Providers and Hospitals Prohibited Against Discrimination

Providers and Hospitals Prohibited Against Discrimination and Expected to Provide Language Assistance to those with Limited English Proficiencies

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in May of this year released its final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. This Section prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities receiving funding from HHS (e.g., Medicare and Medicaid, and Health Insurance Marketplace participants).

This final rule incorporates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. It does not, however, specify whether Section 1557 prohibits against discrimination re sexual orientation; but it is worth noting that HHS prohibits such discrimination “as a matter of policy.” Covered entity under this final rule (not to be confused with HIPAA’s “covered entity”) are also required to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to those individuals with limited English proficiency (e.g., provide oral and written translations).

Hospitals and providers are required to be in full compliance by October 16, 2016. Please note there is a private right of action (including class action) under this Section 1557.

You can find the final rule here:

HHS’ policy on Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons is here:

Chairman’s Mid-Autumn Festival Message

This week we celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Harvest Festival or the Moon Festival. This is a special holiday in Asian cultures. Next to the Lunar New Year, this holiday is the second most important. I’ve always thought of it as the equivalent of Thanksgiving in the U.S. It is a time for gathering family and friends, give thanks for the harmonious times, and pray for good fortunes.

Here in the Midwest, we are far away from the warmth of this holiday and the smell of fresh baked mooncakes, the soft glows of lanterns, and the days-off to celebrate. As an immigrant of more than 20 years, I have grown accustomed to the lost and longing. But I remind you, our member companies, and the good people of this Greater Cincinnati region that this is a special time for those who do celebrate. I ask that you share your smiles and open your hearts. Learn about the traditions and folklores of this important festival. Ask about the ten suns and the story of Chang-E. Don’t be afraid to try a piece of mooncake, and no it is not the same as a moon pie. Welcome and embrace the difference, celebrate together the meaning and substance to your diversity and inclusion efforts.

And for all those who do celebrate this Mid-Autumn Festival, I wish you:

月到秋分明,一年团圆日,祝你中秋事圆,身体安康, 万事如意,心想事成!

Jin Kong (孔进, 德昌)

Chairman, Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce


Chinese Chamber Member Profile

Frost Brown Todd is a full-service law firm serving some of America’s top corporations and emerging companies. With attorneys regularly identified by clients, peers and industry organizations as leaders in their practice areas, the firm advises and protects clients in business transactions and litigation in many industries, including insurance, financial services, manufacturing, real estate, construction, energy and health care. More than 500 attorneys in 12 offices in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia provide unparalleled service to meet clients’ needs; deliver the insights and solutions available only from a diverse group of professionals. Our international team helps U.S. businesses grow and operate abroad and assists foreign businesses with expansion into the U.S.  To learn more about our range of services, visit

Rhonda B. Schechter, Senior Associate, Frost Brown Todd LLC.

Rhonda is an attorney in the Health Law and Corporate/Business practice groups at Frost Brown Todd LLC, and serves as the Secretary of the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce. She assists clients, particularly those in the health care industry, with a range of business issues including mergers and acquisitions, vendor and physician contracts, and compliance with Medicare/Medicaid conditions of participation and other regulatory schemes. She has broad-based experience advising clients on hospice care, medical residency programs, and meaningful use of electronic health records.

Rhonda received her J.D. in 2009, graduating first in her class (summa cum laude) from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where she served on the editorial board of the Northern Kentucky Law Review and as a justice of the Moot Court Board. Prior to receiving her J.D., she taught college language courses and worked with various international businesses as an administrator and consultant. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese Studies and French from Earlham College and a Master of Arts degree in East Asian Studies from Indiana University. Rhonda is fluent in French, conversational in Mandarin Chinese and also speaks some Japanese.

Rhonda is a graduate of the “Boardway Bound” program offered by ArtsWave (formerly the Fine Arts Fund) to train individuals to serve as board members for local arts organizations. She served on the board of Bi-Okoto Cultural Institute and currently serves on the board of directors of The Children’s Law Center, an organization based in Covington, KY that works to protect and enhance the legal rights of children.

New shipping requirements for China: ZIKA anti-mosquito treatment


China’s AQSIQ (China’s Quality, Inspection and Quarantine Authority) recently released new shipping requirement from Zika affected countries (the USA falls into this category) as follows:

In order to prevent the spread of the ZIKA virus, transportation and containers from all involved countries and regions to China Ports shall be required to anti-mosquito treatment, without mosquito treatment proof must subject to treatment at Port of Discharge by local inspector immediately. China Entry-exit inspection and quarantine authorities will follow the quarantine regulations strictly for shipments from these countries and regions to China.

Click here to download the China AQSIQ Announcement – ZIKA anti-mosquito treatment

Weakening of the Chinese Yuan

by Kevin Kahn and Jin Kong

Photo by Seongjoon Cho/Bloomberg

Photo by Seongjoon Cho/Bloomberg

China’s gradual devaluation of currency has gotten much attention lately. It has stirred speculations from deliberate currency war to a weakened economy signaling troubles ahead. In all likelihood, China is trying to stimulate more exports and remain competitive domestically against foreign imports. But as the RMB becomes a reserve currency, China is also very keen on keeping it stable and the fluctuations narrow.

A weaker RMB against the dollar does mean higher prices for selling US-made goods in China. Although China is transitioning into a consumption based economy, the pace of consumption is nowhere near where it would be if China was still on double digit growth. As of late, China’s growth is mostly concentrated in exports and it is questionable if importing into China is as easy and lucrative as others would make us believe.

Not surprisingly, the RMB has strengthened against the British Pound. China and Britain have also been forging ever-closer relationships. While we can speculate whether China can be the saving grace to the controversial Brexit vote, we are certain the currency fluctuations have made British-manufactured goods more competitive in China than US-manufactured goods.

It is important to remember China is still a centrally planned economy and its currency devaluation is very much deliberate and strategic, likely independent of any foreign influences. It is important to be proactive; after all, it is much more productive to flow with the changes than to complain against it. There is not much one can do about the Chinese government’s policies but as Bruce Lee once said, be like water.

Frequent evaluation of the exchange rate and aggressive negotiation of prices is key to staying ahead and maximizing your margins. If you are sourcing from China and you have not received a price reduction from your vendors, now is a good time to push for one. Generally accepted revaluation practice, if not outlined in a contract, is a 3% swing in pricing. With a 4.6% devaluation in 2016, it is worth the effort to ask for a reduction in pricing on Chinese purchased goods.

If you are selling to China, you may want to reevaluate your business operations and hedge against risks where you can. Since you will need to evaluate the structural and transaction risks more carefully, diligence and completeness is key. Adjusting the sales price is only one way, the key is to focus on cash-flow, supply chain, competitor actions, and consumer preferences in China. It may be difficult to hedge against risks with pricing adjustments alone, but process innovation and efficiency improvements together can be helpful.

For those seeking investors from China, now would be a very advantageous time to reach out, as Chinese businesses and personal investors alike are looking for opportunities to invest in foreign denominated investments – to hedge their assets against a declining Yuan.

If you would like to explore ways to strengthen your business opportunities with China, Kevin Kahn of K2 Industrial Controls Int’l Ltd and Jin Kong of Kong Esq., LLC can be of assistance. Just contact us at to get connected.

E-Commerce in China & Beyond Seminar

E-commerce Flyer Final

In 2015, Chinese consumers spent close to 4 trillion yuan ($589.61 Billion) buying goods online. China’s web sales surpassed U.S. in 2013, making it by far the world’s largest e-commerce market. The major drivers in China’s e-commerce boom have been cross-border sales, mobile sales, and e-commerce in villages.

To better understand e-commerce in China and the disruptive nature of market players, we are bringing together a panel of experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead. Please join us on August 29th at 6:30PM for this enlightening panel discussion. We welcome Ken Ma (via teleconference) of Tmall Global, Richard Cant of Dezan Shira, and Joe Dehner of Frost Brown Todd to share their experiences and insights in looking ahead and navigating the prosperous e-commerce channels of China and beyond.

About Tmall. Tmall is China’s premier B2C online retail market, operated by the Chinese e-commerce giant The Alibaba Group. It achieved 200 billion RMB ($32 Billion) gross merchandise volume in 2012 offering products from more than 70,000 merchants. Many multinational brands, such as Nike, Gap, Levi’s, Lacoste, Microsoft, Sony, P&G, Nestle, Toys-R-Us, etc., operate flagship stores on Tmall.


Ken Ma – Director of Int’l Development, Tmall Global (Alibaba Group)
Ken has 10+ years global e-commerce business experience in China. He help developed over 100 top international brands for and is currently the head of Tmall’s international business development team for cross border e-commerce. Prior to Tmall, he managed Alibaba’s markets in Indonesia, Brazil and Japan, and had developed the company’s markets in Malaysia and Vietnam.

Richard Cant – North American Director, Dezan Shira & Associates (Boston)
Richard guides North American individuals and companies through the process of establishing, maintaining, and expanding their businesses in China. His areas of practice include: corporate accounting and compliance, establishing businesses in China and Hong Kong, due diligence and M&A, and taxation planning and structuring. Prior to Dezan Shira & Associates, Richard was an Australian lawyer and Certified Public Accountant, and was also a partner at Ernst & Young Australia. He has worked in business and commercial consulting both in Australia and China for the past 20 years.

Joe Dehner – Member, Frost Brown Todd
Joe chairs this 500+-attorney law firm’s International Services Group.  He advises global businesses from large to small on a broad variety of business matters, including data privacy, product and services distribution, multinational business structures, compliance, tax and other issues.  He has advised U.S., Chinese and other businesses on e-commerce matters since the start of the digital age.

Moderated by Jin Kong, G4C Chairman 2016-17.


New Chairman’s Welcome

Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce (G4C) Chairman’s Welcome

Dear G4C members,

I am honored to serve as your Chairman during this 2016-17 year. I want to thank our immediate past Chair Michael Kou, of Growth by Export, for his dedication and service to the G4C. Under his leadership, this Chamber experienced a tremendous transformation. I look forward to continuing his hard work and I am committed to doing my best in executing the responsibilities charged to me. Michael will remain with the Board as Chair Emeritus and will continue to serve as our trusted advisor. Also I want to thank Catalin Macarie (UC), Kevin Kahn (K2 Industrial Controls International), and Louisa Luk (Green Energy Enterprises) for their hard work as part of the outgoing 2015-16 executive team.

We now begin the year of the Monkey and prepare to welcome the Rooster. This is a transitional year for G4C and we are under new management. Tessa Xuan, Executive Director, is hard at-work building organizational processes and volunteer capacity to ensure our viability and sustainability. We are lucky to have her and she needs all of our support. My goal this year is to assist her the best I can to stabilize and grow this Chamber, to build a succession plan for our volunteer leadership ranks, and to promote awareness and engagement among G4C members and the region at-large. I am fortunate to have a strong Executive Committee to help with the heavy lifting and to help accomplish this. A special thanks to:

  • John Guo from 5/3 Bank (1st Vice Chair of Membership)
  • Franklin Lim from Kroger (2nd Vice Chair of Programs)
  • Hui-Pin Sepulveda from Deloitte Tax (Treasurer)
  • Rhonda Schechter from Frost Brown Todd (Secretary)

In China, there is a saying: 德本財末 – virtue first, wealth follows. This Chamber was founded as a group of Chinese restaurateurs who thought to help themselves by helping each other. Over the years, many others have come and gone and made this Chamber what it is today. As we struggle to define the Chamber’s identity, associated of Chinese? Of Asians? Or of Americans who are doing business in China? We come to realize such an inquiry begs the fundamental question of why we are coming together. We are not here to benefit one person, one race, one culture, or one country in particular. On the contrary, we are associated together because we are all vested in our connection with the richness of Chinese culture, as well as our mutual interests in our professional endeavors. We are associated because we believe in the timeless Chinese virtues pertinent to the changes around us; we believe the sizable impact China will have on our common future. And most importantly, we are associated together because we want to make the Greater Cincinnati region more diverse and prosperous than we found it.

So we come together as a “Chinese Chamber” charged with the task of taking care of one another in these trying times. In light of the recent racial tensions, global terror, and growing distance between all of us, I stand with my fellow board members committed to deliver to you, our members, a Chamber of Commerce worthy of its name and tradition.

Yours truly,

Jin Kong, Esq.

Board Chairman 2016-17

Inaugural Dragon Boat Festival August 20th

dragon boat flyer 2016-page-001

RowAmerica Hamilton Dragon Boat Festival

Saturday, August 20, 2016
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

RiversEdge Amphitheater at Marcum Park
116 Dayton St, Hamilton

The Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce is a proud sponsor of the inaugural RowAmerica Hamilton Dragon Boat Festival!  Although very new to the Greater Cincinnati area, Dragon Boating has a rich Chinese history dating back to 278 B.C.  Come be part of Cincinnati history on Saturday, August 20th!

For 2016, the event is supporting the Sports Medicine Division at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital AND the Boathouse Development Capital Campaign for the Great Miami Rowing Center.

For sponsorship information, to register as an individual or team, learn about Dragon Boat racing and/or establish your individual or team fundraising page, please visit

image001      gmrc logo