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New State Budget Institutes Licensure Requirement for Ohio’s Hospitals

Client Alert

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).


The Ohio State University Launches Its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

In response to Ohio’s nursing shortage, The Ohio State University College of Nursing is accepting applications for its new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (aBSN). Created for students with a bachelor’s degree in non-nursing fields, the aBSN allows such students to obtain their nursing degree within 18 months. All aBSN students will participate in high-quality coursework and gain valuable clinical experience. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to take the State Board, National Council of Licensure Exam for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN).

Another Transparency Obligation: The FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements

Many physician practices and healthcare businesses are facing a new set of federal transparency requirements that require action now. The U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements (the “Rule”), which was promulgated pursuant to the 2021 bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act, is intended to help curb illegal finance and other impermissible activity in the United States.

“In for a Penny, in for a Pound” is No Longer the Case for Florida Lawyers

On April 1, 2024, newly adopted Rule 1.041 to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedures goes into effect which creates a procedure for an attorney to appear in a limited manner in civil proceedings.  Currently, when a Florida attorney appears in a civil proceeding, he or she is reasonable for handling all aspects of the case for their client.  This new rule authorizes an attorney to file a notice limiting the attorney’s appearance to particular proceedings or specified matters prior to any appearance before the court.  For example, an attorney can now appear for the limited purpose of filing and arguing a motion to dismiss.  Once the motion to dismiss is heard by the court, the attorney may file a notice of termination of limited appearance and will have no further obligations in the case.

Enhancing Privacy Protections for Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized updated rules to 42 CFR Part 2 (“Part 2”) for the protection of Substance Use Disorder (“SUD”) patient records. The updated rules reflect the requirement that the Part 2 rules be more closely aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy, breach notification, and enforcement rules as mandated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.

Columbus, Ohio Ordinance Prohibits Employers from Inquiries into an Applicant’s Salary History

Effective March 1, 2024, Columbus employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history. Specifically, the ordinance provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to: