Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

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

The Provider Relief Funds (“PRF”) - authorized under the CARES Act - have 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.

A single audit analyzes how an organization spends federal funds. Under the PRF, providers have two audit options: (1) a single audit on the financial statements of the entity; or (2) a program-specific single audit on just the revenue and expenditures related to PRF payments.

The federal government has an interest in certifying disbursed funds are properly used and put towards their intended purpose. Auditors review a wide range of criteria, including eligibility, cash management and engaging in allowable expenses. Reviewers will examine all documentation related to the use of PRF dollars, including, but not limited to, invoices, contracts, balance sheets, and other accounting records. To help expedite the audit process, providers are encouraged to keep organized and detailed documentation and track every cent of spending. Providers should be ready to connect an expense to the intended purpose of the funding. BMD has created a Provider Relief Fund Policy as well as a spreadsheet to assist providers in tracking expenses, revenues, and appropriate use of PRF.

A single audit is often due within 9 months after the end of the audit period. Since the PRF covers the 2020 calendar year, a single audit related to these funds should be completed by September 2021. Extensions may be granted on a case-by-case. Providers should anticipate an audit to take anywhere between 3-7 days.

Please contact BMD Healthcare and Hospital Law Member, Amanda Waesch at alwaesch@bmdllc.com or 330-253-9185 if you have any questions regarding PRF audits, which audit type might be best for your practice, or any other general CARES Act and PRF questions.

Changes to Physician Assistant Statutes in Florida

In the last year, there have been many changes to the scope of practice and collaboration/supervision requirements for advanced practice providers such as APRNs and physician assistants in the state of Florida. In a previous Client Alert we discussed House Bill 607, which expanded the autonomous practice of APRNs providing primary care services in Florida.

Ohio Senate Bill 49 – Ohio Expands Lien Rights for Design Professionals

Effective September 30, 2021, Ohio granted limited lien rights to design professionals, including architects, landscape architects, engineers, and surveyors. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 49 into law on July 1, 2021. This new law established a statutory right to lien commercial real estate by Ohio design professionals who, until now, could not file a lien for non-payment of professional services. Senator Vernon Sykes, a primary sponsor of Senate Bill 49, stated that the “legislation ensures that architects, engineers and other designers will get paid for their work, regardless of the outcome of their projects . . . It will support hardworking Ohioans by protecting the value of their labor . . ..”

Primary Care Practice Officially Defined in Florida for APRNs Practicing Autonomously

As many providers in Florida are aware, House Bill 607 (the “Bill”), which was passed in February of last year, gives certain APRNs in Florida the ability to practice autonomously. The only catch is that they must work in primary practice. When the Bill was initially passed, there was question as to what was exactly considered primary care, absent a definition from the Florida Board of Nursing. However, as of February 25, 2021, “primary care practice” has officially been defined.

Part II of the No Surprises Act

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published Part II of the No Surprises Act on September 30, 2021, which will take effect on January 1, 2022. The new guidance, in large part, focuses on the independent dispute resolution process that was briefly mentioned in Part I of the Act. In addition, there is now guidance on good faith estimate requirements, the patient-provider dispute resolution processes, and added external review provisions.

Safer Federal Workforce Task Force - Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force has issued its Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors (Guidance). Note that the Guidance applies only to “covered contracts,” which are contracts that include the clause (Clause) set forth in Sec. 2(a) of Executive Order 14042 (Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors). The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FARC) is to conduct rulemaking and take related action to ensure that the Clause is incorporated into federal contracts. Until that happens, federal contractors likely will not see the Clause in its contracts. Following is a broad summary of the Guidance.