On March 18, 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland issued a press release announcing a settlement with the law firm Meyer, Rodbell & Rosenbaum, P.A. in the amount of $250,000 to resolve allegations that it failed to reimburse the United States for payments made to providers on behalf of a firm client.
Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Medicare made conditional payments in and prior to 2012. In December 2015, the client received a $1,150,000 medical malpractice settlement. The settlement between the parties to the malpractice action included a provision that the firm would pay $250,000 to resolve the Medicare lien; designate and train a person in the firm to properly and timely pay the debt; and review the debt every six (6) months with the employee to ensure compliance.
According to the press release, Medicare was notified of the settlement; a demand was issued; and the firm refused to pay the debt in full even when administrative appeals were final. In the press release, U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur stated as follows:
Attorneys typically receive settlement proceeds for and disburse settlement proceeds to their clients, so they are often in the best position to ensure that Medicare’s conditional payments are repaid. We intend to hold attorneys accountable for failing to make good on their obligations to repay Medicare for its conditional payments.
The strong language used by U.S. Attorney Hur in this press release reflects Medicare’s commitment to enforce its broad recovery rights pursuant to the Medicare Secondary Payer Act. Although not bound by the parties’ settlement terms, U.S. Attorney Hur made clear that Medicare would hold attorneys accountable for their obligations to reimburse Medicare for pre-settlement liens.
For further information regarding this release or on lien recovery and resolution, please contact NuQuest Settlement Consultant Team.