Review: Complete Guide to Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance & liability claims


The Complete Guide to Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance
, by Jennifer C. Jordan, Editor-in-Chief (Published by LexisNexis®)
To order by phone, call 1-800-223-1940
To order online, click here

Brand new out from LexisNexis® - This is a complete Guide Book for achieving MSP compliance in workers comp and liability settlements. This book combines a rare industry insider's review of the statutory changes as seen by MSA industry insider, Jen Jordan, General Counsel at MEDVAL LLC, and delivers current relevant case law with case summaries that review where we are at today. I recently received and reviewed parts of an early draft edition and thoroughly enjoyed the reading.

Jen Jordan has been involved in the trenches of structured settlements for workers comp and MSA (Medicare Set Aside) submissions and an active participant in following all the "Town Hall" conferences that CMS has been holding with industry participants regarding the new MSP claim reporting requirements for Workers Comp, Liability and non-group health plans.

I must admit that I have been a longtime reader of the MedVal Blog for updates on MSP developments and MSA requirements. I have personally tracked all the major MSA settlement companies and many of their websites for any MSA updates or information on MSP compliance over the past 8 years. I was always searching for any new consensus of opinion on MSA submissions and MSP compliance. My lengthy search had covered the numerous twists and turns in both the case law and the changes in CMS Memos dealing with workers comp. I also personally reviewed all the changes in the actual wording of the statutory language in the Federal Regulations. This Guide Book saves the reader from my long and somewhat painful search.

This new Guide Book on MSP Compliance and MSA submissions exceeds all of my research efforts to date and delivers a comprehensive beacon of light in an otherwise dark and murky lagoon of disjointed MSA/MSP written information. I have read many of the conflicting or modified answers in Memos issued by CMS since 2001 and read many of the changes in the statutory MSP language and reviewed multiple changes in the MSP claim reporting requirements that had left me and a lot of other people frankly scratching their heads.

Finally, someone delivers a clear, concise reading in this area, with some definitive answers for both lawyers and claims specialists and accurate reporting dealing with MSP compliance and MSA allocations with all of the necessary resources found in one place. This book is a "must read" for anyone responsible for MSP compliance and no, I am not being paid for this endorsement although I will disclose that I recently received a copy of the book for my work in reviewing and providing feedback on early outlines and case law summaries.

Along with a handful of other Illinois workers compensation attorneys, I have ardently followed and analyzed all the CMS Internal Memos and alerts from Medicare. I must admit that I have even used the "Ask Jen" feature on MedVal’s Blog to ask some rather tough questions on my concerns for large Illinois workers compensation settlements with rather large MSA structured settlements that were not exactly covered by any of the reported case law decisions nor answered by any of the CMS Memos. Thankfully, Jen Jordan had provided me with some very direct answers on my tough questions and I have been a faithful fan of the MedVal Blog by her and Ryan Roth ever since.

As everyone knows, CMS has been morphing the Liability and Workers Comp MSP claim reporting requirements that will take effect for carriers and self insureds as of January 1, 2011. This new Guide Book on MSP compliance couldn't be delivered anymore timely or anymore helpful.

And for all those out there that think MSA allocations have nothing to do with Liability settlements, think again. Why on earth would the government mandate the reporting of all liability claims involving Medicare beneficiaries all across the nation if there wasn't an intended purpose? Medicare intends on denying all future Medicare payments for any treatment related to injuries received that are the subject of a liability law suit unless there is an accurate and adequate consideration (read future medical allocation and funding) of “Medicare's interests” at the time of the settlement.

Liability lawyers from now on are going to have to shy away from the standard boiler plate language in a "General Release" and modify their settlement language to suit the circumstances where their client is a Medicare beneficiary or soon to be expected Medicare beneficiary. Jordan's chapter on Liability Settlements is a "must read" for every plaintiff and defense lawyer drafting releases with some practical tips on possible liability MSA applications and even some suggested modified "Release" language.

While liability settlements presently do not go through any of the MSA prior submission process established for workers comp, CMS totally intends on tracking all liability settlements to ensure repayment of their Medicare liens for "conditional" payments made and to prevent any double compensation where future medical monies have already been received in a law suit. The Philadelphia office for CMS has reportedly already hired someone to review MSA liability settlements. That alone should tell you something. In situations of an inadequate recovery due to limited insurance coverage or in situations of incomplete compensation for injuries due to liability issues, this book provides some very practical suggestions for post settlement hearings and findings by the Court as well as modified "Release" language.

Liability plaintiff's attorneys heretofore have had to make an assessment whether to even take a personal injury client's case if the Medicare "conditional" lien payments were expected to exceed the insurance coverage available because Medicare's lien repayments could in fact leave their client with nothing left for compensation for their injuries.

However, there may be some new light shed at the end of that dark tunnel with a recent decision reported by Jen Jordan on the LexisNexis Workers Compensation Blog. See her summary on the opinion in Bradley v. Sebelius recently decided out of Florida that was published on September 29, 2010. Jen's analysis of the Court's opinion is that it supports a position for "apportionment" in Medicare lien repayment cases that settle for less than full value of the claim and/or contain compensation for non-medical claims. Liability lawyers might very well want to read both the summary and the actual decision and continue to read Jen Jordan's further analysis on the LexisNexis Workers Compensation Blog as we wait for some final word on the situation.

Importantly, this new MSP book provides guidelines on accurate MSA submissions for workers comp settlements to prevent over funding of any MSA submissions. It is extremely important for insurance adjusters or lawyers to note and define injuries for which workers comp liability is accepted and state any future medical or body parts that are totally disputed (with the basis for the dispute documented of course) when submitting their MSA proposals and in drafting their settlements. Similar considerations also apply when making any future medical allocations for Medicare’s interests in liability settlements.

This brand new book from LexisNexis will help industry claims people and lawyers alike take control of their settlements by explaining how to:

• comply with MSP reporting requirements and avoid penalties
• avoid pitfalls and delays under CMS’ policies and procedures
• identify which cases to actually submit for CMS review
• achieve better CMS approval rates and avoid overly inflated MSAs
• defend less costly MSA allocations for future medical expenses
• avoid rejection of MSA proposals for inadequate drug information
• understand MSA evaluations and the options for funding MSAs
• and determine when MSAs should be used in liability settlements

That pretty much covers a lot of ground in one complete Guide Book. Twice a year updates are already anticipated as well as more current update coverage on both on the MedVal Blog and on the LexisNexis Workers Compensation Law Community powered by Larson’s.

Jen Jordan will personally be available at the upcoming National Workers Compensation Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nov. 10 thru 12th. For more information on the conference see here.

I want to congratulate both Jen Jordan and her editor, Robin Kobayashi, of LexisNexis for an outstanding job on delivering a thoroughly accurate presentation of MSP/MSA guideline information on what has been a constantly morphing and moving target.

Mistakes in this MSP/MSA area can literally cost tens of thousands of dollars and the book is moderately priced at just $179 dollars for the 2010 Edition. To order by phone, call 1-800-223-1940. To order online, click here

Chicago workers compensation attorney -- 11-01-10