As we have continued to inform on this blog, at multiple conference presentations throughout the country, and at training sessions for current and potential clients over the last several years, conditional payments resolution isn't just about traditional Medicare any more. Today, conditional payments resolution is about identifying, investigating, analyzing, disputing, appealing, resolving, and closing such claims not just with Medicare Parts A (hospital) and B (physician) coverage, but also with Medicare Parts C (Medicare Advantage Plans) and D (Prescription Drug Plans), as well as Medicaid.
Topics: Conditional Payments
Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) compliance has become an integral part of claims handling for both the injured plaintiff and his/her counsel, as well as the corporate defendant, its insurer, and its counsel. Litigants today must pay close attention and stay informed about plaintiff’s entitlement to Medicare, and whether Medicare makes any conditional payments related to the pending or settled claim. In addition, litigants today must know whether the plaintiff is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (MAP) or Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), and whether such plans make any conditional payments related to the pending or settled claim. Not knowing this will create havoc on your claim, your settlement, your practice, and your business.
As Required by Section 1893(h) of the Social Security Act, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Commercial Repayment Center (CRC) published its third annual report to Congress for FY 2016 in August 2017. Based on the Group Health Plan (GHP) and Non-Group Health Plan (NGHP) recovery work of the CRC, for FY 2016 (October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016), CMS returned $88.35 million dollars to the Medicare Trust Funds.
Medicare conditional payments are serious business. They continue to challenge claims professionals throughout the country. And if not dealt with timely and appropriately, can create havoc on parties’ attempt to settle a claim, or future reimbursement responsibility.
We all mean well. Everyone handling claims tries to do the right thing. But sometimes, things just don’t go as planned and end up taking significantly longer than expected and costing way more than agreed.
Topics: Conditional Payments
On July 31, 2017, CMS published Version 2.6 of the Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement (WCMSA) Reference Guide. The latest version of the Guide includes the following changes:
On July 13, 2017, the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old Age, Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds published its 2017 Annual Report. “The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program makes monthly income available to insured workers and their families at retirement, death, or disability. The OASDI program consists of two parts. Retired workers, their families, and survivors of deceased workers receive monthly benefits under the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) program. Disabled workers and their families receive monthly benefits under the Disability Insurance (DI) program.”
Topics: Medicare Law
On July 13, 2017, the Boards of Trustees for the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds published its 2017 Annual Report. “The Medicare program has two separate trust funds, the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund (HI) and the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund (SMI). HI, otherwise known as Medicare Part A, helps pay for hospital, home health services following hospital stays, skilled nursing facility, and hospice care for the aged and disabled. SMI consists of Medicare Part B and Part D. Part B helps pay for physician, outpatient hospital, home health, and other services for the aged and disabled who have voluntarily enrolled.
Topics: Medicare Law
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has put together a mechanism to receive and evaluate future medical and future prescription drug costs for inclusion in Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangements (WCMSAs). The Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Portal (WCMSAP) is a web-based application that allows attorneys, beneficiaries, claimants, insurance carriers, representative payees, and WCMSA vendors to create a work-in-progress case, submit WCMSA cases, perform case lookups, append documentation to a case, receive alerts relating to case activity, and now submit a re-review request.
On June 6, 2017, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation published Medicare Advantage 2017 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update. Written by Gretchen Jacobson and Tricia Newman from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Anthony Damico, an independent consultant, and Marsha Gold, a Senior Fellow Emeritus with Mathematica Policy Research and an independent consultant, the study highlights the fact that “Medicare Advantage plans have played an increasingly larger role in the Medicare program as the share of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage has steadily climbed over the past decade.” The trend in enrollment growth is continuing in 2017, and has occurred despite reductions in payments to plans enacted by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The Data Spotlight “reviews national and state-level Medicare Advantage enrollment trends as of March 2017 and examines variations in enrollment by plan type and firm. It also analyzes the most recent data on premiums, out-of-pocket limits, and quality ratings.” The study can be found here.