released details on the forgiveness application, which can be found here.

CARES Act and Financial Institutions – Litigation Update

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) and the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) have allowed some businesses to remain operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. For these businesses, obtaining access to funds under these programs has proved vital.

A Potential Childcare Disruption for Rehired Employees

As businesses reopen, employers with fewer than 500 employees need to brush up on the FFCRA Paid Leave rules, including a potential disruption to your return to operations.

With Summer Vacation on the Way, Are Employees Still Entitled to Childcare Leave under EFMLEA?

Distance learning/homeschooling is finally starting to wrap-up for millions of students across America, a perhaps welcomed end for many, and summer vacation will soon begin. As summer vacation begins, your employees may have questions as to whether they qualify for child care leave under the expanded FMLA (“EFMLEA”), which many employees used over the last few months to receive partial compensation while they were away from work to care for their children. Now, employers with fewer than 500 employees must take note of additional guidance recently published concerning qualification for childcare leave.

Economic Impact Payment is Not Taxable Income

The IRS stated that the economic impact payments are not considered taxable income. Therefore, individuals will not owe tax on the amount of economic impact payment received.

PPP - Maximizing Forgiveness Webinar Recording

As businesses receive Paycheck Protection Loan funding as part of the CARES Act, attention has shifted to the proper use of the loan proceeds and what steps must be taken to maximize the amount of the loan that is forgiven. BMD SBA Loan Team Attorneys, Blake Gerney, C.J. Meager, Cassandra Manna and Nick Karam provided an overview of the loan forgiveness criteria under the CARES Act and the guidance provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration. They also analyzed and discussed common concerns with the application of the loan forgiveness criteria and the uncertainty being encountered by many business owners.

Accommodating the Return to Work

It has been two months since Ohio declared coronavirus an emergency, and although it is clear things will not be fully back to "normal" anytime soon, the state of Ohio is rolling out the reopening process for businesses with a number of new guidelines and restrictions.

Relief for Employers from Unemployment Filings

From the last 7 weeks, the total number of unemployment filings in the U.S. now totals 33.5 million, an unprecedented number comparable to the number of filings during the Great Depression. Although some state and federal funds are being used to supplement the unemployment funds, providing additional compensation to the unemployed, employers will be responsible for a very large portion of the total funds being doled out to employees.

The Reasoning Behind Governor DeWine's $775 Million Budget Reduction

This week, Governor DeWine announced $775 million in cuts to the state operating budget due to financial repercussions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ahola '10 Minute Tuesday' with BMD's Jeff Miller: Reopening Ohio, New Responsibilities Employers are Facing

BMD Employment and Labor Member, Jeffrey C. Miller shared insights on what reopening of Ohio means for Employers on Tuesday, May 5, with Ahola HR Solutions and Payroll. Jeff discussed wage and hour, contract tracing and more.

Term Sheets Finalized for Main Street Lending Program

The Main Street Lending Program (“MSLP”) is designed to provide support to small and medium-sized businesses during the current pandemic. The availability of additional credit is intended to help companies that were in sound financial condition prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic maintain their operations and payroll until conditions normalize. The loans will be provided by funds invested by the Department of Treasury. The terms sheets have been finalized for the program, which should be up and running shortly.

Employment Law Pitfalls in the New Normal

This week the state of Ohio announced its Responsible RestartOhio plan and issued a Stay Safe Order amending to Department of Health’s prior order, designed to get people back to work and gradually reopen the state, available at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/Directors-Stay-Safe-Ohio-Order.pdf. This new order directs employers to require their employees to wear masks (with certain limited exceptions) and recommends changes to shifts, break times, and use of break rooms as a means to limit the spread of the virus. These workplace developments raise a number of potential concerns regarding wage and hour issues, reasonable accommodation, employee medical information, and off-duty conduct policies.

Did You Know that Certain Expenses May Not Be Deductible if You Received a PPP Loan?

On April 30, 2020, the IRS issued a Notice stating that for Federal income tax purposes, certain expenses that would otherwise be deductible in a taxpayer’s trade or business may not be deductible if the taxpayer received a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).

Unemployment Requests From Former Employees

Have you received a Request for Information or Unemployment Award Decision from the a state unemployment agency for an employee who left your employ weeks or months ago? With the dramatic rise of unemployment filings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are receiving unemployment decisions or requests for employment information for former employees have have not been employed by them for a great period of time.

Essential Businesses in Ohio: Today’s Announcements Apply to You

Governor DeWine announced the “Responsible Restart Ohio” program this afternoon to set the stage for reopening certain areas of the Ohio economy. Matt Heinle and Jeff Miller posted on the overall requirements today. While the announcement and our post focused on reopening certain businesses, the mandatory requirements and recommendations apply to ALL businesses, including those which had been open and operating as an Essential Business.

Responsible Restart Ohio: Stay at Home Stays in Place – First Phase of Back to Work with Precaution and Protocols

Governor Mike DeWine announced new plans today regarding the reopening of Ohio, including the first wave of businesses to welcome employees and customers back inside. This will not be rapid process and that is by design, as DeWine emphasizes that the guiding principles behind Ohio’s plan are to protect the health of employees, customers and their families, support community efforts to control the spread of the virus and to take the lead in responsibly getting Ohio back to work.

BMD President Matt Heinle Shares Insights on the Critical State of Hospitals

The critical state of Hospitals in America due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Congress Passes Another Round of Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses

On April 24, 2020, President Trump signed into law another round of coronavirus relief aimed at helping small businesses during this public health emergency. The bill contains a total of $484 billion in additional aid. The majority of funds in this bill are dedicated to replenishing the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), which gives small businesses loans to cover payroll costs that could be forgiven if specific requirements are followed. Congress initially funded the PPP in March with $350 billion, but this amount was exhausted as of April 16, 2020.

The $70 Billion Question – CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Helping Hardest Hit Hospitals First

HHS finally unveiled its preliminary plan for disbursement of the remaining $70 billion of CARES Act Provider Relief Funds. The initial $30 billion was disbursed to providers based on 2019 Medicare fee-for-service payments. HHS indicated that the remaining $70 billion would be disbursed to (1) providers that incurred COVID-19 expenses, (2) rural providers, (3) providers that primarily receive payments from other sources (such as Medicaid), and (4) providers that treat uninsured Americans.

Recap & Recording: CORONAVIRUS WORKFORCE WEBINAR

BMD Employment and Labor Member, Jeffrey C. Miller shared employer and workforce updates related to FFCRA, COVID-19, the Paycheck Protection Program, and gave participants an idea of what to expect in the coming weeks and months as America begins to reopen.

Important Items Every Provider Should Know if Accepting the HHS Provider Relief Funds

On April 10, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued $30 billion to healthcare providers as part of the Provider Relief Fund under the CARES Act. Providers will have 30 days from the date of receipt to access the HHS portal, attest to the payment, and accept the Terms and Conditions. The Terms and Conditions require providers to take substantial steps to ensure compliance.

Practical Advice: COVID-19's Impact on the Construction Industry

As a member of the American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry, BMD participated in a COVID-19 Construction Leadership Roundtable discussion with over 450 other construction attorneys representing nearly every voice in the industry.

Only Courts Can Decide if COVID-19 Chaos is Included Under Business Interruption Coverage

Despite paying insurance premiums for years, businesses are now being told by insurance companies and brokers that the business interruption coverage in their policy does not apply to coronavirus losses. However, the question of whether business interruption coverage extends to losses caused by the current pandemic will ultimately be answered by the courts, not insurance carriers. These legal decisions will depend upon the specific language of the policy and the facts and circumstances surrounding the claim.

Healthcare Providers: Comparison of New OIG Waivers and Flexibilities under Anti-Kickback Statute in Response to COVID-19

On March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued several temporary regulatory waivers to further enable the American healthcare system to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with more efficiency and flexibility (the “Blanket Waivers”).

"New Normal" Budget Guidance

During these challenging times most business are faced with issues regarding cash flow and ongoing expenses. In prior Client Updates we have outline some specific action plans dealing with PPP, Cares Act and other funding programs, your obligations and opportunities under the Salary Continuation programs and others. We continue to update those as new Guidance is released so please check back to our Resources page from time to time.

How Do I Pay Employees for COVID-19 Telework?

Even as stay-at-home and isolation orders are slowly lifted, employers will continue to have employees teleworking due to the COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic.

Main Street Lending Program Waiting for Green Light from Congress – What We Know Now

What is the Main Street Lending Program? In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve established the Main Street Lending Program (“MSLP”) to enhance support for small and mid-size business that were in good financial standing before the pandemic. There are two subcategories to the MSLP: the Main Street New Loan Facility (“MSNLF”), which applies to newly issued loans for a company, and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (“MSELF”), which applies to refinancing of existing loans of a company. The main focus of MSLP is to retain employees (at least 90% of a business’s employees as of February 1, 2020). It is also intended to alleviate slow cash flow stress on profitable businesses.

Pondering Over Patient Billing: CARES Act and Provider Relief Fund Lead to More Questions

On April 11, 2020, HHS, along with the Department of Labor and Department of the Treasury, issued jointly prepared FAQs regarding the FFCRA, the CARES Act, and other health coverage issues. The FFCRA was enacted on March 18, 2020 and requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide benefits for certain items and services related to diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Additionally, plans and issuers must provide coverage without imposing any cost-sharing requirements (deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance), prior authorization, or other medical management requirements.

Important Update and FAQs: HHS Tweaks Guidance on The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Terms and Conditions

On April 10, 2020, many providers awoke to find electronic payment deposits from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in their bank accounts. This was the first round of $30 billion of payments from the HHS Provider Relief Fund as a result of the CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020. All healthcare providers that received Medicare fee-for-service payments in 2019 should have received a payment.

Returning to Work: Forecasting the New Normal in Business

We cannot predict when businesses will reopen across the county. As we publish this Alert, dynamic business leaders are cooperating in comprehensive efforts to create safe work environments so that they can all re-engage the workforce. However, we can predict the new normal in business. Some important studies were published yesterday, and the new normal in business will be facemasks for all employees, and probably all business visitors.

Updated Guidance on Ohio Department of Medicaid Telehealth Rules During the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency

In its initial response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (“ODM”) issued emergency rule 5160-1-21, which dramatically expanded reimbursable telehealth services, telehealth providers, allowable technology, location of both providers and patients, and covered billing provider types. See BMD’s initial COVID-19 and Telehealth Resource Guide here. This emergency rule provides wide flexibility for patients to receive necessary healthcare services while Ohio’s Stay-At-Home Order remains in place. Regulations are continually changing in response to the public health crisis, and on April 13, 2020, ODM issued new guidance further expanding telehealth services reimbursable under Ohio’s Medicaid program.

Essential Businesses during COVID-19: Identification and Operation FAQs

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to classify your business as “essential” could be the key to its survival. Almost every state in the United States has imposed a “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” order that restricts the types of businesses that can remain open. In fact, as of the writing of this alert, there are only seven states that have not imposed state-wide restrictions on which businesses can stay open during the Coronavirus pandemic and even those states have individual cities and counties that have imposed stricter orders. However, these orders are not always clear, and interpretation is often left to the individual business. This alert will answer some of the most common questions about essential businesses.

UPDATE: Exempt Organizations Filing Deadline Extended Until July 15, 2020

In a recent announcement, the IRS has expanded the deadline for any taxpayers, whether individuals, trusts, estates, corporations, and other non-corporate tax filers, where a filing or payment deadline falls on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020. These taxpayers now have until July 15, 2020 to file and pay any federal income tax that is generally due on April 15. The IRS will not assess any late-filing penalty, late-payment penalty, or interest.

New IRS Portal for Non-filing Taxpayers to Enter Payment Information & Receive Economic Impact Payments

The IRS has created a portal for non-filers to enter payment information in order to receive the economic impact payments. This portal is for taxpayer’s who have gross income that does not exceed $12,200 if single and $24,400 if married filing jointly, or were not otherwise required, or plan, to file a tax return for 2019.

IRS Grants Additional Extensions and Suspends Collection Activity

More Extensions Granted for Filing Returns In addition to those previously announced, the IRS has granted extensions for filing of the following returns and payments of amounts due for any of the returns listed below due after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020: Form 706 - Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax; Form 8971 – Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property form a Decedent; Form 709 – United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax; Any Estate Tax payment due as a result of an election under sections 6166, 6161, and 6163; Form 990-T – Exempt Organization Business Income Tax; Form 990-PF – Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947 Trust; Form 4720 – Return of Certain Excise Taxes; and All estimated payments made on Form 990-W; 1040-ES, 1041-ES, 1120-W. (This is a change from the extension of only the first quarter estimate to include the June 15, 2020, estimate).

IRS Provides Guidance for Payroll Tax Deferrals and Credits

IRS Provides Guidance for Payroll Tax Deferrals and Credits

FCC Funding Opportunity for Telehealth Equipment – Portal Open

Telehealth is becoming a necessary practice for healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, not all providers have the means to institute a telehealth program. In order to help non-profit and public healthcare providers utilize telehealth, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES Act) set aside $200 million in funds for telehealth equipment, broadband connectivity, and information services. The FCC has recently released a guidance document that describes how eligible providers can apply for this “COVID-19 Telehealth Program” and the portal for applying will open today, April 13, 2020 at 12:00 PM ET.

The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund: What We Know So Far…

The CARES Act that was signed into law of March 27, 2020 provides for the Provider Relief Fund, which set aside $100 billion in relief funds for healthcare providers with expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19. On April 9, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released the first round of $30 billion of funding. All healthcare providers that received Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019 should have received a distribution. Payments will be made via electronic payment. Providers that do not receive electronic payment will receive paper checks over the next few weeks.

Will Your Business be Keying More Credit Card Transactions as a Result of COVID-19?

In this hectic time and uncertainty, owners are making hard decisions regarding their businesses. Some are shutting down, while others are adapting to the daily life changes of COVID-19. Many medical practices are seeing patients on an emergency basis and others are starting to implement a telehealth approach.

CARES Act Offers Additional Funds to Healthcare Providers Offering Care, Diagnoses, or Testing Related to COVID-19

In order to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, a $100 billion fund, run through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF), has been made available to cover non-reimbursable costs attributable to COVID-19 under the CARES Act. This fund has been designed to get money into the health care system as quickly as possible. As such, applications will be reviewed, and payments will be made, on a rolling basis. HHS has been given significant flexibility in determining how the funds are to be allocated, as opposed to operating under a mandated formula or process for awarding the funds. While the Secretary of HHS has not yet released guidance on the application process, this is expected in the near future. BMD will provide updates as soon as this information becomes available.

COVID-19 Small Business Loan Relief Guidance - Updated April 8, 2020

Economic Action Plan for Clients Our legal and business crisis response team has collaborated with lending institutions in Ohio and Florida to advise small businesses with regard to the loans available due to the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. There are several loan options that may work for you, and we have also added a section for Frequently Asked Questions. For more information, please contact your primary BMD attorney and they would be happy to assist you in developing an Economic Relief Action plan for your business.

Paid Leave for Coronavirus: Department of Labor Issues Its Temporary FFCRA Rule

The Department of Labor issued its Temporary Rules under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) pertaining to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA). The rule became operational on April 1, 2020 and was officially published on April 6, 2020.

Updated: Employees Afraid to Work and Rapid-Fire Top Questions

The most frequently asked question our L+E team receives is along the lines of the following: What do I do with employees who are afraid to come to work because of COVID-19? Some studies have found that 40-50% of the workforce is concerned about going to work. It will be difficult to come up with a direct wrong answer. The issue is that any answer will have indirect consequences.

Florida’s “Stay-at-Home” Order and What it Means for Businesses

On April 1, 2020, in response to the State’s ongoing efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91, which is State-wide “Stay-at-Home” Order. The Order goes into effect Friday, April 3, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., and expires on April 30, 2020, unless extended by subsequent order (the full text of the order is available here).

CMS Offers New Stark Waivers and More Flexibility to Health Care Providers Due to COVID-19

On March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued several temporary regulatory waivers to further enable the American healthcare system to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with more efficiency and flexibility. The official publication can be found here: Physicians and Other Clinicians: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19.

#CancelRent – What’s Next for Landlords?

Across the country, residential tenants, small businesses, and even national retailers such as Cheesecake Factory, Subway, and Mattress Firm have declared war on their landlords by refusing to pay rent on account of the Covid-19 pandemic (“COVID-19”). This has sent shockwaves through the real-estate industry. As of April 1st, residential tenants owe an estimated $40 Billion in rent. Estimates for the commercial sector are not far off. So far, federal, state, and local measures have focused on providing relief to residential and commercial tenants and even to some commercial landlords.

Record Keeping Requirements to Receive FFCRA IRS Tax Credit

On April 1, 2020, the IRS and Department of Labor issued temporary regulations to provide clarity regarding the documents required by employees requesting leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the documentation that employers need to maintain.

Eviction & Foreclosure During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Like most areas of our society, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the business relationships between landlords and tenants and between lenders and borrowers. In most states, non-essential retailers and other businesses have closed their doors and are doing business online, to the extent that they can. Some businesses, like The Cheesecake Factory, have announced that they would not be paying rent at any of their locations for at least a month due to the pandemic. Landlords and homeowners are concerned about being able to pay their mortgages and tenants are concerned about being able paying their rent.

UPDATED: Impact Payment Breakdown: How Much Will I Get, When Will I Get It and What Do I Need to Do?

UPDATED: The IRS announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file a tax return will not need to file a return to receive the economic impact payments. These payments will automatically be deposited into their bank accounts. This only applies to individuals receiving social security. Other individuals who typically do not file a tax return will still need to submit a return in order to receive the economic impact payment.

CARES Act Expands Bankruptcy Options for Individuals and Small Businesses (1)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides a $2 trillion economic stimulus for US companies and citizens faced with the challenges of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The CARES Act also significantly expands existing bankruptcy options for small businesses by temporarily increasing certain debt limits set forth in the recently effective Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA).

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Calculation Sample

Sample calculation for the Paycheck Protection Program.

CARES Act Expands Bankruptcy Options for Individuals and Small Businesses

CARES Act Expands Bankruptcy Options for Individuals and Small Businesses

FDIC Provides Guidance on Loan Modifications & Workout Options for Borrowers Affected by COVID-19

On March 22, 2020, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) and other federal banking regulatory agencies, along with state banking regulators, the National Credit Union Administration Agency (NCUA), the regulator of credit unions, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued the Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting by Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus to encourage financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers impacted by the disease and to provide additional information regarding loan modifications. In summary, the policies give lenders or bankers substantially more latitude to work with affected borrowers by softening the regulatory and accounting impact of having delinquent or restructured credit.

CARES Act Changes Rules Governing Retirement Plans

Among the many other provisions of the CARES Act are those impacting retirement plans (including 401(k)s, profit sharing plans, and IRAs) in order to provide an influx of cash to struggling employees.

State of Ohio & Cities Extend Tax Filing Deadline

On March 27, Governor DeWine signed a bill passed by the legislature to provide tax relief to Ohio taxpayers.

Paycheck Protection - Designed to Offer Small Business Owners Relief Over the Next Few Weeks

The CARES Act is a massive piece of legislation. The emergency loan or Paycheck Protection provisions are one component designed to assist small businesses and keep them afloat during the current crisis. The emergency loans will be made under the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and are simply an expansion of its already existing 7(a) loan program. The loan process will be administered by the SBA through its local lending partners or approved SBA lenders. Over the next several days it is expected that the actual loan process will be further detailed by the SBA so that loans can be quickly processed.

Department of Labor Adds Q&A to FFCRA Guidance: Provider & Emergency Responder Leave Exceptions

Employer Alert: Excluding healthcare providers and emergency responders from the mandatory paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”), and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”)

FFCRA Amnesty, the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program & the Small Business Viability Exemption Provide Options for Employers

Over the past few days, employers have received options beyond terminating employees (RIFs, layoffs, furloughs, temporary terminations, etc.) in response to COVID-19 and leave concerns.

Stimulus Package Recap - What The CARES Act Means for You, Your Employees & Your Business

As BMD's Business Crisis Response Team shared in its report this weekend, the Stimulus package was passed by both the Senate and House this week. Phase III of the ‘‘Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ or the ‘‘CARES Act,’’ offers $2 trillion in economic relief to individuals and businesses affected by the Coronavirus epidemic. We identified the most significant areas of the bill that could impact or benefit your business.

Governor DeWine Signs Bill Tolling Statutes of Limitations During COVID-19 Emergency Period

During his March 27, 2020 press conference on Ohio’s ongoing efforts to respond to COVID-19, Governor Mike DeWine officially signed House Bill 197 into law. HB 197, which passed the Ohio House and Senate with unanimous bipartisan support, contains important provisions affecting the legal rights of litigants whose claims may be subject to the statutes of limitations enacted under the Ohio Revised Code.

Is Insurance Available for Coronavirus Losses?

The shutdown of non-essential businesses in Ohio and other states, as well as the economic impacts caused by the coronavirus, are forcing businesses to evaluate all options to keep their doors open and their staff employed. Many businesses are asking whether their insurance policies provide for the recovery of lost business income and expenses due to the coronavirus.

Exempt Organizations: Form 990s Due May 15 Have Not Been Extended

Although the IRS has automatically postponed the filing and payment deadline from April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020 for most taxpayer returns, the IRS notice specifically does not apply to any Federal informational return.

UPDATE: COVID-19 Considerations for the Construction Industry

The implications of COVID-19 for the construction industry are significant and rapidly evolving, since Governor Mike DeWine instructed Ohioans to “stay at home” via Order (the “Order”) effective March 23, 2020.

FFCRA Update: Implementation Date Accelerated from April 2 to April 1

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18, 2020, and provides several responses to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including providing for free coronavirus testing, giving a boost to funding for state unemployment compensation (subject to states waiving work search requirements and the waiting week), and leave for employees affected by coronavirus through the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. The FFCRA also provides refundable tax credits for employers providing the required paid family and sick leave to employees in connection with this public health emergency.

FFCRA & Payroll Tax Credit: How Does it Work?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) provides for refundable payroll tax credits for employers in order to assist with the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. These refundable payroll tax credits are designed to reimburse small and midsize employers for the cost of providing COVID-19-related leave to their employees. This tax credit goes into effect on April 1, 2020 and will remain in effect until December 31, 2020 unless extended or modified.

Florida HB 607 - APRNs Can Now Admit, Care, Discharge Patients without Physician Oversight

On March 11, 2020, lawmakers in both chambers of the Florida legislature passed House Bill 607 — legislation which would allow advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs, to single-handedly admit, care for, and discharge patients from medical facilities. This would effectively eliminate the need for physician oversight, a costly expense for independent nurse practitioners.

Ohio Permitting Deferral of Health Care Premiums for Employer Plans

Effective March 20, 2020 and continuing through the expiration of the state of emergency declared by Governor DeWine on March 9, 2020, the Ohio Department of Insurance is requiring all health insurance companies operating in Ohio to give their insureds the option of deferring premium payments coming due, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from each original premium due date. See Department of Insurance Bulletin 2020-03.

'Ask Us Anything' Employer FFCRA Update - Webinar Recording

In case you missed it, BMD's March 25 COVID-19 Employer Update Webinar included the latest information on FFCRA and leave policies. Presented by Jeffrey Miller and the Employment and Labor team of BMD, we received many great questions from Employer participants. Click here to listen.

Northern District Court of Ohio Closed to the Public Until May 1

Northern District Court of Ohio Closed to the Public Until May 1, 2020.

What Advance Notice Do I Need to Provide for a Reduction in Force or Layoff?

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN Act”), 29 U.S.C. 210l, et seq., offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring covered employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of reductions in force resulting from covered plant closings and mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government.

Attorney General Guidance on Open Meetings Act

Attorney General Dave Yost provided guidance on Open Meetings in light of the Coronavirus epidemic.

COVID-19 and Telehealth for Ohio and Florida

Over the last week, private insurers as well as federal and state healthcare programs have continued to issue updates to the provision of telehealth. In order to increase availability of appointments for a wide variety of services while also keeping patients and providers safe, many payors have expanded their telehealth offerings.

Ohio's Stay at Home Order & Florida's Executive Order

See the important details of the March 22nd Stay at Home Order for all Ohioans.

UPDATE: U.S. Treasury Secretary Announces Extended Tax Season

In a move for further relief for taxpayers, U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has announced the April 15, 2020 filing deadline has been extended.

Ohio Court Operations and Access During the Coronavirus Crisis

On March 19, 2020, Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor gave an update on the State Judicial Branch’s response to the coronavirus crisis at a press conference held by Governor Mike DeWine. As of the date of this update, individual courts within the State of Ohio have the authority to issue their own emergency procedures regarding court access, trials, hearings and filings during the coronavirus pandemic. Most municipal, county and appellate courts throughout Ohio have already issued orders changing the procedures to be followed until further notice. The Ohio Judicial Conference has an extensive list of links to these temporary local court rule changes at: http://www.ohiojudges.org/Resources/covid-19-emergency-planning.

OSHA and COVID-19: Workplace Exposures, Citations and Recording

Employer Safety & Health Recommendations, Potential Citations, and Recording Workplace Exposures

IRS Announces Coronavirus Relief

On March 18, the IRS released Notice 2020-17, Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic which sets forth the scope of the relief being granted taxpayers.

BMD COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Resource Guide

Providers - for the latest information related to Medicaid/Medicare, Telehealth, HIPAA, CPT Codes, as well as Ohio and Federal Information, click here for a comprehensive resource guide to navigating during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program for Small Businesses & Non-Profits in Ohio and Florida

The Ohio Development Services Agency and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity are preparing to qualify businesses in both states for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This program provides low interest loans up to $2 million in order to help businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue during the state of emergency.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Announces Some Relief for Taxpayers Due to Coronavirus

In an unprecedented move, U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has announced some limited relief for taxpayers in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 and Commercial Contracts: Is it Time to Modify?

The coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic will likely create hardship for parties attempting to perform under many types of commercial contracts. Significantly, contracts requiring travel and/or involving the provision of goods and services are likely to be substantially impaired or impacted.

COVID-19 & Your Construction Business - A Triage Checklist

Many business operations are shutting down at an alarming pace. The coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic is already impacting the construction industry and creating uncertainty for the progress of current and future projects. Small/mid-size businesses may not be in financial position to sustain prolonged economic revenue declines. Navigating the next few months will be vital in preserving existing business relationships and planning for future business when the conditions improve. BMD offers some practical advice to manage risks and take reasonable precautions during this pandemic. The following checklist is designed to help you identify prudent actions so you can successfully navigate the unknown

Coronavirus Update for Employers - March 16, 2020

The key point for Employers to remember: It will be difficult for Employers to make a wrong decision. The Coronavirus/COVID-19 is a “pandemic,”, which means that there is sustained human-to-human transmission which is not geographically contained. It also means that Employers are given leeway in their workforce decisions. “During a pandemic, employers should rely on the latest CDC and state or local public health assessments.” – EEOC Employers are expected to make their best efforts to obtain public health advice that is contemporaneous and appropriate for their location, and to make reasonable assessments of conditions in their workplace based on this information.

IRS Issues Guidance Relating to High Deductible Health Plans and Coronavirus Testing

In response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has released guidance in Notice 2020-15 relating to the testing and treatment for individuals covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).

Coronavirus Webinar Recap

OCR, HHS Issue 2020 HIPAA and Coronavirus Bulletin

The Office of Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a bulletin on HIPAA Privacy and Novel Coronavirus, including important insights around sharing patient information if an outbreak of infectious disease or other emergency situation arises. Note that the protections of the Privacy Rule are not void during an emergency.

Nation’s First Conviction Under EKRA

Last month, the Department of Justice announced its first ever guilty plea under the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act of 2018 (“EKRA”).

Employer Liability for Customer Conduct: Former PNC Bank employee receives $2.4M jury verdict

Earlier this month, PNC Bank was on the wrong end of a sexual harassment jury verdict in a claim brought by a former employee. Why is this case interesting to you? Two reasons: The former employee was sexually harassed, but not by a PNC employee; and, the sexual harassment did not occur within a PNC workplace.

Signet’s Anthony Manna: U.S. Deal Activity Remains Steady As China Responds To Coronavirus

“When SARS came around (in February 2003), China had about 4 percent of the global supply chain,” says Manna, founder, principal and chairman at the global private investment firm. “Now they have 16 percent, and you see this massive stimulus package being put in place to combat the coronavirus problem. China has already announced that they’re going to have more stimulus packages.”

Brennan, Manna & Diamond opens Stark office

As published in the Canton Repository, Tuesday, February 18, 2020 Akron-based law firm wants to serve existing and future Stark County customers. Summit County-based law firm Brennan Manna & Diamond has opened an office in Jackson Township.

Motor Carriers Beware - Lack of Written Independent Contractor Agreement Can Be Costly

Given recent changes in Ohio workers’ compensation law, “motor carriers” (as defined by Ohio law), operating in Ohio should carefully review their arrangements with independent contractor drivers and promptly implement changes to ensure compliance with statutory criteria.

Employers: Consider Important Deadlines for New H-1B Cap-Subject Foreign Worker Petitions

First-time new H-1B petitions or change of status petitions by employers can be filed for the upcoming U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) fiscal year in April 2020 as long as the individual for whom the petition is being filed is in lawful status at the time of filing, and has not engaged in any unauthorized employment since his or her last lawful admission.

Jeffrey C. Miller discusses "Guns and Drugs in the Workplace" at Legal Education event Feb. 20, 2020

On Thursday, February 20, 2020 at the Builder's Exchange Training Center in North Canton, Attorney Jeff Miller will be discussing guns and drugs in the workplace. Both are legal in Ohio, but what about the workplace? Jeff will discuss concealed carry and medical marijuana in the workplace, and employer options for addressing these emerging issues. In today's tight labor market, the correct policies and procedures on guns and drugs are crucial.

BMD Strengthens Presence with New Office in Canton, Ohio

CANTON, OHIO - Brennan Manna Diamond, LLC, a full-service law firm based in Akron, Ohio and with more than 70 attorneys, is expanding to Stark County. We are pleased to announce that we have opened a new office in Canton, Ohio. The new office is located at: 4518 Fulton Road, Suite 202, Canton, OH 44718.

Robert Hager Speaking at the Ohio Contractors Association's Annual Conference - Jan. 29 - Feb. 5, 2020

Attorney Robert Hager will be speaking at the Ohio Contractors Association's Annual Conference in Maui, Hawaii sharing a simple practical approach to build your business' legacy and leading an interactive session about best practices for collaboration, risk management, and claims avoidance.

CLIENT ALERT UPDATE: AHCA License Alert

IMPORTANT UPDATE: AHCA updated its website to clarify that all Behavior Analysis (“BA”) Groups have either (1) a health care clinic license or (2) an exemption from licensure as a health care clinic under Fla. Stat. 400.9905(4)(g) by December 1, 2020. Florida Medicaid has also updated Section 9.5, Appendix E of the Florida Medicaid Enrollment Policy, which confirms the December 1, 2020 date. This date extends the previously published date from July 1, 2020 to December 1, 2020.

FTC Supports Retiring the Ohio APRN Collaborative Agreement

As an industry leading advocate and general counsel for the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses, Brennan, Manna & Diamond attorney, Jeana M. Singleton, has been integral in efforts to bring an outdated regulatory structure into the 21st century by modernizing the law and expanding access to care.

AHCA License Alert: What Every Behavior Analysis Provider Should Know!

By July 1, 2020 the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (“AHCA”) will require that all Behavior Analysis (“BA”) Groups have either (1) a health care clinic license or (2) an exemption from licensure as a health care clinic under Fla. Stat. 400.9905(4)(g).

BMD Congratulates 2020 Ohio Super Lawyers and Ohio Rising Stars

BRENNAN, MANNA & DIAMOND is proud to announce RICHARD W. BURKE (Estate Planning and Probate),HAMILTON DeSAUSSURE, JR. (Business Litigation), ROBERT A. HAGER (Construction Litigation), DAVID J. HRINA (Business/Corporate), MICHAEL A. STEEL (Bankruptcy, Business) and RICHARD L. WILLIGER (Workers’ Compensation) have been selected as 2020 Ohio Super Lawyers by Law and Politics magazine, Northern Ohio Live magazine, and Cincinnati Magazine in their respective area of practice. BMD’s 2020 Rising Stars include: JUSTIN M. ALABURDA (Business Litigation), KYLE A. JOHNSON (Business Litigation), ALEX J. McCALLION (Business Litigation), CHRISTOPHER J. MEAGER (State/Local/Muni Law), BRANDON T. PAULEY (Business/Corporate) and DANIEL J. RUDARY (Business Litigation)

CLIENT ALERT: CMS Unveils New Price Transparency Rules

On November 15th, the Trump administration put forth two long-anticipated rules that increase price transparency for both hospitals and insurers. These rules are a step toward price transparency across the health care industry and are in furtherance of the Trump administration’s goal of empowering healthcare consumers. The finalized rule and the proposed rule strive to make pricing information more available to healthcare consumers so they can make informed health care decisions. Through price transparency, consumers should expect to see a reduction in healthcare costs in the future. In order to provide hospitals enough time for compliance with the new requirements, the effective date of the finalized rule is January 1, 2021. The comment period for the proposed rule is open until January 14, 2020.

Ohio's "One Bite" Program Changes

The Ohio Medical Board has for some years had a “One Bite” program where a physician with a substance problem could undergo treatment. The treatment was private and not disclosed to the Medical Board. If the problem was later disclosed, the physician obtaining treatment would avoid sanctions from the Medical Board.

Congratulations to Duriya Dhinojwala and Michael Steel

Attorneys Duriya Dhinojwala and Michael Steel recognized at Pro Bono Attorney's of the Year this evening at the 67th Annual Community Legal Aid Anniversary Celebration.

Jury Awards Care Center $225,000

Congratulations to Scott Sandrock on the jury verdict in favor of our client. The verdict stems from the lawsuit filed on behalf of our client against Spectrum Cable for fraud in connection with business services. The jury awarded Plaintiff $22,000 for compensatory damages, plus $225,000 in punitive damages and recovery of attorney fees in favor of our client.

CLIENT ALERT: IRS Announces 401(k) and HSA Contribution Limits for 2020

With 2020 just around the corner, the IRS announced important information for the upcoming year for both 401(k) Contributions and Health Saving Accounts (HSAs).

BMD Beefs Up its Attorney Force with 7 New Hires

Founded in 2000 by three entrepreneurial and business-minded attorneys to provide a legal platform for companies and entrepreneurs in a wide variety of industries, Brennan Manna Diamond (BMD) has been in growth mode ever since. The firm, which began in Akron with just seven attorneys, now has three Ohio and two Florida offices as well as an international location in Shanghai, China through a joint venture with the law firm Jade & Fountain. BMD recently added seven more lawyers, six who are located in the Akron office.

Akron Devil Strip Becomes First US News Co-op

Starting Nov. 1, Akronites can become part owners of The Akron Devil Strip. With the legal guidance of BMD's legal team, Matthew A. Heinle, Esq. and Michael D. De Matteis, Esq., the arts and culture magazine is breaking ground as the first news co-op in the United States.

CLIENT ALERT: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division Sets Enforcement Record

In advance of Halloween, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the results of its Wage and Hour Division's (WHD) recovery efforts for Fiscal Year 2019, and it reads like a horror story. The good news to lull you into a feeling of safety was that the 18,844 Complaints Registered was the fewest amount over the past 22 years or published records.

Community Legal Aid honoring BMD Attorneys Duriya Dhinojwala and Michael Steel "Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year"

Community Legal Aid honoring BMD Attorneys Duriya Dhinojwala and Michael Steel "Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year"

CLIENT ALERT: Will Ohio Recognize a Biddle Claim in a Post-HIPAA World?

OHIO SUPREME COURT WILL HEAR CASE INVOLVING CLASS ACTION FOR ALLEGED HIPAA VIOLATIONS: Will Ohio Recognize a Biddle Claim in a Post-HIPAA World?

CLIENT ALERT: Proposed New Rules to both the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute

On October 9, 2019, as part of the “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinate Care,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), along with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (“OIG”), proposed new rules to both the physician self-referral law (“Stark Law”) and the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”). Rule changes are aimed at fostering innovative arrangements for coordinating care consistent with a shift to a value-based system. Both proposed rules are expected to be published to the Federal Register on October 17, 2019. Public comments are due 75 days after publication.

Brennan Manna Diamond Welcomes Seven New Attorneys

Brennan Manna Diamond (BMD) is pleased to welcome the following attorneys: in our Akron office, Blake R. Gerney, David J. Hrina, Matthew R. Duncan, Hamilton DeSaussure, Jr., Stephen E. Matasich and Paul C. Filon; and in our Cleveland office, Russell T. Rendall.

CLIENT ALERT: New Overtime Rule Raises Minimum Salary Requirements and Other Changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its Final Rule updating the regulations under the Fair Labor Standard Act: Effective January 1, 2020, employees who make less than $35,568 are now eligible for overtime pay under a final rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”). The DOL expects 1.3 million workers to become newly eligible for overtime by updating the thresholds. The new rule will raise the salary threshold to $684 per week ($35,568 annualized) from $455 per week. This means that even if your employee qualifies under one of the overtime exemptions, if the employee is not earning at least $684/week, the employee will be eligible for overtime and minimum wage requirements.

Akron is among cities where GenXers are best off

Akron is among cities where GenXers are best off

Rik Williger Named 2020 "Lawyer of the Year"

Rik Williger named "Lawyer of the Year" 2020

Luke Palmer named to Leadership Columbus Class of 2020

Lucas Palmer named to the Leadership Columbus Class of 2020

It's Always Risk Management Season in the Construction Industry

For the second time in just nine months, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a major decision affecting project-related risk and exposure for members of Ohio’s construction industry.

Blockchain in Healthcare

Martin Pangrace and Jeana Singleton presented at the Inaugural Midwest Telehealth Resource Center Annual Conference held July 23-24, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana.

CLIENT ALERT: BWC issuing $1.5 billion in premium refunds to Ohio employers

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has now reported that the Board of Directors approved a proposal to send $1.5 billion of the agency’s revenues to Ohio employers covered by the BWC system.

BMD Attorney Michael Steel selected for Leadership Akron Signature Class 36

Leadership Akron has selected a class of 40 leaders for its 2019/2020 Signature Program which includes BMD Attorney, Michael Steel. The class reflects a diverse representation of participants from Greater Akron’s business, government, and nonprofit sectors.

Amanda L. Waesch recognized by NSCHBC at 2019 Annual Meeting

At this year's National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultant's Annual Meeting held St. Louis, Missouri, Amanda L. Waesch was awarded the Lenny Schwartz Go-Getter Award.

Amanda L. Waesch 2019 Recipient of the ATHENA Akron Award

Amanda L. Waesch received the ATHENA Akron award recognizing women leaders new to their posit

CLIENT ALERT: Medicare Providers having multiple locations should verify and revalidate their address information to avoid claim denials

MLN Matters SE19007 “Activation of Systematic Validation Edits for OPPS Providers with Multiple Service Locations” notifies providers that Medicare is now requiring the exact match of all addresses for practice locations that are listed on provider claim submissions to Medicare.

Planning for Vacation, Planning for Health

When thinking about the joint replacement space, it seems logical that such an event deserves at least the same amount of preparation (if not more) as a summer vacation, particularly since it will probably be more expensive and more life changing than the typical summer vacation.

BMD welcomes Chelsea Niggel to Akron office

BMD is proud to announce that attorney Chelsea M. Niggel has joined the firm as associate in the firm's Akron office focusing her practice on healthcare, business and corporate matters and intellectual property.

BMD Sponsors Ruhlin Clays Classic Benefiting the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Foundation

BMD was a proud sponsor of this year's 4th Annual Rhulin Clays Classic.

CLIENT ALERT: Capitalizing on New Opportunity Zone Incentives to Spur Economic Development

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

Journey of an International Attorney in Columbus

Journey of an International Attorney in Columbus

Giving Peace of Mind: BMD co-hosts free legal clinic with Legal Aid

BMD co-hosts free Community Law Clinic with Legal Aid

CLIENT ALERT: HB 159 - Regulatory Indemnity Provisions in Public Works Design Contracts

Representative Louis W. Blessing III (R-Colerain Township) recently introduced HB 159 to regulate the use of indemnity provisions in professional design contracts related to public improvements. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to prohibit public agencies from requiring design professionals to indemnify them from claims which are not attributable to negligent or other wrongful conduct on the part of the design professional.

Brandon Pauley Represents Residents in Proposed Mixed Use Development Zoning Matter in Columbus

A group of neighbors has organized in opposition to a proposed mixed-use development in Schumacher Place. Brandon Pauley represents the residents.

Eviction? Foreclosure? Akronites Seek Legal Help at Free Clinic

Housing issues dominated a legal clinic over the weekend in Akron's Middlebury neighborhood, with people seeking free help on how to handle everything from foreclosures to evictions. The clinic was organized by Community Legal Aid and included more than a dozen attorneys who volunteered their time to work with close to 70 people, mostly from Summit County.

Akron law firm, Legal Aid co-hosting free legal clinic

For the second year in a row, Brennan, Manna and Diamond LLC is partnering with Community Legal Aid to become a law firm on wheels for low-income Summit County residents.

The Massive Medicare Appeals Backlog is Significantly Harming Providers, What You Can Do To Stop It

Few occurrences in healthcare billing and coding will bring instant anxiety as receiving an overpayment demand from one of CMS’ contractors. We all know that we are lucky if we make it through the first two levels of appeal (Redetermination-Level 1 and Reconsideration-Level 2) with 100% success on all claims, even if every claim was billed correctly.

BMD and Community Legal Aid 2nd Annual Free Neighborhood Law Clinic - March 23, 2019

The law firm, Brennan, Manna and Diamond LLC (“BMD”), is again teaming up with Community Legal Aid to host a free legal clinic.

Medical Records Update

In order to help standardize forms to authorize the release of medical records, the Ohio Legislature directed the Ohio Medicaid Department to develop a standardized form to be used by healthcare providers which would authorize the release of medical information in compliance with provisions of HIPAA, state law and the substance abuse and other disorder regulations. Ohio Medicaid has issued a standardized form which use will be effective February 1, 2019.

Unprecedented Medicare Reversal Victory for BMD's Health Law Department

BMD's RAC Team, lead by attorney, Amanda L. Waesch, reversed a $3.6 million over-payment at Level 1.

BMD Congratulates Tony Manna and Signet Capital Advisors - 2018 ACG Deal of the Year

BMD Congratulates Tony Manna and Signet Capital Advisors - 2018 ACG Deal of the Year

BMD Making a Real Impact through the Bridges Program

When the State of Ohio announced the Bridges Program in early 2018, it was an opportunity for real change - it was a commitment to change the narrative for young adults in the foster care system. The program is designed to help young adults aging out of the foster care system prepare for adulthood. BMD has been at the forefront of this initiative providing legal support for the program.

BMD Making a Real Impact for Young Adults through the State of Ohio Bridges Program

When the State of Ohio announced the Bridges Program in early 2018, it was an opportunity for real change - it was a commitment to change the narrative for our young adults in the foster care system. The program is designed to help young adults aging out of the foster care system prepare for adulthood. BMD has been at the forefront of this initiative providing legal support for the program.

BMD 2019 OHIO SUPER LAWYERS AND OHIO RISING STARS

BRENNAN, MANNA & DIAMOND is proud to announce RICHARD W. BURKE (Estate Planning and Probate), ROBERT A. HAGER (Construction Litigation), MICHAEL A. STEEL (Bankruptcy, Business) and RICHARD L. WILLIGER (Workers’ Compensation, Employment & Labor) have been selected as 2019 Ohio Super Lawyers by Law and Politics magazine, Northern Ohio Live magazine, and Cincinnati Magazine in their respective area of practice. BMD’s 2019 Rising Stars include: JUSTIN M. ALABURDA (Business Litigation), VICTORIA L. FERRISE (Government Relations), ALEX J. McCALLION (Business Litigation), BRANDON T. PAULEY (Business/Corporate) and DANIEL J. RUDARY (Business Litigation)

Family and Friends Remember Brennan Manna Diamond co-Founder

At 6 fee 6 inches and wearing a white cowboy hat, Brennan Manna Diamond co-founder David L. Brennan was known for rescuing failing businesses and blighted areas and initiating and shepherding Ohio's school choice movement.

CLIENT ALERT: Construction Law Update: Communication is Key! And Other Lessons Learned From A Recent Public Project Court Decision

In a recent decision, the Ohio Court of Claims entered a $2.2 million judgment in favor of the general trades contractor, and against a public university, in connection with an on-campus renovation project. Mid American Construction, LLC v. Univ. of Akron, Ct. of Cl. No. 2016-00685JD, 2018-Ohio-4513.

CLIENT ALERT: Ohio Incentivizes Cybersecurity Measures

On November 2, 2018, Ohio’s Data Protection Act (“DPA”) went into effect. The DPA incentivizes Ohio businesses to proactively address cybersecurity and data protection by providing an affirmative defense/safe harbor for claims related to data breach. However, the safe harbor is only applicable if the organization can prove “reasonable compliance” to the DPA.

Employment Based First Preference (EB1)

BMD has a team of experienced immigration attorneys with a collective knowledge of over fifty years to assist and guide U.S. banks, companies, individuals, universities, colleges, hospitals and institutions obtain the appropriate work visa or employment based permanent residency.

CLIENT ALERT: Update on Discrimination

The “#metoo” presence and the recent Kavanaugh confirmation hearings have brought sexual discrimination issues to the forefront of the American mind. Always an incendiary and confusing topic, it also includes various permutations of issues involving sex, sex stereotyping, sexual orientation, and transgender situations.

CLIENT ALERT: Ohio Supreme Court Rules that a Subcontractor's Construction Defects are Not a Covered "Occurrence" Under a CGL Policy

Although a growing number of states have held that CGL policies provide coverage for damages caused by the defective work of subcontractors, the Ohio Supreme Court has refused to join the national trend. In Ohio N. Univ. v. Charles Constr. Servs., Inc., 2018-Ohio-4057, the Ohio Supreme Court recently ruled that a subcontractor’s faulty workmanship is not a covered “occurrence” under a typical CGL policy.

Amanda Waesch Weighs in on Leasing v. Buying Medical Office Space

Amanda Waesch weighs in on leasing v. buying medical office space

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.

BMD's 2018 Florida Rising Stars

BRENNAN, MANNA & DIAMOND is proud to announce MATTHEW T. JACKSON and JOSHUA R. La BOUEF, have been selected as 2018 Florida Rising Stars for Business Litigation.

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.

How bringing baseball to Akron launched a career of dealmaking

Baseball changed Tony Manna’s life. More specifically, bringing minor league baseball — and a new stadium — to Akron. “When I completed that deal, I remember a guy told me, ‘Your whole life is going to change because of this deal and the notoriety that comes with it,’” recalls the CEO of real estate developer Signet LLC. “He was absolutely right about that.” In this week’s Master Dealmaker, Tony shares his approach to dealmaking, the team he’s built and how pillow talk can play in the success or failure of a business deal.

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).

CLIENT ALERT: Prohibition on Recoupment Prior to Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

In April, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Family Rehabilitation, Inc. v. Azar No. 17-11337 (5th Cir. 2018), held that district courts are authorized to enjoin the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and its contractors from recouping alleged overpayments prior to the completion of the administrative appeal process.

CLIENT ALERT: Low Volume Appeals Settlement for RAC Appeals

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a new settlement proposal to providers with outstanding appeals at the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (“OMHA”) and the Medicare Appeals Council (“MAC”). Essentially, CMS is offering to pay up to 62% of the claim to the provider for qualifying claims that are currently in the appeal process. Interested providers may submit an Expression of Interest (“EOI”) to CMS by June 8, 2018. Providers should explore this settlement opportunity and submit an EOI to receive an offer of settlement. Providers may decline the offer after the EOI is submitted. Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC’s Provider Relations, Audit, and Appeals Unit, a division of its Healthcare Department, is able to assist providers with filing the EOI, analyzing the outstanding claims subject to the settlement, and reviewing the Administrative Agreement that is offered by CMS.

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.

BMD Partnering with Community Legal Aid to Help Low Income Akron Residents

Legal Aid, a nonprofit law firm, is teaming up with Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC (“BMD”), to take legal help into the community. The demand for Legal Aid services continues to grow and the need for quality legal counsel is great. BMD understands and appreciates the challenges faced by Legal Aid and proudly stands ready to help meet the needs of those in the community.

Medical Marijuana Rules and You

The Ohio Medical Board has adopted regulations in conjunction with the Ohio Pharmacy Board that would govern physicians who may elect to participate under the Ohio Medical Marijuana statutes.

Social Enterprises Show Us that Business with a Purpose is Possible

On Feb. 17, the Young Lawyers Section of The Jacksonville Bar Association held its Ninth Annual Young Lawyers Section Chili Cook-Off at the Riverside Arts Market, which benefited Rethreaded, a local nonprofit.

BMD's Daphne Kackloudis Drafting Legislation Seeking Additional Funding for Children Born Addicted to Opioids

BMD's Daphne Kackloudis has been working with her client, Brigid's Path, to help them gain access to additional federal funds for their mission. She has drafted legislation which would do just that. The CRIB Act would amend the Social Security Act to allow Medicaid reimbursement for residential pediatric recovery centers such as Brigid's Path. Congressman Turner is going to ask Sen. Portman to amend his opioid bill (CARA 2.0) to include the CRIB Act.

NLRB Reverses its Reversal of 2015 Browning-Ferris Joint Employer Decision

NLRB Reverses its Reversal of 2015 Browning-Ferris Joint Employer Decision

Scott Sandrock Awarded the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award

BMD is proud to recognize its member Scott P. Sandrock being awarded the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America. This award recognizes Eagle Scouts who have later achieved distinction in their professional careers and leadership through community service. A limited number of these awards are presented annually. The Award was presented at the Annual Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner in January.

BMD Obtains Dismissal of ADA Title III Suit Against National Outlet Mall Chain

On January 12, 2018, Brennan, Manna & Diamond obtained the dismissal of an Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) lawsuit filed against Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The suit, which was brought under Title III of the ADA, alleged that Tanger’s Byron Center, Michigan outlet mall contained barriers to access in violation of the ADA’s accessibility requirements. The plaintiff demanded prospective injunctive relief, including a retrofit of the entire mall, as well as expert witness and attorneys’ fees.

Highlights from the BMD Healthcare Leadership Summit Held in Orlando, FL, January 11, 2018 - January 13, 2018

BMD's 2nd Annual Healthcare Leadership Innovation Summit theme focused on entrepreneurism in healthcare as we sought to reach various specialties and stakeholders within the healthcare industry. There were 3 days of insightful programming and exclusive networking

Ohio’s Statute of Repose: Is it Really a Bar to All Construction Claims?

In response to the increase in common-law claims against architects and contractors brought by third parties who lacked “privity of contract”, many states enacted a construction statute of repose. A statute of repose is intended to forever bar claims for certain injuries or damages after a set period of time following substantial completion. Subject to certain exceptions, the primary distinction between a statute of repose and statute of limitations is that a statute of repose begins to run regardless of whether one is aware of a defect.

BMD Seeking Recovery for Opioid Losses on behalf of Summit County and its Political Subdivisions

As the opioid epidemic continues to take its toll on our community, its resources and straining the already tight budgets, Brennan Manna & Diamond, on behalf of Summit County and its political subdivisions, filed a complaint against those companies that make or distribute prescription opioids seeking recovery of the County's losses as a result of the opioid crisis.

CLIENT ALERT: Bureau of Workers' Compensation Budget Amends Law

Bureau of Workers' Compensation Budget Amends Law As we head into 2018, you should be aware of some recent changes made in Ohio’s laws concerning Workers’ Compensation. These changes became effective September 29, 2017. Some will affect business more than others, but these are changes you should really know about.

Client Alert: NLRB Reverses 2015 Browning-Ferris Joint Employer Decision

The NLRB issued a 3-2 decision reversing the Board’s standard for joint employment in collective bargaining that it issued in the 2015 Browning-Ferris decision. That controversial decision by the liberal leaning Board overturned years of precedent and significantly expanded the definition of joint employment. The decision spurred legislation (H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act) to overturn the expansive definition, and replace it with a far more narrow and proper definition of joint employment.

BMD 2018 OHIO SUPER LAWYERS AND OHIO RISING STARS

BMD 2018 Super Lawyers and Ohio Rising Stars

Ohio Court of Appeals Upholds Sanctions for Attorney’s Frivolous Conduct

On August 28, 2017, the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District upheld a trial court’s order imposing frivolous conduct sanctions in the amount of $22,926.72 on a plaintiff’s attorney and his law firm in the case of Keith-Harper v. Lake Hosp. Sys., Inc., --- N.E.3d ----, 2017-Ohio-7361 (11th Dist. Lake).

BMD an Early Adopter of the City of Columbus' "Pay Equity Pledge"

BMD an Early Adopter of the City of Columbus "Pay Equity Pledge"

Supreme Court Upholds "Apology" Statute Protection

Supreme Court Upholds "Apology" Statute Protection

The Impact of the 2008 ADA Amendments on the Definition of "Substantial Limitation" Under the Ohio Civil Rights Act

The Impact of the 2008 ADA Amendments on the Definition of “Substantially Limitation” Under the Ohio Civil Rights Act

Daphne Kackloudis Helps Celebrating Opening of Newborn Facility Center in Dayton, Ohio

Daphne Kackloudis Weighs in on Ohio's Issue 2

Ohio's Issue 2 is on the ballot.

The Truth about ZPICs - Why Oversight is Needed

6 Reasons Akron, Ohio Should Be On Your Radar

6 Reasons Akron, Ohio Should Be On Your Radar

According to Research Some of the Smartest People Reside in Akron, Ohio

Smartest People Reside in Akron, Ohio

Martin Pangrace and Catherine McCain Presenting at AIA Contract Document Workshop - September 26, 2017

Daphne Saneholtz Discusses ACA Repeal and Effects on Ohioans

The latest roadblock in efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act has many Ohioans living with HIV and AIDS relieved, but still concerned about what's next.

EFFECTIVE July 24, 2017: USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt Petitions

BMD's Christopher Walker Helps Connect Veterans with Housing Options

Christopher Walker, a partner with BMD, is currently representing the Invest in America's Veterans Foundation, an organization that strives to provide a "head start" for veterans that involves the least amount of "red tape" possible.

Robert A. Hager Awarded the John Carroll University 2017 Alumni Medal

Robert A. Hager awarded the John Carroll University 2017 Alumni Medal

EFFECTIVE April 3, 2017: USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification.

Ohio Court of Claims Explains Surety’s Obligations After Contractor Default

A surety thinking of funding its bankrupt principal for the purpose of completing a project should take notice of the recent decision in Jutte Elec., Ltd v. Ohio Facilitates Constr. Comm.

New Akron Legislation Aims to Increase Income Tax Revenue Through Construction Contractor Registrations

The City of Akron recently passed three new pieces of legislation aimed at boosting city coffers by requiring contractors to take additional steps prior to performing work in the city.

BMD Recognized for Health Law Practice

“Ever since its founding in 2000, attorneys at Brennan, Manna & Diamond have focused on offering a full range of services to all the firm’s clients, including developing industry-specific practice areas like healthcare,” said Matt Heinle, co-managing partner at the firm.

President Trump’s Effect on the Workplace

When President-elect Trump takes office, what can employers expect? What will be the effect of his presidency on the workplace and workforce? The probabilities and possibilities range from minor to major changes, with both short and long-term effects.

Defining Concierge and Boutique Medicine

Amanda L. Waesch, Partner at Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC, Akron, Ohio, shared with the Stark County Medical Society Membership alternative physician practice structures, pros and cons of each structure, and the differences between Institutional Providers and Concierge Medicine.

How artificial intelligence relates to the legal profession

Legal research has changed. An attorney who started his career dredging through books can now instantly consult vast databases, saving countless man hours. Soon, however, it may need not involve the man at all.

NLRB Ruling re: Private University Labor Update

Graduate students employed by private universities are permitted to unionize under federal law.

Urine Drug Testing Best Practices

The purpose of this suggested compliance plan is to provide guidance and best practices for prescribers of opiates and benzodiazepines. Compliance with OARRS is required. In addition, urine drug testing (UDT) among pain management physicians, OBGYNs, psychiatrists, and orthopedics is a useful tool that can not only assist in diagnostic and therapeutic decision making, but can also be used as a personal risk reduction tool for those physicians prescribing pain medications.

Duty to Preserve ESI: The Stakes Just Got Higher

A recent federal court decision highlights the potentially severe consequences for companies that do not take the proper steps to preserve electronically stored information (“ESI”) in anticipation of or in connection with litigation.

Affordable Care Act Nondiscrimination Final Rule

On May 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“Section 1557”) protecting individuals from discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping (the “Rule”).

It Is Time To Update Your Compliance Plans

In 1997, the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) began to actively promote that health care providers adopt written compliance plans to assist providers to follow government rules and regulations regarding health care.

Ohio Supreme Court Liquidated Damages Analysis: Hindsight is not 2020!

In a case decided on February 24, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court construed the enforceability of a liquidated damages provision in a public works construction contract. The Court held that when evaluating the enforceability of a liquidated damages provision in a construction contract, the court must conduct its analysis prospectively, based on the per diem amount of the liquidated damages at the time the contract is executed, and not retrospectively, based on the total amount of liquidated damages that ultimately accrue.

Holy Toledo! Claims Waived Under Article 8

In a February 2, 2016 decision, the Tenth District Court of Appeals in Franklin County affirmed the Court of Claims and upheld the decision to deny an electrical contractor’s claims against the University of Toledo because they were not timely asserted.

HIPAA Compliance Update

HIPAA compliance has been a part of the regulatory landscape of healthcare since the privacy rules became effective in 2003. Since that time, most providers have taken steps to develop their compliance plans, including distributing notices of privacy practices, obtaining authorizations for release of information as needed, and obtaining business associate agreements from third parties.

Bar Bulletin: Young lawyers, it’s never too early to start building your future

Regardless of whether you are just out of law school or an attorney who has been practicing for five years, you can start taking steps toward building your future as a well-rounded lawyer.

Changes to Physician Assistant Requirements Under SB 110

On July 16, 2015 Governor Kasich signed Senate Bill 110 into law, which will become effective October 15, 2015. This bill seeks to modernize physician assistant practices.

U.S. Supreme Court Reed Decision: Direct Impacts on Local Sign Regulation

Speaking at today’s Northeast Ohio Law Directors Association monthly meeting, Robert A. Hager, member of the firm Brennan, Manna & Diamond in Akron, will be participating on a panel of experts presenting and analyzing the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, wherein the Court struck down as unconstitutional under the First Amendment the Town’s sign ordinance based on it not being content neutral and, therefore, not surviving strict scrutiny under the Court’s test for non-content neutral regulations.

The National Labor Relations Board “Joint Employer” Ruling

On August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released a ruling in the Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. case, in which the NLRB revised its standard for determining joint employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Board of Nursing Investigations: Survival Tips

One of the most sensitive relationships an advanced practice nurse (APN) holds in Ohio is with the Ohio Board of Nursing (“Board”). The Board holds regulatory authority over all Ohio licensed and certified APNs, registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and, most recently, dialysis technicians. It exists solely to enforce laws and rules that regulate the nursing profession in Ohio, and its top priorities are to efficiently license nurses in Ohio and to protect Ohio patients from dangerous practitioners. Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in disciplinary actions pursued by Ohio’s licensing boards, including the Ohio Board of Nursing. Between 2009 and 2011, the Board received 7,726 complaints including those related to substandard practice, drug theft, substance abuse, and patient abuse. Further, the approximately 2,503 licensees and certificate holders who were disciplined were assigned to Board staff for monitoring in 2010.

Brunell Chapter 11 ‘sign of the times’

Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization isn’t the first, and very likely won’t be the last, higher-income person seeking protection from creditors.

River health rates high on new Jacksonville City Council president’s list

River health rates high on new Jacksonville City Council president’s list Jack Webb said his year as Jacksonville City Council president will focus on the health of the St. Johns River, fiscal reform and revising the city charter. Webb acknowledged during his installation speech Thursday that leading the council through another tough financial year will be a challenge. “This is one of, if not, the most difficult times to be a public servant,” he said.

Changing Employers? Keep Your Tail Covered!

A common question regarding employment, and particularly changes in employment, revolves around the idea of tail insurance coverage. As such, this issue’s legal column explores what tail coverage is, why you need it, and who pays for it.

HIPAA Changes Alert – 2009

Just when you and your staff are finally getting comfortable with compliance with HIPAA and the Security Standards in your offices, the government has adopted new rules which will require you to make changes to your plans with the first changes to go into effect in September, 2009.

So You Want to Own Your Own Practice

Many practitioners hold the dream of one day owning their own practice. While hanging your own shingle and being your own boss may seem simple, the success of your practice will depend largely on the strength of the foundation you lay prior to opening your doors for business. As such, I have put together a simple checklist of items to consider prior to embarking on your professional dream of independent practice.

Employment Contracts 101: Paving the Path before Walking Down It

One of the most common adventures I navigate with my advanced practice nurse (APN) clients is the negotiation of employment contracts. Long before an APN signs an employment contract, it is important to consider the interaction of personal and professional goals. To examine these areas, the APN may ask questions such as: (1) Is this geographic location desirable for me (and my family)? (2) What type of work environment is attractive? (i.e., hospital, clinic, private practice with a physician, an APN practice, etc.) (3) Is the monetary compensation adequate to meet my needs? (4) What is the employee retention rate at this practice? Is there high employee turnover?

Physicians Obtain New Contract Rights – Ohio House Bill 125

The Ohio Health Care Simplification Act (House Bill 125) was signed into law on May 25, 2008. This Bill is the result of almost two years of legislative action promoted by the Ohio State Medical Association to provide some level of protection to physicians as they contract with managed care plans.

The FACTA Is…Are You in Compliance

In response to the growing number of identity thefts Congress enacted the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA). FACTA was enacted to help prevent identity theft, both personal and medical, and was designed to supervise the personal confidential financial information that is generated in consumer transactions.