Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

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).

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).

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”).

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.

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.

Client Alert: 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).

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.