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Essential Businesses in Ohio: Today’s Announcements Apply to You

Governor DeWine announced the “Responsible Restart Ohio” program this afternoon to set the stage for reopening certain areas of the Ohio economy. Matt Heinle and Jeff Miller posted on the overall requirements today. While the announcement and our post focused on reopening certain businesses, the mandatory requirements and recommendations apply to ALL businesses, including those which had been open and operating as an Essential Business.  

What am I required to do?

Governor DeWine published five protocols for all businesses:

  1. No mask, no work, no service, no exception. Require face coverings for employees and clients/customers at all times. Face coverings include surgical-type masks as well as cloth masks, handkerchiefs, scarves, etc. These masks can be provided by the employee or the employer.
  2. Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if “fit for duty.” Remember not to record individual temperatures, just whether the health assessments have been conducted.
  3. Maintain good hygiene at all times – hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing. These are similar requirements to what was already in place under the original Stay at Home Order.
  4. Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout workday and at the close of business or between shifts.
  5. Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines. Maximum capacity should be 50% of fire code. Also, use appointment setting and staggered shifts where possible to limit congestion.  

When am I required to do these?

There is no reason to delay implementation, but today’s announcements give you time to get into compliance. 

 What do I do if an employee or customer tests positive?

The requirements are much more stringent than a positive test. If there is even a suspected case or exposure, employer must contact the Local Health District.  The other obligations are in the links above. 

Where can I get more help understanding how to operate and address employee concerns?

Contact the BMD Labor and Employment team. Right now, a business is most likely to get into trouble when its employees feel unsafe and report their employer to the public health department. Additionally, the sanitization and safety measures may create wage and hour concerns. We can help you develop your plan to reopen to ensure your employees and customers feel safe returning to your workplace. 

For more information, contact Jeffrey C. Miller at 216.658.2323 or jcmiller@bmdllc.com or Ashley B. Watson at 614.246.7518 or abwatson@bmdllc.com.

New York, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Delaware Become the latest States to Adopt Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners

While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly created many obstacles and hardships, it also created many opportunities to try doing things differently. This can be seen in the instant rise of remote work opportunities, telehealth visits, and virtual meetings. Many States took the challenges of the pandemic and turned them into an opportunity to adjust the regulations governing licensed professionals, including for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).

Explosive Growth in Pot of Gold Opportunity for Bank (and Other) Cannabis Lenders Driving Erosion of the Barriers

Our original article on bank lending to the cannabis industry anticipated that the convergence of interest between banks and the cannabis industry would draw more and larger banks to the industry. Banks were awash in liquidity with limited deployment options, while bankable cannabis businesses had rapidly growing needs for more and lower cost credit. Since then, the pot of gold opportunity for banks to lend into the cannabis industry has grown exponentially due to a combination of market constraints on equity causing a dramatic shift to debt and the ever-increasing capital needs of one of the country’s fastest growing industries. At the same time, hurdles to entry of new banks are being systematically cleared as the yellow brick road to the cannabis industry’s access to the financial markets is being paved, brick by brick, by the progressively increasing number and size of banks that are now entering the market.

2021 EEOC Charge Statistics: Retaliation & Impact of Remote Work

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its detailed information on workplace discrimination charges it received in 2021. Unsurprisingly, for the second year in a row, the total number of charges decreased as COVID-19 either shut down workplaces or disconnected employees from each other. In 2021, the agency received a total of approximately 61,000 workplace discrimination charges - the fewest in 25 years by a wide margin. For reference, the agency received over 67,000 charges in 2020, and averaged almost 90,000 charges per year over the previous 10 years.

Ohio’s Managed Care Overhaul Delayed – New Implementation Timeline

At the direction of Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) launched the Medicaid Managed Care Procurement process in 2019. ODM’s stated vision for the procurement was to focus on people and not just the business of managed care. This is the first structural change to Ohio’s managed care system since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) approval of Ohio’s Medicaid program in 2005. Initially, all of the new managed care programs were supposed to be implemented starting on July 1, 2022. However, ODM Director Maureen Corcoran recently confirmed that this date will be pushed back for several managed care-related programs.

Laboratory Specimen Collection Arrangements with Contract Hospitals - OIG Advisory Opinion 22-09

On April 28, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) published an Advisory Opinion[1] in which it evaluated a proposed arrangement where a network of clinical laboratories (the “Requestor”) would compensate hospitals (each a “Contract Hospital”) for specimen collection, processing, and handling services (“Collection Services”) for laboratory tests furnished by the Requestor (the “Proposed Arrangement”). The OIG concluded that the Proposed Arrangement would generate prohibited remuneration under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) if the requisite intent were present. This is due to both the possibility that the proposed per-patient-encounter fee would be used to induce or reward referrals to Requestor and the associated risk of improperly steering patients to Requestor.