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Multidisciplinary Team of Balch Attorneys Discuss the Impact of Covid-19 on the Behavioral Health Industry

A multidisciplinary team of Balch attorneys, sponsored by the Behavioral Health Association of Providers (BHAP) and Southworth & Associates, presented a webinar and panel discussion on March 26, 2020 regarding the broad impact of COVID-19, how response efforts will affect all industries and practical considerations affecting the behavioral health industry. With Balch partner Walter Boone as moderator, the program was divided into 10-minute segments, where subject matter experts explained the effects of recent COVID-19 legislation on employers, recent loosening of telehealth requirements, issues which will arise in business interruption claims, practical steps businesses can take in crisis, and details of the largest stimulus package in U.S. history.
 
In the Second Coronavirus Response Act: What You Need to Know as an Employer, Labor & Employment litigation partner R. Pepper Crutcher, Jr. discussed what employers need to know about this new and critical legislation. He walked through changes to unemployment insurance, emergency expansion of FMLA leave, emergency paid sick leave, and tax credits available to employers.
 
During the Telehealth Regulations and Requirements segment, Health Law attorney Bea Tolsdorf discussed recent actions taken at the federal and state levels to relax telehealth requirements and promote this method of healthcare delivery. 
 
In the Business Interruption Insurance Claims section, Insurance Coverage Litigation attorney Steve Corhern laid out common policy provisions for business interruption, the exclusions which will likely come in to play, and practical guidance on how providers should preserve and document their claims. 
 
Following that discussion, Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy partner Jeremy Retherford led a segment titled Businesses in Crisis: Practical Steps You Can Take Now. He outlined some common steps businesses can take right now to avoid hardship later, including watching cash flow, deferral of non-essential payments, and regular communication with creditors.  He also provided some guidance on pitfalls which can be avoided now in the event of a bankruptcy later. 
 
In the final section titled Phase 3 Stimulus Package: Current Update and Answers, Litigation partner L. Conrad Anderson IV provided a detailed summary of the government’s stimulus package and how that stimulus package will affect the healthcare industry in general and the behavioral healthcare industry in particular.