Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

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

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

 

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

 

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

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.