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

Client Alert

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.

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.