In The News

Federal Disaster Assistance: Navigating the Process

A total of 27 Tennessee counties have been declared disaster areas by the federal government and the number continues to rise. FEMA funds will be available to those in the affected areas by registering online or over the phone. You will need Social Security numbers of all family members (including children).  Click here and follow instructions and/or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or local (615) 790-5725.

FEMA will send someone to your property to assess damage. Be sure to document the damage and clean up efforts taking lots of pictures and/or video. There should be federal money available for hotels, temporary housing, repairs, construction costs, and even debris removal. Save all receipts as detailed documentation will be necessary to receive insurance reimbursement, to apply for grants and loans, and to take casualty tax write-offs for losses due to flood damage.

Contact your homeowner’s insurance as well. Tell them you wish to file a claim even if you think you don’t have flood insurance. You are entitled to have your situation reviewed by an adjuster.

 

July 2, 2010 Newsletter Features New CMS Draft Regulations

On June 25, 2010, CMS proposed regulations that immediately impact physicians who provide diagnostic imaging services to their patients. To read the rest of our newsletter, click here.

CMS Issues Draft Regulations Mandating Disclosure by Physicians of Imaging Service Providers

On June 25, 2010, CMS proposed regulations that immediately impact physicians who provide diagnostic imaging services to their patients.  These regulations are required by the Healthcare Reform Act enacted on March 23, 2010.  A copy of the proposed regulations is available at http://www.cms.gov/.  The effective date of the final regulations is January 1, 2011.


The regulations, as proposed, require a physician or physician extender who orders a MRI, a CT scan or PET Scan, to provide the patient with a list of other suppliers of those services in the area and a statement that the patient may obtain the service from another supplier.  The required disclosures include:


  • A list of ten alternate suppliers of that service located within a 25 mile radius of the doctor’s office.



  • The address, telephone number and distance from the doctor’s office of each supplier.


The regulations require that disclosure be given to the patient at the time the test is ordered.  In addition, the patient must sign an acknowledgement of receipt of that disclosure.  This acknowledgment must be maintained in the patient’s medical record.
What if there are less than ten suppliers within a 25 mile radius of the office?

Then, all suppliers of the service must be listed.


What if there are no other suppliers within a 25 mile radius of the office?

 According to CMS, the disclosure does not need to be made.


What if the physician or extender ordering the test does not have the equipment necessary to perform the test?

The proposed rule only applies if the physician or physician extender ordering the test is able to perform the test.


Does this disclosure requirement apply to any tests other than MRI, CT Scan or PET Scans? 

At this time, no.  CMS is considering whether additional diagnostic imaging tests should be added to the disclosure requirement.


Can the disclosure be in electronic form? 

CMS does not specify that the disclosure must be in written form.  CMS is requiring the patient “to sign” an acknowledgment.  Presumably, electronic signatures are permitted.


Is a hospital a supplier?

The proposed regulations exclude hospitals and critical access hospitals from the definition of supplier.  A freestanding outpatient imaging clinic owned by a hospital is a supplier.


Is the disclosure required in emergency situations?

At this time, yes.  CMS is accepting comments on that issue.


May the patient choose another supplier who is not on the list? 

Yes.  CMS clearly states that the list of suppliers is non-exclusive.

National Flood Insurance Program: What Lenders Should Know

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. Two subsequent laws, the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, have made the purchase of flood insurance mandatory for Federal or Federally-related financial assistance for acquisition or construction of buildings in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs).

Flood insurance is mandatory for buildings in FEMA-identified high-risk flood areas, referred to as SFHAs.  Whenever you make, increase, extend or renew a mortgage, home equity, home improvement, commercial or farm credit loan in an SFHA, you must require flood insurance. You may require flood insurance on all loans, even those outside SFHAs.

Ensure that flood insurance coverage is maintained for the term of all the loans on a building. Escrowing flood insurance premiums can help make sure you meet this requirement, and it helps protect you and your borrowers from uninsured flood losses.

Know the amount of flood insurance coverage to require. The required coverage is the lesser of the following: (i) the maximum amount of NFIP flood insurance coverage available, (ii) the outstanding principal balance of the loan, or (iii) the value of the building only. (Land and land values are not covered under the NFIP.)

Notify borrowers in writing of the requirement to buy flood insurance for new and existing loans. If you determine that a home or business is in an SFHA before loan closing, you are required to notify the borrower within a reasonable time prior to the loan closing. If you determine that an existing loan for a home or business is in a SFHA, you are also required to notify the borrower within a reasonable time.

There is no waiting period for flood insurance to go into effect when it is purchased in connection with making, increasing, renewing or extending a loan. In most other instances, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect.

For more information about the mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirements, and other related topics, read the .

Flood insurance and the mandatory purchase laws help protect your investments as well as your borrowers’ against uninsured flood losses. Floods can occur in unexpected areas of the country. Make sure you and your borrowers are protected from uninsured flood losses for their homes, businesses and belongings by following these requirements.

National Flood Insurance Program: What Lenders Should Know

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. Two subsequent laws, the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, have made the purchase of flood insurance mandatory for Federal or Federally-related financial assistance for acquisition or construction of buildings in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs).

Flood insurance is mandatory for buildings in FEMA-identified high-risk flood areas, referred to as SFHAs.  Whenever you make, increase, extend or renew a mortgage, home equity, home improvement, commercial or farm credit loan in an SFHA, you must require flood insurance. You may require flood insurance on all loans, even those outside SFHAs.

Ensure that flood insurance coverage is maintained for the term of all the loans on a building. Escrowing flood insurance premiums can help make sure you meet this requirement, and it helps protect you and your borrowers from uninsured flood losses.

Know the amount of flood insurance coverage to require. The required coverage is the lesser of the following: (i) the maximum amount of NFIP flood insurance coverage available, (ii) the outstanding principal balance of the loan, or (iii) the value of the building only. (Land and land values are not covered under the NFIP.)

Notify borrowers in writing of the requirement to buy flood insurance for new and existing loans. If you determine that a home or business is in an SFHA before loan closing, you are required to notify the borrower within a reasonable time prior to the loan closing. If you determine that an existing loan for a home or business is in a SFHA, you are also required to notify the borrower within a reasonable time.

There is no waiting period for flood insurance to go into effect when it is purchased in connection with making, increasing, renewing or extending a loan. In most other instances, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect.

For more information about the mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirements, and other related topics, read the .

Flood insurance and the mandatory purchase laws help protect your investments as well as your borrowers’ against uninsured flood losses. Floods can occur in unexpected areas of the country. Make sure you and your borrowers are protected from uninsured flood losses for their homes, businesses and belongings by following these requirements.

Flood Relief Contractor: Dealing with Damage Requiring Immediate Repair

The disastrous floods throughout Middle Tennessee have left many in our area dealing with damage to their homes that requires immediate repair.  Contractors and home restoration services will certainly be in high demand, which may open the door to less reputable contractors trying to exploit desperate consumers. In the rush to get your home restored, it is critical that you know what to do when selecting a home repair/restoration professional in order to prevent further hardship.

Here are a few tips:

Get an estimate in writing from your contractor.  Despite the urge to get the work started as soon as possible, document your engagement with the contractor. Sure, there may be unforeseen issues resulting from the damage, but you are entitled to some fair advance expectation of what the job will cost. Getting an estimate in advance places the burden on the contractor to provide you with notice of those unforeseen issues…and advance notice of any increase in costs.

Be sure that the contractor you hired is licensed with the state.  In the rush to get somebody—sometimes anybody—working on the damage, a homeowner may neglect to take the “due diligence” precautionary measures of vetting the contractor with whom they are dealing. The State of Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors has an that allows homeowners to investigate whether the contractors they are dealing with are licensed.

If you live in an impacted area, you may be approached by door-to-door contractor solicitations. This could be a legitimate contractor reaching out to people who need help the most, or it could be somebody seeking to exploit other people’s hardship. Again, check on the contractor through the State’s online records, or call the State contractor board at (800) 544-7693. Additionally, the Tennessee Secretary of State maintains records of all corporate entities authorized to do business in Tennessee and provides an online database with those companies. Ask questions about the contractor and their particular experience, and, of course, get it all in writing.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek guidance There are many government and private institutions offering guidance and help in dealing with the aftermath of a flood, including:

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency for specific guidance as to available services in Tennessee.

Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors

Tennessee Secretary of State

Local resources, such as blogs, may have the most up-to-date information on aid and agencies seeking to provide relief.

Flood Relief Contractor: Dealing with Damage Requiring Immediate Repair

The disastrous floods throughout Middle Tennessee have left many in our area dealing with damage to their homes that requires immediate repair.  Contractors and home restoration services will certainly be in high demand, which may open the door to less reputable contractors trying to exploit desperate consumers. In the rush to get your home restored, it is critical that you know what to do when selecting a home repair/restoration professional in order to prevent further hardship.

Here are a few tips:
Get an estimate in writing from your contractor.  Despite the urge to get the work started as soon as possible, document your engagement with the contractor. Sure, there may be unforeseen issues resulting from the damage, but you are entitled to some fair advance expectation of what the job will cost. Getting an estimate in advance places the burden on the contractor to provide you with notice of those unforeseen issues…and advance notice of any increase in costs.

Be sure that the contractor you hired is licensed with the state.  In the rush to get somebody—sometimes anybody—working on the damage, a homeowner may neglect to take the “due diligence” precautionary measures of vetting the contractor with whom they are dealing. The State of Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors has an that allows homeowners to investigate whether the contractors they are dealing with are licensed.

If you live in an impacted area, you may be approached by door-to-door contractor solicitations. This could be a legitimate contractor reaching out to people who need help the most, or it could be somebody seeking to exploit other people’s hardship. Again, check on the contractor through the State’s online records, or call the State contractor board at (800) 544-7693. Additionally, the Tennessee Secretary of State maintains records of all corporate entities authorized to do business in Tennessee and provides an online database with those companies. Ask questions about the contractor and their particular experience, and, of course, get it all in writing.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek guidance There are many government and private institutions offering guidance and help in dealing with the aftermath of a flood, including:

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency for specific guidance as to available services in Tennessee.

Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors
Tennessee Secretary of State
Local resources, such as blogs, may have the most up-to-date information on aid and agencies seeking to provide relief.