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Landlord Alert: CDC Issues Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions

On September 1 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020.  With the July 24, 2020 expiration of the prior moratorium established under the CARES Act, the CDC based the new moratorium on the need to protect public health and the likely increase in the spread of COVID-19 if mass evictions take place.

Under the CDC’s Order, “a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to which this Order applies ***.”  Tenants facing the prospect of eviction and wishing to invoke the moratorium must provide the landlord with a signed declaration containing specific sworn statements including:

  • The tenant has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.
  • The tenant expects to earn no more than $99,000 in calendar year 2020 (or $198,000 for joint tax filers).
  • The tenant is unable to pay the full rent due to substantial loss of household income.
  • The tenant is using best efforts to make partial rent payments.
  • Eviction would likely render the tenant homeless.

While the CDC’s Order broadly defines what constitutes a residential property and is intended to halt all efforts to remove a tenant for failing to pay rent until the end of the year, it does not relieve the obligation to pay rent or to comply with any other lease obligations. Thus, the Order does not preclude evictions based on criminal conduct, health and safety concerns of other residents, violations of applicable health ordinances and building codes, or the violation of other lease obligations that do not include the timely payment of rent.

Landlords need to be mindful of the CDC Order and seek legal counsel if contemplating eviction between now and the end of the year. Penalties for not complying are steep for an individual and include (i) fines of up to $100,000 if the violation does not result in a death, (ii) fines of up to $250,000 if the violation results in a death, (iii) and can in addition include one year in jail. Penalties for an organization violating the CDC Order similarly are based on whether the violation resulted in a death and can climb as high as $500,000 per violation.

For questions for more information, please contact Member Blake R. Gerney at brgerney@bmdllc.com, or your primary BMD attorney.

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.

No Surprises Act Update: The IDR Portal is Open

The No Surprises Act (“NSA”) became effective January 1, 2022, and has been the subject of lawsuits and criticisms since its inception. The goals of the No Surprises Act are to shield patients from surprise medical bills, provide to uninsured and self-pay patients good faith estimates of charges, and create a process to resolve payment disputes over surprise bills, which arise most typically in emergency care settings. We have written about Part I and Part II of the NSA previously. This update concerns the Independent Dispute Resolution (“IDR”) procedure created by Part II but applicable to claims covered by Part I. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) finally opened the Portal for providers to submit disputes to the IDR process following some updated guidance regarding the arbitration process itself.

Updated FAQs for the No Surprises Act - Good Faith Estimates

The No Surprises Act (“NSA”) became effective January 1, 2022. Meant to protect consumers from surprise medical bills, the new law is good for consumers, but vexatious for health care providers and facilities. One particular source of frustration is the operationalization of the Good Faith Estimate (“GFE”) requirement, governed by Part II of the regulations that implement the NSA. The GFE requirements apply broadly to all healthcare providers and facilities that practice within the scope of their state-issued license.

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.

Advanced Practice Providers and Telemedicine Start-Up Surge

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we heard a lot about “surges” that happened all over the country regarding the virus. One of the other interesting “surges” we have followed is the “surge” in new healthcare business start-ups, particularly businesses owned by advanced practice providers, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and certified registered nurse anesthetists (“Advanced Practice Providers” or “APPs”). One of the hottest areas in the healthcare start-up surge has been the creation of practices that are telemedicine focused.