Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

New State Budget Institutes Licensure Requirement for Ohio’s Hospitals

On July 1, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio’s final budget codified at Ohio Revised Code 3722.01 et seq., which includes a new licensing requirement for Ohio’s hospitals.

For years, Ohio was the only state in the country that did not license its hospitals. This approach will now be replaced with new, detailed requirements that will require careful review and compliance. Here are some of the highlights concerning these new changes:

When will a license be required?

All hospitals operating in the state of Ohio will be required to be licensed with the Ohio Director of Health within three years of the effective date of the new budget.  “Hospital” is defined by the Act as any institution or facility that provides inpatient medical or surgical services for a continuous period longer than 24 hours.

Some facilities will be exempt from the new licensing requirement, including hospitals operated by the federal government, nursing homes, and facilities used exclusively for hospice patients.

How do you receive a license?

License applications will begin to be considered by the Director after the Act has been effective for one year. The following will be required to be eligible for a license:

  • A completed application submitted with the accompanying fee;
  • Title XVIII certification under the “Social Security Act” or accreditation from a national accrediting organization approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and
  • A detailed breakdown of the number of beds available in the hospital.

An issued license will be valid for three years unless it is revoked or suspended, and a license can be renewed for additional periods of three years upon expiration.

What new policies will necessitate hospital compliance?

Upon issuance of a license, further steps must be taken by the institution to maintain compliance. First, the hospital must have a governing board that is tasked with overseeing the hospital’s management and control. Second, the hospital will be required to comply with rules adopted by the Director establishing health, safety, welfare, and quality standards for licensed hospitals. These rules are required to be provided to hospitals within one year of the effective date of the budget.

The new regulations also carry steep civil penalties for hospitals that fail to comply with their terms. The Director of Health may levy a $250,000 civil penalty against the hospital and fine the institution an additional $1,000 to $10,000 for every day the hospital operates without a license. If a hospital fails to comply with any of the Director’s rules, a civil penalty between $1,000 and $250,000 may be levied. The Director may also petition for injunctive relief in the proper Court of Common Pleas if an imminent threat of harm exists at a licensed hospital; a granted injunction can only be lifted after a showing that the harmful condition identified has been removed.

To learn more about these new, detailed regulations and to discuss any required changes to your current policies and procedures, please contact BMD Government Affairs Member and Lobbyist Victoria L. Ferrise (vlferrise@bmdllc.com – (330) 374-5184).

Protections Under Federal and Ohio Law for Bona Fide Prospective Purchasers of Contaminated Property

Most industrial/commercial property developers are generally aware of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), often also referred to as “Superfund”. CERCLA, a United Stated federal law administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was created, in part, because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized that environmental cleanup could help promote reuse or redevelopment of contaminated, potentially contaminated, and formerly contaminated properties, helping revitalize communities that may have been adversely affected by the presence of the contaminated properties. Commercial property developers should be aware that CERCLA provides for some important liability limitations for landowners that own contaminated property impacted by materials hazardous to the environment. It can also assist with landowners concerned about the potential liabilities stemming from the presence of contamination to which they have not contributed. In particular, CERCLA provides important liability limitations for landowners that qualify as (1) bona fide prospective purchasers (BFPPS), (2) contiguous property owners, or (3) innocent landowners.

Puerto Rico Is Open For Business

Puerto Rico has the highest vaccination in the nation. More than 73% of the total population is fully vaccinated. The U.S. national average is just over 57%. The ports opened in June 2020 and San Juan held it first live concert this past summer. It is important to remember that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and there is no need for visas, the banking systems is almost identical to the mainland and the Island uses the U.S. postal service and U.S. dollar as its currency. There are thousands of flights from the U.S. to Puerto Rico daily and all main airlines fly to the Island.

Ohio Medical Board Changes Telemedicine Rules

A SCMS News Article by Scott Sandrock.

The Rising Threat from Insiders – Get Your House in Order

As its name implies, an ‘Insider Threat’ originates inside an organization. An ‘insider’ is any person who has or had authorized access to or knowledge of an organization’s resources, including personnel, facilities, information, equipment, networks, and systems. ‘Insider threat’ can manifest from malicious, complacent, negligent or unintentional acts that negatively affect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the organization, its data, personnel, or facilities. Certainly, ‘Insider Threat’ can be an activity by a bad actor employee, but can also arise from an inadvertent or unknowing action inside an organization (such as an employee who unintentionally opens a phishing email or clicks on a malicious link).

In Cybersecurity– A Good Offense is the Best Defense

2021 has been a watershed moment for cybersecurity incidents as cybercrime has become a frequent headline and cyber criminals have thrived on unsuspecting and/or unprepared businesses and institutions. For example, the Solar Winds attack exposed sensitive data from top companies like Microsoft as well government agencies[1] and the Colonial Pipeline attack substantially disrupted the petroleum supply chain[2]. We have seen an almost 20% increase in data breaches and attacks since last year.