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Government Affairs Updates

Governmental Affairs Committee
Governmental Affairs Director

Twyla Hardy
Clarus Linen Systems
e-mail:Email

Governmental Affairs Mission

BNHRA Governmental Affairs partners with SHRM Governmental Affairs program to anticipate and address regulations and legislation that could change the way human resource professionals perform their jobs. BNHRA collaborates with NYS SHRM and SHRM to advance the human resource profession in the area of government affairs. BNHRA provides an opportunity for local chapter members to assist in shaping regulation and legislation as the subject matter experts in employment relations in Western New York.   

Interested in helping out with Government Affairs?

Contact the Director of Governmental Affairs!

 What's New In Governmental Affairs

SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act) was signed into law to address the U.S. opioid crisis and takes steps to augment and enhance the nationwide system for preventing and treating opioid addiction. 

The SUPPORT Act makes changes to a variety of public health and law enforcement policies. Here’s an overview of some of the health care-related policy changes included in the law.

·         Medicaid Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) Exclusion: Amends the IMD exclusion to allow state Medicaid programs to receive federal reimbursement for covering certain IMD services up to a total of 30 days annually.

·         Telehealth: Expands coverage of telehealth services under Medicare for the treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders beginning July 1, 2019. Also directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue guidance regarding federal reimbursement for telehealth services and treatment for substance use disorders under Medicaid.

·         Medicare and Medicare Advantage:

o    Requires e-prescribing for coverage of Part D controlled substances starting in 2021.

o    Requires HHS to establish prior authorization standards for electronic submissions starting in 2021.

o    Requires physicians to screen for opioid use disorders during initial Medicare physical and annual wellness visits.

o    Expands Medicare coverage and bundled payment for opioid addiction treatments.

o    Requires drug management programs for at-risk beneficiaries be implemented by 2022 (currently voluntary).

·         Addiction Treatment: Lifts restrictions on maintenance medications used to treat opioid addiction, allowing more types of health care providers to prescribe the drugs.

·         Opioid Alternatives: Provides funding for research and development of non-addictive painkillers and allows the Food and Drug Administration to require that certain opioids be dispensed in packaging that encourages safe use (e.g., small blister packs).

·         Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs): Gives authority to the HHS Secretary to issue guidelines specifying a uniform electronic format for the reporting, sharing, and disclosure of information for PDMPs. It also gives States the ability to share PDMP data with Medicaid managed care entities under certain parameters. 

·         Grant Funding: Includes new and reauthorized grant funding for a number of initiatives to address the crisis, including funding for Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers and reauthorizing funding from the 21st Century Cures Act to provide $500 million annually, in fiscal years 2019-2021, for State Opioid Response Grants. The following may also be of interest to employers and other community stakeholders:

o    Career Act: Helps treatment or recovery services that partner with local employers, community organizations, and/or workforce development boards to support recovery, independent living, and participation in the workforce.

o    Addressing Economic Impacts Pilot Program: Supports local workforce boards in areas with a high rate of substance use disorders to engage and assist employers in establishing job-training/transition services for those in recovery.

o    Peer Support Communities: Supports recovery community organizations to develop, expand, and enhance services including fostering connections between such organizations and employers, behavioral care providers, primary care providers, schools, housing services, and child welfare agencies.

Medical record privacy rules update

Notably, after bipartisan negotiations between both chambers of Congress, a key provision aimed at changing medical record privacy rules did not make it into the final law. Under existing federal regulations (42 CFR Part 2), health care providers operating a Part 2 covered program are prohibited from disclosing a patient’s history with a substance use disorder unless they have the patient’s consent. The House’s opioid bill included a provision to align 42 CFR with existing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy requirements, but it is not included in the SUPPORT Act.

More info:

https://energycommerce.house.gov/opioids-legislation/

Copies of the full bill:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6


Phillips Lytle LLP Alert for BNHRA Members

The NLRB’s Proposed Rule

On September 13, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) announced that, the next day, it would publish a proposed rule (“the proposed rule”) governing how the term “joint employer” is defined
in connection with the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). As promised, the NLRB published the proposed rule on September 14, 2018.  Under the proposed rule: “an employer may be considered a joint employer
of a separate employer’s employees only if the two employers share or codetermine the employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment, such as hiring, firing, discipline, supervision, and direction.

More specifically, to be deemed a joint employer under the proposed regulation, an employer must possess and actually exercise substantial direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment of another employer’s employees in a manner that is not limited and routine.”

Read More


Other Government Affairs Updates:

Social Security 2018 Red Book - A Guide to Work Incentives

The Red Book is our free guide to employment supports for recipients of Social Security disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or both. It explains our work incentives, how working can affect benefits, where to find local services, and more.

Educators, rehabilitation specialists, and counselors rely on this publication every year. Whether your clients are thinking about working now or may want to work in the future, the Red Book can help them consider the possibilities.

The Red Book is available on our website.  https://www.ssa.gov/redbook/

For a free printed copy of the 2018 Red Book, please contact us by one of the following methods.

By Mail

Social Security Administration
Office of Supply and Warehouse Management
Requisition and Quality Control Team
6401 Security Boulevard
2508 Robert M. Ball Building
Baltimore, MD 21235-6301

By Email, Phone, or Fax:

Email: DCBFM.OFLM.OMLM.RQCT.Orders@ssa.gov

Phone: (410) 965-2039

Fax: (410) 965-2037


The Social Security Standard


Social Security Star - Workers' Compensation and Certain Disability Payments May Affect Your Social Security Benefits (Oct 2018)

10/15/2018

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Social Security Standard: Working While Disabled (Aug 2018)

08/15/2018

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Social Security…Live: Engaging with the public in a number of ways (June 2018)

06/01/2018

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Checklist for Your Social Security - annual check-up (May 2018)

05/01/2018

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It’s National Social Security Month - Educating you about our programs and services (April 2018)

04/01/2018

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Your Contributions Help Millions for a lifetime of protection (March 2018)

03/01/2018

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Easily Access Your Social Security Benefit Statement for 2017 (February 2018)

02/01/2018

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5 Ways Social Security Protects You and your family planning (December 2017)

12/01/2017

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How May We Help You With Your Financial Planning (November 2017)

11/01/2017

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13 Fearless Things To Know about Your Social Security Number (October 2017)

10/01/2017

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Previous Phillips Lytle LLP Alert for BNHRA Members


The NLRB’s Proposed Rule

11/01/2018

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Employers Must Update the Summary of Consumer Rights Provided to Applicants and Employees

11/01/2018

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New York Releases Final Training and Policy Models Related to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

10/14/2018

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2018Sept-NY Releases Draft Training and Policy Models Related to Sexual Harassment Training

09/12/2018

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Employment Forms Update

08/15/2018

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Employers’ Use of Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Upheld (June 2018)

06/01/2018

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New York State Enacts Sweeping Legislation to Combat Workplace Sexual Harassment (April 2018)

04/01/2018

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ICE Form I-9 Compliance Investigations in the Trump Era (March 2018)

03/01/2018

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Recent Important Changes at NLRB Promising for Employers (February 2018)

02/01/2018

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Workplace Wellness Programs: The Legal Issues (December 2017)

12/01/2017

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New York’s Paid Family Leave Program Will Require Employers to Update Their Leave Policies (September 2017)

09/01/2017

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Labor & Employment: New York State Paid Family Leave (August 2017)

08/01/2017

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Data Security & Privacy: Managing the Human Element of Cybersecurity: an Employee Lifecycle Control Structure (July 2017)

06/01/2017

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Labor And Employment Law Under The Trump Administration

05/01/2017

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Previous Government Affairs Updates


Social Security 2018 Red Book - A Guide to Work Incentives

10/15/2018

Read more

NLRB Reinstitutes the Browning-Ferris Joint Employer Standard - For Now (March 28, 2018)

03/28/2018

Read more