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ODM and OhioMHAS Continue to Expand Telehealth

On July 17, 2020, Governor DeWine signed Executive Order 2020-29D, which allowed the Ohio Department of Medicaid (“ODM”) to immediately rescind old provisions and file a new rule (5160-1-18) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (“OhioMHAS”) to amend their current rule (5122-29-31), both expanding telehealth and introducing even more flexibility into Ohio’s healthcare system. 

Both rules will expire on November 14, 2020, unless adopted through the normal JCARR process. This is a significant move for ODM as they were previously operating off of a newly added emergency rule (“Telehealth During a State of Emergency”), but the department is now transitioning these expanded telehealth rules directly into their rule that existed prior to the public health emergency. 

In general, if a service does not have some type of in-person requirement (surgery, procedure, test etc.), then it most likely is appropriate to conduct via telehealth. 

ODM – 5160-1-18 

  • Telehealth can either be:
    • Synchronous, interactive, real-time electronic communications using both audio and video; or
    • Asynchronous activities that do not have both audio and video (calls, emails, images through fax) 
  • Patient site and practitioner site – the physical location of each at the time of service 
  • Eligible Providers:
    • Physician
    • Psychologist
    • Physician assistant
    • Certified nurse specialist, certified nurse-midwife, certified nurse practitioner
    • LISW, LIMFT, LPCC
    • LICDC
    • Supervised practitioners and supervised trainees
    • Audiologist, speech-language pathologist, speech-language pathology aids, and audiology aids
    • Occupational and physical therapist and occupation and physical therapist assistants
    • Home health and hospice aids
    • Private duty registered nurse or licensed practical nurse in a home health or hospice setting
    • Dentists
    • Dietitians
    • Behavioral health practitioners 
  • Provider types eligible to bill for services rendered through Telehealth:
    • Any practitioner
    • Professional medical group
    • Professional dental group
    • FQHC/RHC
    • Ambulatory health care clinics
    • Outpatient hospitals
    • Private duty nurses
    • Home health and hospice agencies
    • Behavioral health providers 
  • Requirements:
    • Must comply with current HIPAA guidance from Office of Civil Rights
    • Practitioner site responsible for maintaining appropriate documentation
    • Patient and practitioner sites should be consistent with CPT and HCPCS guidelines for the service being provided 
  • Payment may be made for all of the following services in the appendix here. 
  • Claims should be submitted in accordance with Telehealth billing guidance and those detailed provisions in subparagraph (E) of this new rule 

OhioMHAS – 5122-29-31

Telehealth means real-time audiovisual communications with quality to permit accurate and meaningful interactions and includes asynchronous modalities that do not have both audio and video elements 

  • Originating site (client) and distant site (provider) are where each are located at the time of service 
  • No initial in person visit is necessary to initiate services using telehealth 
  • Prior to initiating services, a provider must inform the patients of potential risks of telehealth and document that patient understood and agrees to those risks (clinical aspects, security considerations and confidentiality considerations) 
  • Services:
    • General services
    • CPST
    • Therapeutic behavioral services and psychosocial rehabilitation
    • Peer recovery
    • SUD case management
    • Crisis intervention
    • ACT
    • IHBT 
  • Provider must have a physical location in Ohio or have access to a physical location in Ohio where individuals may opt to receive services that are being provided by telehealth modalities 

Please contact a BMD healthcare attorney if you have any questions regarding these telehealth rules, any telehealth questions in general, or any other healthcare questions.

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.