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IMPORTANT PRF UPDATE! HRSA Allows Providers the Opportunity to Correct Missed Period 1 Reporting

Late Wednesday, April 6, HRSA announced that it was going to allow providers with extenuating circumstances that prevented them from preventing a completed Period 1 Report to submit a Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances. More information on the process and links to the required forms can be found here.

Providers who failed to report in Period 1 and failed to return their Period 1 PRF payments should have received an email on Wednesday, April 6. If a provider did not receive an email, the provider should go onto the portal and ensure that all provider contact information is correct. All providers must be appropriately registered with the Portal in order to engage in this process.

Step 1:  Providers must first submit a Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances. Requests must be submitted between Monday, April 11 to Friday, April 22 at 11:59pm ET. Extenuating circumstances include the following instances: 

  • Severe illness or death – a severe medical condition or death of a provider or key staff member responsible for reporting hindered the organization’s ability to complete the report during the Reporting Period.
  • Impacted by natural disaster – a natural disaster occurred during or in close proximity of the end of the Reporting Period damaging the organization’s records or information technology.
  • Lack of receipt of reporting communications – an incorrect email or mailing address on file with HRSA prevented the organization from receiving instructions prior to the Reporting Period deadline.
  • Failure to click “Submit” – the organization registered and prepared a report in the PRF Reporting Portal, but failed to take the final step to click “Submit” prior to deadline.
  • Internal miscommunication or error – internal miscommunication or error regarding the individual who was authorized and expected to submit the report on behalf of the organization and/or the registered point of contact in the PRF Reporting Portal.
  • Incomplete Targeted Distribution payments – the organization’s parent entity completed all General Distribution payments, but a Targeted Distribution(s) was not reported on by the subsidiary.

Step 2:  HRSA must approve your Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances. Therefore, providers must ensure that their request is detailed as to the extenuating circumstance that prevented them from timely reporting. If a provider’s request is NOT approved, the provider must return the Period 1 funds.

Step 3:  Providers must wait for HRSA to approve the request. If the request is approved, providers will have 10 days from the date of the notification to submit a Period 1 report.

Step 4:  Providers that have already reported may NOT use this process to make edits or adjustments to their Period 1 report.

If you need assistance in completing the Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances or finalizing your Period 1 Report, please contact Amanda L. Waesch at alwaesch@bmdllc.com or 330-253-9185 to set up a consultation. 

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.

Property Owner Protection from Tax Valuation Challenges

New legislation provides significant new protections for commercial property owners against challenges to valuation primarily by local school boards and prohibiting side agreements to avoid tax valuation changes. The Ohio Legislature has approved House Bill 126 which will go into effect July 2022 but will effectively apply to the 2023 tax valuation year.