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Families First Coronavirus Response Act Implementation - definition of "health care provider"

  • 1.  Families First Coronavirus Response Act Implementation - definition of "health care provider"

    National Council Staff
    Posted 04-03-2020 17:43
      |   view attached

    Dear Association Executives - Attached please find a memorandum from our outside legal counsel regarding the definition of an excepted "health care provider" under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

    This unprecedented pandemic presents unique challenges when interpreting legislative and regulatory language due to the volatility and speed at which changes are occurring.  We hope the attached memorandum can provide National Council members with additional guidance when navigating statutorily required paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave. 

    On page 3 of the memorandum, please note the interpretation of the term health care provider for purposes of exception as it relates to behavioral health organizations.  Should additional guidance result in an alternative or adjusted interpretation, we will send an updated memorandum reflecting such. 

    Additionally, please note, on page 4, the importance of continuous monitoring of the Department of Labor guidance as well as the need for employers to carefully document their rationales for ALL leave decisions.  Robust documentation will be imperative for employers who believe they have employees who are excepted from the statutorily required paid sick leave.

    As always, it is important that National Council members consult independent legal counsel as they work through their options.

    Thank you - Stephanie

    Stephanie Katz

    Director, Federal Policy and Advocacy

    National Council for Behavioral Health


    Neal Comstock
    Director of Membership
    National Council
    202 748-8793

  • 2.  RE: Families First Coronavirus Response Act Implementation - definition of "health care provider"

    Posted 04-07-2020 14:05
    My question regarding this guidance is per page 1 the 2nd paragraph last sentence "However, .... may elect to exclude such employee ...

    It appears that yes, some employees of BH organizations would be classified as eligible under the exception - BUT are agencies that have these employees, REQUIRED to automatically choose to exclude, or can they choose NOT TO EXCLUDE and allow all employees to be eligible for the FFCRA expanded & enhanced benefits?

    We're hearing mixed results and some CBHOs are worried that if they do NOT elect to exclude that down the road they might not receive the tax credit because some workers were indeed healthcare employees and they should have been excluded. I don't read it this way - I believe CBHOs have the choice / option "may elect to exclude". Additional guidance please.

    Flora A Schmidt
    Iowa Behavioral Health Association

    Flora A. Schmidt, Executive Director
    Iowa Behavioral Health Association
    2900 100th St, Ste 200 Urbandale IA 50322
    515/309-3315 office
    515/210.6212 mobile

    Better Behavioral Health Through Education, Prevention, Treatment & Advocacy