Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

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.

These new regulations also require the implementation of a compliant COVID-19 safety policy, COVID case record keeping for employees (regardless of whether the infection came from work or outside of work), and it discusses and requires many of the best practices most of our healthcare clients have followed since day one, among other requirements. Many of the regulations require implementation within 14 to 30 days, so your clients will want to speak with their OSHA expert as soon as possible. BMD has a few OSHA knowledgeable attorneys that can be available to answer questions/concerns. Your clients will want to implement these new requirements alongside their OSHA certified employees who handle existing OSHA issues/concerns.

Stephen Matasich, one of our resident OSHA attorneys, has also published a client alert for general industry employers other than healthcare.

What healthcare providers are specifically exempt from these new regulations?

  1. Non-Hospital Ambulatory Care Setting where (a) all non-employees are screened prior to entry, and (b) people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter.
  2. Hospital Ambulatory Care Setting where (a) all employees are fully vaccinated, (b) all non-employees are screened prior to entry, and (c) people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter.
  3. Home Healthcare Setting when (a) all employees are fully vaccinated, (b) all non-employees are screened prior to entry, and (c) people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter.

The new OSHA regulations also require these employers to provide paid leave for vaccination obtainment, and its side effects, which we previously covered in an ELAH episode, link provided below. I also provided the link to the mandatory vaccine episode as healthcare clients may now desire to implement a mandatory vaccine policy given these new requirements.

Link to watch this Breaking News episode on the new OSHA requirements is here: https://youtu.be/vPyXmKwOzsk

Link to Paid COVID Leave (including Vaccination Obtainment) is here: https://youtu.be/NOv0_R_SMpg

Link to Episode on Mandatory Vaccine Policies is herehttps://youtu.be/rWqGbOzWzWw and https://youtu.be/5CrBCjK2rv8 (with updated EEOC guidance).

For more information, please feel free to contact BMD Labor + Employment Partner Bryan Meek at bmeek@bmdllc.com or 330.253.5586.

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.