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Ohio House Passes Bill 388 Including Out-of-Network Reimbursement Requirements

On May 20, 2020, the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 388, which would enact five new Ohio Revised Code sections regarding out-of-network care and reimbursement. Sponsored by Representative Adam Holes – District 97 – House Bill 388 would require a health plan issuer to reimburse the following: 

  • An out-of-network provider for unanticipated out-of-network care provided at an in-network facility. 
  • An out-of-network provider or emergency facility for emergency services provided at an out-of-network emergency facility. 
  • An out-of-network ambulance for emergency services provided in an out-of-network ambulance. 
  • An out-of-network provider or facility for clinical laboratory services provided in connection with unanticipated out-of-network care or emergency services. 

As used above, "unanticipated out-of-network care" means health care services, including clinical laboratory services, that are covered under a health benefit plan and that are provided by an out-of-network provider when either of the following conditions applies: (1) the covered person did not have the ability to request such services from an in-network provider; or (2) the services provided were emergency services.

In addition to the above requirements, House Bill 388 also sets forth the following: 

  • Prohibits a provider, facility, emergency facility, or ambulance from balance billing a patient for unanticipated or emergency care when that care is provided in Ohio. 
  • Provides that a covered person’s cost-sharing responsibility for the services described above cannot be greater than if the services were provided in network. 
  • Establishes the default reimbursement rate as the greatest of the in-network rate, the out-of-network rate, or the Medicare rate and establishes procedures by which payees (providers, facilities, emergency facilities, and ambulances) may seek to negotiate the reimbursement in lieu of the default reimbursement rate. 
  • Permits certain payees to seek arbitration if negotiation is unsuccessful, and establishes criteria to be eligible for arbitration, and establishes procedures for the conduct of the arbitration. (Requires the Superintendent of Insurance to select an arbitration entity to conduct arbitrations under the bill using specified criteria). 
  • Requires a provider to disclose certain information to patients regarding the cost of out-of-network services that are not unanticipated out-of-network care or emergency services. 

The requirements found in House Bill 388 would be effective nine months following the bill’s effective date. Any payee or issuer in violation of these requirements would face disciplinary actions and/or penalties. The bill now continues the rule making path and will be debated and voted on by the Ohio Senate.

Please contact a BMD healthcare attorney if you have any questions regarding House Bill 388, any other reimbursement question, or other general healthcare questions.

HHS Announces an Additional $20 Billion In Provider Relief Grants

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced an additional $20 billion in new funding for providers on October 1, 2020. Eligible providers include those that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments as well as previously ineligible providers, such as those who began practicing in 2020, and an expanded group of behavioral health providers confronting the emergence of increased mental health and substance use issues exacerbated by the pandemic. The new Phase 3 General Distribution is designed to balance an equitable payment of 2% of annual revenue from patient care for all applicants plus an add-on payment to account for revenue losses and expenses attributable to COVID-19.

DOL Proposes New Rule Regarding Independent Contractor Status - But How Will the Election Affect Its Future?

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a new proposed rule regarding employee and independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The full text of the proposed rule is available here. The rule's drafters intend to reduce uncertainty and enhance the precision and predictability of the long-standing "economic reality" test, which currently relies on a multifactor balancing test.

Major Change to Franklin County, Ohio Eviction Process: Landlord Testimony Required

Although there is currently a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020 in place, the eviction process in Franklin County – which processes the highest number of evictions in the State of Ohio at approximately 18,000 a year – recently changed significantly.

UPDATE: Governor Dewine Signs HB 606 Granting Short Window of Immunity from COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Ohio General Assembly, in Am. Sub. H.B. No. 606, is in the final stages of passing a law that will prohibit lawsuits seeking damages from COVID-19. This includes injury, death, or loss to person or property if the lawsuits are based, in whole or in part, on the exposure to, or the transmission or contraction of the coronavirus, unless the defendant in the lawsuit acted intentionally or recklessly. In circumstances where this immunity does not apply, H.B. 606 prohibits such claims being aggregated and brought as a class action.

Revised Department of Labor FFCRA Guidance, Effective September 16, 2020

In response to attacks on the legality of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule regarding the Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA” or the “Act”), which took effect in April 2020, the Department of Labor issued new guidance on Friday, September 11th to formally address ongoing questions and concerns related to the COVID-19 legislation.