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The $70 Billion Question – CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Helping Hardest Hit Hospitals First

HHS finally unveiled its preliminary plan for disbursement of the remaining $70 billion of CARES Act Provider Relief Funds. The initial $30 billion was disbursed to providers based on 2019 Medicare fee-for-service payments. HHS indicated that the remaining $70 billion would be disbursed to (1) providers that incurred COVID-19 expenses, (2) rural providers, (3) providers that primarily receive payments from other sources (such as Medicaid), and (4) providers that treat uninsured Americans.

How will the funds be distributed?

First, $10 billion will go to hospitals that have been impacted hardest by COVID-19. This will be based upon the total number of admitted patients who tested positive for COVID-19. Hospitals will have until April 23, 2020 at midnight to apply and should have received an email with a link to the portal (there is no website similar to the payment attestation).

Providers will need to submit the following information (HHS estimates this should take 5 minutes):

  • Tax Identification Number
  • National Provider Identifier
  • Total number of Intensive Care Unit beds as of April 10, 2020
  • Total number of admissions with a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 from January 1, 2020 to April 10, 2020

Second, an additional $20 billion will be rolled out based on overall patient revenue. There will likely be an application or reporting mechanism. Payments will be issued on a rolling basis. Stay tuned for updates on application release or additional information.

Third, an additional $30 billion is set aside for SNFs, dentists, and providers that only service Medicaid providers.

More information can be found by following the link below.

https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/04/22/hhs-announces-additional-allocations-of-cares-act-provider-relief-fund.html

For questions, contact your primary BMD Healthcare or Hospital Law attorney.

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.