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Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Florida’s “Stay-at-Home” Order and What it Means for Businesses

On April 1, 2020, in response to the State’s ongoing efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91, which is a State-wide “Stay-at-Home” Order. The Order goes into effect Friday, April 3, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., and expires on April 30, 2020, unless extended by subsequent order (the full text of the Order is available here). 

What does the Stay-at-Home Order actually say?

The Stay-at-Home Order provides, in relevant part, that:

  • Senior citizens and individuals with significant underlying medical conditions shall stay at home, and take all measures necessary to limit their exposure to COVID-19; and
  • All persons in Florida shall limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.

What are considered Essential Services

As of now, the Order defines "essential services" to include:

  • The services detailed in the Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, v. 2 (March 28, 2020), issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (full text of DHS’s guidance available here); and
  • The services designated as “essential” by Executive Order 20-89, which incorporates a detailed list promulgated by the Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 07-20, as amended (full text of Executive Order 20-89 available here).

The Governor has directed the State Coordinating Officer (“SCO”) to publish an exhaustive list of all qualifying “essential services” that will be available on the Division of Emergency Management’s website at www.floridadisaster.org and the Florida Department of Health’s website at www.floridahealth.gov

As of April 2, 2020, the SCO’s list has not been published.However, generally speaking, the categories of private-sector industries that are deemed “essential” under EO 20-91 include, but are not limited to: (i) Heath Care; (ii) Transportation and Logistics; (iii) Energy; (iv) Food and Agriculture; (v) Communications and Information Technology; (vii) Manufacturing; and (viii) Commercial Facilities.

What if it is unclear if my business is providing an “essential service”?

The guidance and regulations are continuing to be updated daily, and our team at BMD is closely monitoring this ever-evolving situation. Therefore, if you are not sure whether your business is considered “essential,” or if you have any other questions regarding the Stay-at-Home Order or any other COVID-19 related questions, please contact Matt Jackson, Josh La Bouef or Cody Westmoreland in our Jacksonville office at 904.366.1500, as we are standing by ready to help you and your business navigate the challenges we are all facing.

Update: President Trump Signs Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

On June 3, 2020, Congress updated the CARES Act by passing the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (“FA”). The legislation, which has not yet been signed into law by President Trump, would provide more flexibility to small businesses who received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).

Workers’ Compensation Claims and COVID-19

Can one of my employees file a workers’ compensation claim if they claim that they contracted coronavirus at work? We get that question a lot. Yes, they can, but you should oppose any application for coverage if you receive one. Generally, the claim will not be granted unless the employee has a job that poses a special hazard or risk of exposure to the virus and the employee can prove that he or she contracted the virus at work.

Ohio State Dental Board Implements Teledentistry Rules

Ohio law defines “teledentistry” as the delivery of dental services through the use of synchronous, real-time communication and the delivery of services of a dental hygienist or expanded function dental auxiliary pursuant to a dentist’s authorization.[1] The law requires a dentist who desires to provide dental services through teledentistry to apply for a teledentistry permit from the Ohio State Dental Board (“OSDB”).[2] Pursuant to the mandate under Ohio Revised Code 4715.436, the OSDB is implementing the following teledentistry permit rules and requirements (to be set forth under Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4715-23). These regulations, which were subject of a public hearing on February 19, 2020, are effective on May 30, 2020.

HHS Addresses Drug Manufacturer Coupons on Out-of-Pocket Limits

On May 7, 2020, the US Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced their Notice of Benefit Parameters for 2021 in which HHS addressed the application of prescription drug manufacturer copay coupons towards a patient’s out-of-pocket limit. Under this guidance, HHS will permit, but not require, plans and insurers to count direct support offered to enrollees by drug manufacturers (i.e., coupons) for specific prescription drugs toward the annual limits on cost-sharing, regardless of whether a generic equivalent is available.

Important Updates, Deadlines, and Clarifications for the HHS Provider Relief Funds

On May 20, 2020, HHS made important updates and clarifications regarding the General Distribution payments to providers. Between April 10, 2020 and April 24, 2020, HHS distributed an initial $30 billion to providers based on the provider’s 2019 Medicare fee-for-service receipts. These funds were distributed automatically and providers did not need to submit an application in order to receive these funds. The funds were originally touted as a “no strings attached” stimulus payment reserved for healthcare providers. But HHS issued a 10-page Terms and Conditions and required that providers sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the Terms and Conditions.