Client Alerts, News Articles, Blog Posts, & Multimedia

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Direct Support Professional Retention Payments

Client Alert

On December 15, the Ohio Senate and House passed House Bill 45, which authorizes the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), in conjunction with the county boards of developmental disabilities, to launch their initiative to issue retention payments to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). These retention payments will be distributed quarterly to participating home and community-based waiver providers to address the workforce crisis in the direct provider sector. Governor DeWine needs to sign the Bill to begin the payments, but he is expected to do so by the end of 2022.

Who is eligible?

Agency and independent providers in good standing that have received claim payments for the eligible services during the applicable calendar quarter will be eligible for an automatic retention payment. Eligible services include:

  • Homemaker/Personal Care (HP),
  • HPC-Daily Billing Unit,
  • HPC-Participant-Directed,
  • On-Site/On-Call,
  • Shared Living,
  • Transportation (Medical & Non-Medical),
  • Adult Day Support,
  • Career Planning,
  • Group Employment Support,
  • Vocational Habilitation, and
  • Individual Employment Support.

Independent providers will receive the retention payments automatically and do not need to take any further actions to receive them. Agency providers, conversely, must opt-in via the eMBS application on the DODD website, provide all required data for each quarter, and attest that funds were used in accordance with DODD requirements in order to receive retention funds. Agency providers must ensure that expenditures made using the DODD funds are not claimed in any other program.

When will the payments be made?

The initiative was originally approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with an effective date of July 1. Therefore, initial payments will be for three quarters of payments (April through December) and will be staggered by provider type. Provider agencies and independent providers will receive their first payments in mid-January. Provider agencies will then distribute payments to their eligible DSP employees. DSPs employed by agency providers will receive payment from their employers in mid-March.

There is no definitive end date for payments at this time but DODD and the county agencies will continue to evaluate the program.

How much will retention payments be?

The retention payments for independent and agency providers will be calculated by multiplying 6.5% by the total amount of claims paid during the applicable calendar quarter for eligible services.

Agency providers will then need to calculate how much to pay each eligible employee based on the funds received. Employees may be allocated payments based on either (1) an equal percentage of their total wages or (2) an equal payment based on the payment divided by the number of employees. Agency providers may withhold up to 18% of the total payment for implementation and other costs, with additional reporting requirements. Agency providers may not use this payment as a way to increase hourly wages.

Generally, independent contractors of agencies will not be eligible for retention payments. However, DODD specifically identifies shared living contractors, where the agency bills for the contractor’s services, as an exception. Shared living contracted staff should be included in the employee payment calculation.

Where can I find the enrollment portal, or more information?

DODD has created a website specifically for these payments, which can be found at: This is also where the enrollment portal will be located from January 3-16.

If you have any questions about the DSP payments or how your agency might apply for them, please contact Ashley Watson at or your local BMD Healthcare Attorney.

Telehealth Flexibility Updates: HIPAA, DEA, and CMS

The Covid-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) officially ended on May 11, 2023. But what does that mean for telehealth, a field that expanded exponentially during the PHE? Fortunately, many of the flexibilities will remain intact, at least temporarily. This client alert presents a brief overview of the timelines that providers need to follow, but for a more comprehensive review of telehealth flexibilities and when they will end

WEBINAR SERIES RECAP | Ending the Public Health Emergency + Post-Pandemic Check-Up

Some may take the position that the rest of the country already returned to a new “normal” following the COVID-19 pandemic.  But healthcare providers continue to implement COVID protocols and navigate the ever-changing healthcare regulations at both the federal and state levels.  It is important for healthcare providers to take time for a “Healthcare Check-Up” with the start of 2023 and the ending of the Public Health Emergency (“PHE”).

Sharp Rise in False Claims Act Cases - Navigating the FCA Waters

Recently, on April 18, 2023, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the FCA’s scienter, or mental state, requirement. To prove violation of the FCA, the statute requires that a defendant “knowingly” file false claims for payment. The term “knowingly” is defined within the statute to mean a person that acts with actual knowledge, deliberate ignorance, or reckless disregard. Circuit courts are split on how to interpret and apply the knowledge element of the FCA, and based on the Supreme Court’s decision, there will be a large impact on healthcare defendants and their businesses as well as anyone who contracts with, or receives money from, a federal program. A broader interpretation of the FCA would unnecessarily target and stifle healthcare, and other businesses, for simple errors in daily operations. This goes against the intended application of the FCA, which was to prevent fraudulent activity.

Areas of Opportunity in Columbus: Highlights from the Columbus Opportunity Summit

On April 27, 2023 Columbus Business First held its annual Columbus Opportunity Summit, bringing together business and economic development leaders to provide an update on how Central Ohio is preparing for expected growth in the coming years, an issue heightened by the arrival of Intel at its 1,000 acre site in Licking County, just outside of Columbus. The site will be home to two new chip factories with room to grow to a total of eight factories and is a $20 Billion investment.

BREAKING: Biden Administration Has Officially Ended the Two Remaining COVID Vaccine Mandates

As of May 1, 2023, the Biden Administration has officially ended the two remaining COVID vaccine mandates: (1) the Federal Contractor Mandate, and (2) the CMS Healthcare Provider Vaccine Mandate.