Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

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.

Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA”) Under Attack

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA” or “the Act”) went into effect on April 1, 2020 followed closely behind by the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule on the Act which, collectively, describe the obligations of employers as well as the rights of employees under the FFCRA’s paid sick time and expanded family medical leave provisions.

Lockdowns, Landlords, & Litigation: Abercrombie & Fitch Flips The Script on Simon Property Group Inc.

Novel litigation between commercial property owners and tenants arises from COVID-19 lockdowns. Typically, owners sue for nonpayment of rent. But in Franklin County, Ohio, a large retail tenant turned the tables and sued the owner to recoup payments.

UPDATE: Ohio Businesses Remain Required to Post Exceptions to State-Wide Mask Mandate at All Entrances

On August 1, 2020, Lance D. Himes, Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued an amended order continuing the requirement that Ohio businesses post at all entrances any permitted exceptions they provide to customers, patrons, visitors, contractors, vendors and similar individuals to use facial coverings.

2020 Marcum National Construction Survey Marks a New, Post-Pandemic Construction Environment

The results of the 2020 Marcum National Construction Survey are in, and the construction industry’s outlook for the remainder of 2020 and beginning of 2021 remains cautiously optimistic despite the COVID-19 global pandemic. Ability to find skilled labor, healthcare expenses, and material costs remain the top concerns for the industry, while “lack of future work” joins the list.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in the Wake of COVID-19

Several major “essential business” employers, including Walmart and Tyson, have been served with wrongful death lawsuits in relation to COVID-19. As many Ohio employees begin to return to work, employers should be prudent in following workplace safety practices.