I hesitate to call it cats and dogs living together, but when a group like this is all on the same side there has to be something major going on. This group has come together to ask the federal government to finally deal with the problems with Medicare and personal injury settlements. The goal is the passage of the bi-partisan Medicare Secondary Payer Enhancement Act (MSPEA).
The bill would set a hard deadline for Medicare to notify the parties to a claim how much the program is owed, or else Medicare would lose its right to collect the money at all. It would create a "safe harbor" from the $1,000-a-day penalties based on willfulness and other factors. It would also require Medicare to resolve its claims to reimbursement within three years of a settlement — whereas now there is no statute of limitations.
As of right now, claims are being held up for years as all of the parties involved just try to find out how much Medicare is owed and to get them paid back. If a case doesn’t involve Medicare and the goal is to just confirm this, the process as it is right now can be almost impossible.
The nightmare of Medicare has included:
– No response as to what their interest is.
– Letters showing up after a settlement claiming amounts that were missed.
– Lack of an authority to sign checks.
– Letters being sent directly to clients that scare them with threats of loss of future benefits.
– The lack of an ability to agree with a number even when the parties involved accumulate every bill.
– Hours and hours of sitting on phones just to talk to someone.
It is an infective system that stops the government from effectively collecting millions and millions of dollars in reimbursement. It also has created an uncertainty that has prevented the settlement of many cases.
Just look at the group that has gotten together to deal with the issue. Hopefully, congress will pay attention and deal with this problem.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.