The new Medicare Smart Act goes into effect and now limits Medicare to three years on their right of recovery for payments made in Personal injury matters. This is significant as it now provides a window of opportunity and a closure so that victims and personal injury attorneys whom may not have been diligent in the past are protected from the collection arm of the federal government. The new act provides a few ground rules for attorneys and others whom practice personal injury law and deal with Medicare eligible clients.
Medicare pays for accident victims’ treatment, but wants re-payment for any treatment caused by a 3rd party. The new law requires Medicare to have a website (called a portal) that will enable industry personnel to access all requisite information on the specific claim. It further requires a 15-day period that the information must be downloaded to the portal. CMS has 65 days to ensure the portal is accurate after a claim has been presented. At the conclusion of the 65-day period, a conditional payment can be downloaded from the web. If a discrepancy is claimed, CMS has 11 days to fix and/or respond. The final amount can be relied on if the claim settles within three days of the download.
The SMART Act was introduced by Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and was passed at the end of 2012 with bipartisan support. The acronym Smart stands for Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers. The SMART Act was originally proposed by the Medicare Advocacy Recovery Coalition (MARC), an entity that advocates for the improvement of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP) for beneficiaries and affected companies.
If you or someone you know, has a Medicare issue relating to a personal injury case and need Nevada expert counsel to assist in your accident claim, please call the Las Vegas personal injury offices of Benson & Bingham at 702-382-9797.