A Maryland plaintiff’s personal injury law firm recently settled with the US Justice Department over allegations the firm failed to reimburse Medicare for payments it made related to a client’s medical malpractice case.
Meyers, Rodbell & Rosenbaum represented a client in a medical malpractice claim, and settled the case for $1,150,000. Medicare demanded reimbursement and the firm refused, though at this time it is unclear why.
The settlement requires the firm to pay the United States $250,000. What isn’t clear is whether that amount includes any damages beyond the original amount Medicare demanded.
Medicare is required to demand twice what is owed when it is compelled to sue for reimbursement, but the government also got the firm to agree to (1) designate a person at the firm responsible for paying Medicare secondary payer debts; (2) train the designated employee to ensure that the firm pays these debts on a timely basis; and (3) review any outstanding debts with the designated employee at least every six months to ensure compliance. This leads me to believe the double damages penalty was dropped, or significantly reduced.
Medicare obligations cannot be ignored, and I suspect we will see more and more firms held to account for the failure to pay client obligations. Having a consultant who knows Medicare law as well as the plaintiff’s side of claims can help your firm achieve the best results for your clients. Contact our office if you want help taming the Medicare Monster.