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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.

Investment Training for the Second and Third Generations

Consider this scenario. Mom and Dad started the business from the ground up. Over the decades it has expanded into a money-making machine. They are able to sell the business and it results in a multimillion-dollar payday for their labors. The excess money has allowed Mom and Dad to invest with various financial advising firms, several fund management groups, and directly with new startups and joint ventures. Their experience has made them savvy investors, with a detailed understanding of how much to invest, when, and where. They cannot justify formation of a full family office with dedicated investors to manage the funds, but Mom and Dad have set up a trust fund for the children to allow these investments to continue to grow over the years. Eventually, Mom and Dad pass. Their children enjoy the fruits of their labors, and, by the time the grandchildren are adults, Mom and Dad's savvy investments are gone.

Provider Relief Funds – Continued Confusion Regarding Reporting Requirements and Lost Revenues

In Fall 2020, HHS issued multiple rounds of guidance and FAQs regarding the reporting requirements for the Provider Relief Funds, the most recently published notice being November 2, 2020 and December 11, 2020. Specifically, the reporting portal for the use of the funds in 2020 was scheduled to open on January 15, 2021. Although there was much speculation as to whether this would occur. And, as of the date of this article, the portal was not opened.

Ohio S.B. 310 Loosens Practice Barrier for Advanced Practice Providers

S.B. 310, signed by Ohio Governor DeWine and effective from December 29, 2020 until May 1, 2021, provides flexibility regarding the regulatorily mandated supervision and collaboration agreements for physician assistants, certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse practitioners working in a hospital or other health care facility. Originally drafted as a bill to distribute federal COVID funding to local subdivisions, the healthcare related provisions were added to help relieve some of the stresses hospitals and other healthcare facilities are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HHS Issues Opinion Regarding Illegal Attempts by Drug Manufacturers to Deny 340B Discounts under Contract Pharmacy Arrangements

The federal 340B discount drug program is a safety net for many federally qualified health centers, disproportionate share hospitals, and other covered entities. This program allows these providers to obtain discount pricing on drugs which in turn allows the providers to better serve their patient populations and provide their patients with access to vital health care services. Over the years, the 340B program has undergone intense scrutiny, particularly by drug manufacturers who are required by federal law to provide the discounted pricing.

S.B. 263 Protects 340B Covered Entities from Predatory Practices in Ohio

Just before the end of calendar year 2020 and at the end of its two-year legislative session, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 263, which prohibits insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”) from imposing on 340B Covered Entities discriminatory pricing and other contract terms. This is a win for safety net providers and the people they serve, as 340B savings are crucial to their ability to provide high quality, affordable programs and services to patients.