What Not to Do When Trying to Reduce a Medicare Lien
One of the most frustrating parts of being a personal injury attorney is working on cases that involve a Medicare lien. Clients don’t always understand them, yet it affects them profoundly. Resolving them takes an immense amount of time. Yet, you have to deal with them correctly as they can greatly reduce your client’s settlement. You can also be held liable if it’s found that you didn’t properly inform your client. The latter can cost your from a financial and reputation standpoint.
We know that you have a lot on your plate. Yet, handling the Medicare liens of your clients is one of the most important actions your firm can take. There are several “do’s” when it comes to Medicare lien resolution, here are a few “don’ts” to avoid at all costs.
Don’t Forget to Ask Your Clients if They Received Medicare Benefits
Forget this at your peril. It’s critical when you go into any personal injury case to first find out if the client received Medicare benefits. If so, get copies of their card and all correspondence they’ve had with Medicare. Also, let them know that having Medicare involved in their case will likely lengthen the time it takes for them to receive their settlement.
Don’t Think You’ll Receive a Quick Answer
It will take a great deal of time to get a lien resolved when working with Medicare. As with many government organizations, the wheels turn slow, so you have to be vigilant when addressing the lien. The key is to find out what Medicare has conditionally paid. Your initial correspondence should include yours and your client’s information and the details of the case. You must also verify that you represent your client in this matter. You should receive a list of payments in (ideally) 60 days.
Don’t Take the Conditional Payment Letter at It’s Word
It’s not uncommon to see Medicare payments on the conditional payment letter that aren’t related to the case. Circle those items and ask for them to be removed. This will lengthen the process as well, but it’s a critical part of Medicare lien resolution.
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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.