The Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Act has expanded the scope of workers’ compensation and liability claims beyond each individual state’s law concerning Medicare compliance. It also extends responsibility to plaintiffs’ attorneys, claimants of state, as well as self-insureds. As a result, it is vital to realize who is making payments for medical benefits on both accepted cases and disputed cases.
There are a variety of ways that your organization can consider the MSP act and still be in compliance with its new regulations. It is advised to begin with conducting a comprehensive review of each claim prior to choosing a course of action.
When determining Medicare’s future interest in a settlement, an entity will generally not provide a future medical allocation while documenting that no future medical allocation was provided.
Options for considering Medicare’s future interest in a settlement include:
- Commutation approach – takes into consideration what to reasonably expect to compensate for future medical expenses after the date of the settlement as a result of a work-related injury or disease.
- Compromise approach – takes disputes on the case into consideration and is generally computed by an MSA (Medical Savings Account) that funds an accepted portion of the claim or an MSA that is based on a percentage of the settlement.
- Seeking CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) approval – A voluntary process in which parties involved in the case are not required to undertake. This process typically leads to an overfunded MSA or an MSA that funds all possible treatments rather than probable or expected treatments.
Entities can address Medicare’s reimbursement requests on payments made by asking for documentation confirming that the request is related to the case and to ensure that reimbursement is indeed owed. At times, Medicare may ask for something that is not related to the claim itself. If it is a possibility that Medicare wrongfully collected on the case, the entity should investigate/appeal the request and search for methods to reduce the amount they are asking for or they have already taken from the case.
When reviewing these cases, it is imperative to maintain the mindset that the burden of proof should lie with Medicare.