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Healthcare Provisions in the Ohio FY 22-23 Budget

Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio’s Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget bill (HB 110) into law on July 1, 2021. At almost 1,000 pages and 74.1 billion dollars, the budget lays out the State’s spending for the next two years. Below are a few highlighted provisions from the budget that will be important for the healthcare industry in Ohio:

Medicaid

Overall, Medicaid received an investment of $31.0 billion for the fiscal year 2022 and $32.2 billion for the fiscal year 2023 in order to:

  • Support the procurement and reorganization of Ohio's managed care system to improve wellness and health outcomes while emphasizing a personalized care experience. This includes new Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, OhioRISE, and the implementation of a single pharmacy benefit manager.
  • Continue funding of Medicaid's Behavioral Health Care Coordination program.
  • Continue and expand Medicaid's Emergency Telehealth program, to continue telehealth services for medical, clinical, and behavioral health.
  • Provide an additional $4 million per year for the prevention of custody relinquishment of multi-system youth children.

Moms & Babies

  • Increased funding for Help Me Grow by $1.9 million each fiscal year, which will provide for more home visiting services for at-risk, expectant mothers, and families of young children at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • $25 million towards increased support for the lead hazard control programs including a new, statewide Lead-Safe Housing Fund that will provide competitive grants to Ohio communities to abate lead hazards in their housing.
  • $2.25 million for housing initiatives for pregnant mothers through the Development Services Agency, along with the Department of Health and the Governor’s Children's Initiative.
  • Medicaid coverage for mothers up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level for a full year after giving birth, an increase from the current coverage of 60 days after birth. 

Nursing Homes & Long-Term Care

  • Additional oversight and enforcement of nursing home and long-term care laws to ensure the health and safety of older Ohioans and additional new worker training opportunities through the Department of Aging.
  • $490 million for quality outcome incentives for Medicaid nursing home services that will reward nursing homes for providing high-quality, outcome-driven care.
  • Implementation of a Nursing Home Bed Reduction Program to costly excess unused bed capacity.

RecoveryOhio & Substance Use Disorder Treatment

  • $4.5 million to expand early identification programs including increased screening, early intervention, and connections to treatment.
  • $3 million to address health disparities on minority, poor, and underserved populations.
  • $41 million to continue the support of crisis services for children, youth, families, and adults with mental health and substance abuse disorder needs.
  • $29 million to expand access to the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program and to establish the My Life, My Quit youth-centered quit program also seeks to educate Ohio youths of the risks of vaping/e-cigarette use.
  • $10 million to expand Specialized Dockets within courts with the purpose of connecting individuals with support services around mental health, substance use disorder, trauma care, and other services to better the individual's wellbeing.
  • Continuation of support to local health providers’ harm reduction efforts for accidental drug overdose rates and deaths.

Mental Health

  • Over $11 million increase in funding to strengthen multi-system adult collaboration to connect people with serious mental health issues to needed care, recovery supports, stable housing, and positive community participation.
  • Expanding access to treatment within Ohio's correctional facilities by increasing recovery services, counseling, peer support, technology, and medication. Recovery services provided during incarceration significantly increase the likelihood that these individuals become productive members of society when released.

Conscience Clause

  • Added late in the budget process, this statute allows any medical practitioner, health care institution, or health care payer to “decline to perform, participate in, or pay for any health care service which violates the practitioner's, institution's, or payer's conscience as informed by the moral, ethical, or religious beliefs or principles held by the practitioner, institution, or payer." 

Hospital Licensure

  • Ohio will now require hospitals to be licensed. Once the Ohio Department of Health develops corresponding rules, Ohio hospitals will have three years to comply and become licensed. For more information on hospital licensure, see this BMD Client Alert by Member Vicki Ferrise along with Jacob Davis.

In addition to all of the items above included in the FY 22-23 budget, Governor DeWine also issued several line-item vetoes immediately prior to signing the bill. Most important to the healthcare area, DeWine vetoed provisions that would have required Medicaid to revise its procurement process and would have likely delayed the implementation of the new Medicaid Managed Care structure.

These are just a handful of the many, many provisions included in the Ohio budget for the next two years. If you have any questions about how these changes may affect your healthcare practice or business, please reach out to Ashley Watson at abwatson@bmdllc.com or any BMD healthcare attorney.

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.