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Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Provider Relief Fund Phase 2 & Reporting Requirement Updates – Deadline to Request Phase 2 Funds is August 28, 2020

Phase 2 General Distribution Funding – Deadline August 28, 2020

On July 31, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that certain Medicare, Medicaid (managed care and fee-for-service), CHIP, and other providers would be given another opportunity to receive additional Provider Relief Fund payments. HHS has allocated around $15 billion for Phase 2 distribution. Providers are eligible for these new distributions if they fulfill the following criteria and have not yet received a Provider Fund payment equal to approximately 2% of their revenue from patient care. 

To be eligible to apply, the provider must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Either
    1. Billed Medicare fee-for-service during the period of Jan.1, 2019-Dec. 31, 2019; or
    2. Be a Medicare Part A provider that experienced a change in ownership and billed Medicare fee-for-service in 2019 or 2020 that prevented the otherwise eligible provider from receiving Phase 1 General Distribution payment; or
    3. Billed Medicaid / CHIP programs or Medicaid managed care plans for health-related services between Jan.1, 2018-Dec.31, 2019; or
    4. Billed a health insurance company for oral healthcare-related services as a dental service provider; or
    5. Be a licensed dental service provider who does not accept insurance and has billed patients for oral healthcare-related services; and
  2. Must have either (i) filed a federal income tax return for fiscal years 2017, 2018 or 2019 or (ii) be an entity exempt from the requirement to file a federal income tax return (e.g. a state-owned hospital or healthcare clinic); and
  3. Must have provided patient care after January 31, 2020 (see our blog post from April 10 on how this is broadly defined); and
  4. Must not have permanently ceased providing patient care directly, or indirectly through included subsidiaries; and
  5. If the applicant is an individual, have gross receipts or sales from providing patient care reported on Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 1, excluding income reported on a W-2 as a (statutory) employee.

HHS released this second round of General Distribution funding to help support as many providers as possible. Note that even if a provider received Phase 1 funding, they may still be able to collect Phase 2 funding if their original distribution was less than 2% of their patient care revenues. This includes providers who returned their Phase 1 checks because they were not sure if they would be able to meet the Terms & Conditions. Providers who apply for and receive Phase 2 funds are subject to the same Terms and Conditions that existed for Phase 1 funding. Providers must use the Provider Portal to request the Phase 2 funds. The deadline for these requests is August 28, 2020 at 11:59pm EST

Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements Update

One of the terms and conditions that providers had to agree to in order to receive Provider Relief Funds was to submit reports to HHS that are in the form specified by the Secretary of HHS. HHS was scheduled to post guidance by August 17, 2020 regarding the format of these reports. However, this date has come and gone without a full update. Instead, HHS posted a Notice entitled “General and Targeted Distribution Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements” on August 14, 2020. This Notice applies to any providers who received Provider Relief Funds exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate. 

The Notice states that detailed instructions regarding reporting requirements for these providers will be “released soon,” leaving providers in a state of suspense for an undefined future period of time. However, the Notice does clarify that the reporting system will become available to recipients for reporting on October 1, 2020. The Notice also provides details regarding the timing of reports for Provider Relief Fund recipients:

  • All recipients must report within 45 days of the end of calendar year 2020 on their expenditures through the period ending December 31, 2020.
  • Recipients who have expended funds in full prior to December 31, 2020 may submit a single final report at any time during the window that begins October 1, 2020, but no later than February 15, 2021.
  • Recipients with funds unexpended after December 31, 2020, must submit a second and final report no later than July 31, 2021. 

Finally, the Notice repeatedly reminds providers to check hhs.gov/providerrelief for the latest updates. Once more specific reporting guidance is released, BMD’s healthcare team will publish another update to inform providers of these reporting requirements. In the interim, if you have any questions about Provider Relief Funds, please contact Ashley Watson at abwatson@bmdllc.com

The Masks Are Back: New OSHA Regulations for Healthcare Employers

Employment Law After Hours is back with a News Break Episode. Yesterday, OSHA published new rules for healthcare facilities, including hospitals, home health employers, nursing homes, ambulance companies, and assisted living facilities. These new rules are very cumbersome, requiring mask wearing for all employees, even those that are vaccinated. The only exception is for fully vaccinated employees (2 weeks post final dose) who are in a "well-defined" area where there is no reasonable expectation that any person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be present.

New OSHA Guidance for Workplaces Not Covered by the Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard

On June 10, 2021, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for occupational exposure to COVID-19, but it applies only to healthcare and healthcare support service workers. For a detailed summary of the ETS applicable to the healthcare industry, please visit https://youtu.be/vPyXmKwOzsk. All employers not subject to the ETS should review OSHA’s contemporaneously released, updated Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. The new Guidance essentially leaves intact OSHA’s earlier guidance, but only for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers (“at-risk” meaning vaccinated or unvaccinated workers with immunocompromising conditions). For fully vaccinated workers, OSHA defers to CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People, which advises that most fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, or local laws or individual business policies.

Employer Liability for COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

As employers encourage or require employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, they should be aware of OSHA recording obligations and potential workers’ compensation liability. Though OSHA has yet to revise its COVID-19 guidance in response to the latest CDC recommendations, OSHA has revised its position regarding the recording of injury or illness resulting from the vaccine. Until now, OSHA required an employer to record an adverse reaction when the vaccine was required for employees and the injury or illness otherwise met the recording criteria (work-related, a new case, and meets one or more of the general recording criteria). OSHA has reversed course and announced that it will not require recording adverse reactions until at least May 2022, irrespective of whether the employer requires the vaccine as a condition of employment. In its revised COVID-19 FAQs, OSHA states:

The New Rule 1.510 - Radical Change for Summary Judgement Procedure in Florida

In civil litigation, where both sides participate actively, trial is usually required at the end of a long, expensive case to determine a winner and a loser. In federal and most state courts, however, there are a few procedural shortcuts by which parties can seek to prevail in advance of trial, saving time, money and annoyance. The most common of these is the “motion for summary judgment”: a request to the court by one side for judgment before trial, generally on the basis that the evidence available reflects that a win for that party is legally inevitable and thus required. Effective May 1, 2021, summary judgment procedure in Florida has radically changed.

Vacating, Modifying or Correcting an Arbitration Award Under R.C. 2711.13: Three-Month Limitation Maximum; Not Guaranteed Amount of Time

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that neither R.C. 2711.09 nor R.C. 2711.13 requires a court to wait three months after an arbitration award is issued before confirming the award. R.C. 2711.13 provides that “after an award in an arbitration proceeding is made, any party to the arbitration may file a motion in the court of common pleas for an order vacating, modifying, or correcting the award.” Any such motion to vacate, modify, or correct an award “must be served upon the adverse party or his attorney within three months after the award is delivered to the parties in interest.” In BST Ohio Corporation et al. v. Wolgang, the Court held the three-month period set forth in R.C. 2711.13 is not a guaranteed time period in which to file a motion to vacate, modify, or correct an arbitration award. 2021-Ohio-1785.