Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Congress Passes Another Round of Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses

Today 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.

Most notably, the new legislation adds $310 billion to the PPP. Of these funds, $2.1 billion are earmarked for salaries and expenses to administer programs related to the coronavirus, $50 billion will go towards the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) program, and $10 billion is set aside for Emergency EIDL grants/advances.

Further, the bill provides $100 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. These funds include $75 billion to reimburse health care providers for health care related expenses (e.g., building/construction of temporary structures, leasing of properties, medical supplies, equipment, increased workforce and training, and surge capacity) or lost revenues that are attributable to the coronavirus. This relief is available for Medicare/Medicaid enrolled providers, including physician practices and hospitals that are diagnosing, treating, and caring for actual/potential coronavirus patients and the method of dispersal will be announced soon. The other $25 billion is set for expenses to research, develop, and manufacture coronavirus tests and increase the country’s testing capacity. Increased testing dollars are spread amongst the states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, Community Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, and testing for the uninsured.

Please contact a BMD attorney should you have any additional questions regarding this new economic stimulus bill, questions on how to take advantage or apply for these programs, or general questions related to the coronavirus and its economic impact.

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.