Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Relief for Ohio Under the Federal American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) — a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — a significant portion of which will be directed to the State of Ohio to support economic recovery, as outlined below.

Generally, the Act seeks to provide state and local governments with the resources needed to stabilize their economies following the shutdowns and COVID-19-related deficits incurred in 2020. As such, the Act directs these authorities to fund businesses, programs, and support infrastructure projects and related economic development.

Specifically, a total of $11.2 billion has been allocated to Ohio from the Act, half of which will go directly to the state government with the balance to be divided among Ohio’s municipalities.

The five (5) largest benefactors of the funds include the following counties:

  • Franklin County: $255,380,000
  • Cuyahoga County: $239,530,000
  • Hamilton County: $158,540,000
  • Summit County: $104,930,000
  • Montgomery County: $103,120,000

The stimuli do not, however, come without caveats as to collection requirements and spending boundaries.

Each state or territory intending to collect their share of the funds is required to certify to the U.S. Treasury that it will use any payment in compliance with the use of fund restrictions, discussed below, before any distribution is made. Once the U.S. Treasury receives this certification, the department must make payment to the certifying entity within 60 days.

Counties, metropolitan cities and states as agents for non-entitlement units of local government will not, however, be required to complete certifications, and will instead receive funds in tranches, with the first tranche to be paid within 60 days of the American Rescue Plan becoming law, and the second tranche to be paid at least 12 months after the date on which the county, metropolitan city or state as an agent for non-entitlement unit of local government received its first payment.

The Act leaves broad authority to the state and local governments as to how the money may be directed with the main caveat requiring the ultimate support of COVID-19 economic recovery (e.g., vaccine distribution and other public health efforts, support for low-income citizens, small business relief, and aid to public education). Notably, there is a deadline to use the funds by each applicable jurisdiction — December 31, 2024.

For any questions on the American Rescue Plan Act, or for more information on allocations across the State of Ohio, please contact BMD Government Affairs Law Member Victoria Ferrise at 330.374.5184 or vlferrise@bmdllc.com.

Changes to Physician Assistant Statutes in Florida

In the last year, there have been many changes to the scope of practice and collaboration/supervision requirements for advanced practice providers such as APRNs and physician assistants in the state of Florida. In a previous Client Alert we discussed House Bill 607, which expanded the autonomous practice of APRNs providing primary care services in Florida.

Ohio Senate Bill 49 – Ohio Expands Lien Rights for Design Professionals

Effective September 30, 2021, Ohio granted limited lien rights to design professionals, including architects, landscape architects, engineers, and surveyors. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 49 into law on July 1, 2021. This new law established a statutory right to lien commercial real estate by Ohio design professionals who, until now, could not file a lien for non-payment of professional services. Senator Vernon Sykes, a primary sponsor of Senate Bill 49, stated that the “legislation ensures that architects, engineers and other designers will get paid for their work, regardless of the outcome of their projects . . . It will support hardworking Ohioans by protecting the value of their labor . . ..”

Primary Care Practice Officially Defined in Florida for APRNs Practicing Autonomously

As many providers in Florida are aware, House Bill 607 (the “Bill”), which was passed in February of last year, gives certain APRNs in Florida the ability to practice autonomously. The only catch is that they must work in primary practice. When the Bill was initially passed, there was question as to what was exactly considered primary care, absent a definition from the Florida Board of Nursing. However, as of February 25, 2021, “primary care practice” has officially been defined.

Part II of the No Surprises Act

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published Part II of the No Surprises Act on September 30, 2021, which will take effect on January 1, 2022. The new guidance, in large part, focuses on the independent dispute resolution process that was briefly mentioned in Part I of the Act. In addition, there is now guidance on good faith estimate requirements, the patient-provider dispute resolution processes, and added external review provisions.

Safer Federal Workforce Task Force - Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force has issued its Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors (Guidance). Note that the Guidance applies only to “covered contracts,” which are contracts that include the clause (Clause) set forth in Sec. 2(a) of Executive Order 14042 (Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors). The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FARC) is to conduct rulemaking and take related action to ensure that the Clause is incorporated into federal contracts. Until that happens, federal contractors likely will not see the Clause in its contracts. Following is a broad summary of the Guidance.