Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Responsible Restart Ohio: Stay at Home Stays in Place – First Phase of Back to Work with Precaution and Protocols

Governor Mike DeWine announced new plans today regarding the reopening of Ohio, including the first wave of businesses to welcome employees and customers back inside.

This will not be a rapid process and that is by design, as DeWine emphasizes that the guiding principles behind Ohio’s plan are to protect the health of employees, customers and their families, support community efforts to control the spread of the virus and to take the lead in responsibly getting Ohio back to work.

Here are 6 Protocols for ALL businesses:

  1. Require face coverings for employees and clients/customers at all times. Although Employers are not required to provide masks, and a cloth covering is recommended, we advise that Employers do attempt to provide masks in order to limit exposure to liability.
  2. Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if "fit for duty."
  3. Maintain good hygiene at all times -- hand washing and social distancing.
  4. Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout workday and at the close of business or between shifts.
  5. Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines:
    1. Establish maximum capacity of 50% of fire code and use appointments, where possible, to limit overcrowding.
  6. Contact the local health district about suspected cases or exposures. Click here to find your district.

Ohio’s Timeline by Industry

  • Healthcare and Related – MAY 1
    • As of May 1: All healthcare procedures and operations that can be done that do NOT require an overnight stay in a hospital can take place. Emergency procedures and operations can still take place now, per the previous Executive Order. There will be future guidance on other procedures and operations that require an overnight stay.
    • As of May 1, dentists and veterinarians can be fully operational without limitations.
  • Manufacturing, Distribution & Construction - MAY 4
    • As of May 4, firms can re-open if they have not been open through the pandemic. 
    • All such businesses must follow the above protocols, plus these mandatory sector-specific guidelines.
  • Office Settings – MAY 4
    • As of May 4, office settings can reopen, however, work-at-home is recommended as much as possible.
    • Must follow the above protocols, plus these mandatory sector-specific guidelines.
  • Consumer & Retail – MAY 12
    • As of May 12, consumer retail and general services can reopen. 
    • Must follow the above protocols, plus these mandatory sector-specific guidelines.

NOTE: No formal announcement regarding restaurants, bars, gyms, hair salons, and spas reopening.

BMD will keep you apprised of additional guidance and protocols as they are released over the next several weeks. If you have any questions, please contact your primary BMD attorney.

Workers’ Compensation Claims and COVID-19

Can one of my employees file a workers’ compensation claim if they claim that they contracted coronavirus at work? We get that question a lot. Yes, they can, but you should oppose any application for coverage if you receive one. Generally, the claim will not be granted unless the employee has a job that poses a special hazard or risk of exposure to the virus and the employee can prove that he or she contracted the virus at work.

Ohio State Dental Board Implements Teledentistry Rules

Ohio law defines “teledentistry” as the delivery of dental services through the use of synchronous, real-time communication and the delivery of services of a dental hygienist or expanded function dental auxiliary pursuant to a dentist’s authorization.[1] The law requires a dentist who desires to provide dental services through teledentistry to apply for a teledentistry permit from the Ohio State Dental Board (“OSDB”).[2] Pursuant to the mandate under Ohio Revised Code 4715.436, the OSDB is implementing the following teledentistry permit rules and requirements (to be set forth under Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4715-23). These regulations, which were subject of a public hearing on February 19, 2020, are effective on May 30, 2020.

HHS Addresses Drug Manufacturer Coupons on Out-of-Pocket Limits

On May 7, 2020, the US Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced their Notice of Benefit Parameters for 2021 in which HHS addressed the application of prescription drug manufacturer copay coupons towards a patient’s out-of-pocket limit. Under this guidance, HHS will permit, but not require, plans and insurers to count direct support offered to enrollees by drug manufacturers (i.e., coupons) for specific prescription drugs toward the annual limits on cost-sharing, regardless of whether a generic equivalent is available.

Important Updates, Deadlines, and Clarifications for the HHS Provider Relief Funds

On May 20, 2020, HHS made important updates and clarifications regarding the General Distribution payments to providers. Between April 10, 2020 and April 24, 2020, HHS distributed an initial $30 billion to providers based on the provider’s 2019 Medicare fee-for-service receipts. These funds were distributed automatically and providers did not need to submit an application in order to receive these funds. The funds were originally touted as a “no strings attached” stimulus payment reserved for healthcare providers. But HHS issued a 10-page Terms and Conditions and required that providers sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the Terms and Conditions.

Reopening & Social Media: Tips for Businesses

As the country starts to reopen, businesses are under great pressure to keep employees and customers safe. Even if a business follows every reopening requirement, there will inevitably be scrutiny from within and outside the organization. And, in this world of social media, perception tends to become reality. Below are a few practical tips to avoid attracting negative press while restarting your business.