Can Attorneys Be Liable for Medicare Liens?
If you have done all the legwork necessary to ensure a nice settlement for your client, your work is not done. As a matter of fact, if Medicare paid for your client’s medical expenses following their injury, you may be dangerously behind the curve. That’s because Medicare can seek a recovery in situations where they paid an individual’s medical expenses. This is not just from a settlement, Medicare can seek payment from any entity that received payment from the individual’s settlement. So it’s critical that attorneys pay close attention to the details of the Medicare Lien. Not doing so can be costly.
Dealing with Medicare Liens
When it comes to your clients and healthcare liens, you can handle it now or your deal with it later. It’s much smarter to handle it at the start of your work with a client. Find out if your client received Medicare benefits. This includes getting verifiable proof such as an insurance card. Then start the process as soon as possible. Medicare takes a great deal of time to work through their processes. It’s also important to manage your clients’ expectations at the beginning of the case. A Medicare lien should be resolved prior to settlement disbursement, which can take a large amount of time to settle.
In terms of the process itself, the Benefits Coordination & Recovery Center (BCRC) of Medicare must be notified that a case is being filed in regards to an incident in which they are providing medical benefits. Once you sent all pertinent information about the case, you will receive a conditional payment letter. This lists all the items that Medicare has paid for. This is where a healthcare lien resolution firm like Synergy Settlements can help. We can review this list and negotiate certain items for the purpose of reducing or eliminating them.
If you handle the matter yourself, once the settlement has been reached, contact Medicare immediately. They will send a final demand letter and you will remit payment to them before disbursing the settlement.
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.