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July 20 is Important Deadline for HHS Fund Distributions to Medicaid and CHIP Providers

On June 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released details on the distribution of more CARES Act Provider Relief Fund payments. After allocating $50 billion to Medicare providers through its General Distribution fund, HHS has now announced that it will distribute $15 billion to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers who apply by the deadline through a Targeted Distribution. Applicants must apply through the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal. The application form itself can be found on the HHS website and is due by July 20, 2020.

In order to qualify for part of the Targeted Distribution for Medicaid and CHIP providers, practices and individual practitioners must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Must not have received payment from the $50 billion General Distribution; and
  2. Must have directly billed Medicaid (or Medicaid Managed Care Plans) for healthcare-related services during the period of January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019, or (ii) own (on the application date) an included subsidiary that has billed Medicaid for healthcare-related services during the period of January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019; and
  3. Must have either (i) filed a federal income tax return for fiscal years 2017, 2018 or 2019 or (ii) be an entity exempt from the requirement to file a federal income tax return and have no beneficial owner that is required to file a federal income tax return. (e.g. a state-owned hospital or healthcare clinic); and
  4. Must have provided patient care after January 31, 2020; and
  5. Must not have permanently ceased providing patient care directly, or indirectly through included subsidiaries; and
  6. If the applicant is an individual, have gross receipts or sales from providing patient care reported on Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 1, excluding income reported on a W-2 as a (statutory) employee.

Note that if a provider received a General Distribution payment and returned it, they will not be eligible for this Targeted Distribution.

The final amount each provider receives will be determined after the data is submitted, including information about the number of Medicaid patients the provider serves. Payments will be allocated based on this formula:

Payment Allocation = 2% (Gross Revenues x Percent of Gross Revenues from Patient Care)

The provider requesting an allocation will specify in their application whether they want to base this calculation on calendar year 2017, 2018 or 2019 revenues. Payments will be disbursed on a rolling basis, as information is validated by HHS. Providers who qualify should apply as soon as possible to ensure they meet the July 20th deadline and do not get stuck waiting for validation.

Once a provider is approved for and receives Targeted Distribution funds, they will have 90 days to accept the payment and attest to certain Terms & Conditions. The Terms & Conditions are very similar to the General Distribution attestations, but recipients of the Targeted Distribution funds should read through them carefully to ensure they can truthfully attest to each one. If a provider finds they cannot satisfy one of the Terms & Conditions they should return their payment back to HHS within the 90-day period following receipt of the payment.

Also like the General Distribution funds, the Targeted Distribution funds may only be used to reimburse the provider for health care expenses incurred in the prevention, preparation for, and response to coronavirus or for lost revenues attributable to coronavirus. Providers may not use the Targeted Distribution funds to pay for expenses or losses that have been reimbursed from other sources. Additionally, the Targeted Distributions Funds are characterized as federal grants, which require the provider to take the following steps:

  • Adopt a policy regarding the proper use of the funds, procedure for ensuring proper use of the funds, and appointment of a compliance officer.
  • Ensure proper maintenance of records and documentation of expenditures as HHS can audit over a 3-year lookback period.
  • If the provider has received Paycheck Protection Program or other coronavirus-related funds, the provider must submit separate reports and account for each pool of funds separately.

For those interested, HHS is hosting complimentary webcasts next week. Click here for more information.

If you need assistance in determining whether you qualify for a Targeted Distribution or have questions about the application, please contact BMD Health Law Attorney Ashley Watson at abwatson@bmdllc.com. If you received Provider Relief Funds from either the General Distribution or Targeted Distribution, please contact Amanda Waesch at alwaesch@bmdllc.com or 330-253-9185 for questions related to the HHS Provider Relief Fund Policy.

Ohio House Passes Bill 679 Establishing & Modifying Telehealth Service Requirements

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Ohio Department of Health, Department of Medicaid, and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services issued emergency rules expanding telehealth services and increasing access to healthcare while the public was under a stay-at-home order. On June 10, 2020, the Ohio House of Representatives favorably (91 votes for and 3 votes against) passed House Bill 679 (“HB 679”), establishing new and modifying existing requirements regarding the provision of telehealth services in Ohio. This bill essentially turns the various administrative emergency rules into law and will fundamentally change the way healthcare is delivered in the state.

Ohio House Passes Bill 388 Including Out-of-Network Reimbursement Requirements

On May 20, 2020, the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 388, which would enact five new Ohio Revised Code sections regarding out-of-network care and reimbursement.

Ohio Medicaid Starts Paying Pharmacists for COVID-19 Testing & Pilots Focus on Direct Care from Pharmacists

Two significant announcements were made by Ohio’s Department of Medicaid recently. Both announcements provide greater access to healthcare services for Medicaid beneficiaries in Ohio and by utilizing the expertise of pharmacists and providing reimbursement for their services related to COVID-19 testing.

Employer COVID Toolkit

As employees come back to work and employers operate “mid-COVID” in the “new normal,” employers must update their Employee Handbook and related employment policies. BMD has put together an Employer COVID Toolkit to supplement an employer’s existing Employee Handbook and policies to ensure compliance with the Department of Labor guidance, OSHA, FFCRA, the CARES Act and state law. Below is a description of policies and their purpose.

SBA Releases New Frequently Asked Question (No. 49) - Maturity Dates for PPP Loans

On June 25, 2020 the SBA released a new Frequently Asked Question (No. 49) concerning the maturity dates for PPP Loans as modified by the recently passed Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. All PPP Loans received on or after June 5, 2020, will have a five-year maturity. Any PPP Loan received before June 5, 2020, has a two-year maturity, unless the borrower and lender mutually agree to extend the term of the loan to five years. Businesses should address the maturity issue with their SBA lender and discuss any available change to the loan maturity date.