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Client FAQs

How long does the lien resolution process take?

This process can take anywhere from 2-9 months, depending on what agencies are involved.

What is the typical timeline for lien resolution?

Estimated timelines are dependent upon LitPRO’ s receipt of complete, accurate information, settlement allocations, and appropriate authorizations. LitPRO will update timelines and manage expectations as we proceed with our work.

Why are you reporting a date of injury before the date my client became eligible for benefits with Medicare?

In cases involving exposure, ingestion, or implantation, it is required to report the date of loss or injury as the initial date of claimant exposure. Medicare possesses the entitlement to recover from the date of exposure (or the first date of entitlement if it occurred after the date of exposure) up to the settlement date. If exposure ended before December 5, 1980, Medicare would not have the right to recover. In such instances, a No Interest letter will be issued promptly upon receipt of the complaint or other documentation validating the final date of exposure.

There are still charges on Medicare’s final demand that are not related to the case. What are our options?

LitPRO is well-prepared to leverage the three levels of appeal at our disposal. The first level of appeal is managed internally by the team responsible for issuing the Final Demand, and it frequently confirms the initial decision. The subsequent two levels of appeal involve external contractors, with the third level entailing an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. Both levels of appeal beyond the initial stage have demonstrated higher rates of success.

Before initiating each level of appeal, LitPRO will engage in consultations with the firm to deliberate on a strategic approach and determine any additional information that may be required.

The charges on Medicare’s demand are related, but it is taking an inequitable portion of my client’s settlement. What can we do?

Three distinct avenues exist for securing additional lien reductions in this scenario: Pre-Settlement Compromise, Post-Settlement Compromise, and Waiver.

1. Pre-Settlement Compromise: LitPRO will provide the proposed settlement amount, enabling Medicare to contemplate a compromise of their lien to facilitate claimants' acceptance of the settlement. In the event that the final settlement deviates from the proposed amount, the compromise requires reassessment with Medicare. Timely payment within 60 days of funding is mandated by Medicare.

2. Post-Settlement Compromise: Following the reception of Medicare's final demand, an equitable division of the settlement funds may be considered. Payment must be made within 60 days of the final demand, and a refund is disbursed upon the successful conclusion of the compromise decision.

3. Waiver: Differing from compromises, Medicare resolves waiver requests based on the financial hardship endured by the claimant or their dependents. The submission of a form outlining the claimant's assets and expenses is necessary post-receipt of the final demand. Despite a successful waiver decision, the final demand must be paid within 60 days, and a refund is issued accordingly.

Additional Settlement: It is crucial to note that compromises and waivers are not deemed full and final in the event of an additional settlement.

Can I have my client reach out to Medicare/Medicaid to help speed up the process?

We highly recommend that claimants refrain from direct outreach to lienholders, as LitPRO's dedicated contacts are typically situated in a distinct department, separate from general call center operations. Engaging directly with the call center may result in the receipt of inaccurate information. It is essential to inform your clients that they may indeed receive correspondence from these agencies. However, it is imperative to emphasize that LitPRO is concurrently receiving and diligently addressing all relevant correspondence. For seamless coordination and resolution, we encourage the forwarding of any received correspondence to LitPRO for management.

My client says they were never on Medicare/Medicaid benefits, why do they have to be submitted?

Medicare and Medicaid serve as mandatory notice agencies, and as a best practice, LitPRO strongly advises verifying this information. Submitting the necessary documentation to Medicare/Medicaid ensures compliance with the notification obligation, and these agencies will issue clearance if the claimant is not entitled to their services.

How does Medicare handle wrongful death actions?

When a person covered by Medicare receives a settlement or judgment related to a wrongful death claim, Medicare may have a right to recover any conditional payments it made for medical expenses related to the injury that led to the wrongful death. Medicare will typically follow the state statutes to determine if medical payments are recoverable in Wrongful Death actions. It's important to review the state statutes regarding WD and understand that Medicare will require documentation showing what was pleaded, claimed, and released in the settlement in addition to the state recovery rules. If allocations to Wrongful Death are not made based on the merits of the case, and approved by a Judge, Medicare may not reduce their recovery even in states where medical payments aren't recoverable for Wrongful Death actions.

Claimant  FAQs

What is a healthcare lien?

Your health insurance company may have paid for the injury-related care that is part of your lawsuit. Some health insurers have a right to be reimbursed for the payments they made from your personal injury settlements. This right to reimbursement can be based in either statute or the contractual languageinyour policy. When your health insurance pays for medical bills caused by a third party, it suffers an economic loss. As a result, your health insurance may have a claim or “lien” against the third party just like you do. However, that claim shifts to you once you receive money from the third party, because you received compensation for the medical bills your insurer paid.

What are the potential consequences if I fail to address healthcare liens?

Depending on the type of healthcare lien, failure to resolve reimbursement obligations could result in the suspension of your healthcare coverage, financial penalties, an/or a potential lawsuit against you.

What is a Lien Resolution Administrator (“LRA”)? Who is LitPRO?

In complex litigation, it is common for law firms to engage the expertise of a thirty-party company that specializes in healthcare lien resolution. This company, referred to as the Lien Resolution Administrator (“LRA”) is tasked with reporting cases to the relevant lienholders, auditing claims listings, and finalizing liens to ensure compliance with statutory and contractual law. LitPROis the company our firm has engaged to perform this work in this litigation.

Why am I receiving CMS correspondence?

Medicare-entitled claimants will receive a copy of a Medicare Rights & Responsibilitiesletter which states that CMS was notified that you filed a liability insurance claim on their behalf. The letter confirms that a Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) recovery case has been established, and it goes on to explain the concept of conditional payments made toward the injury-related care. Medicare benefits will not be affected as we work through this process.After the Rights & Responsibilities letter, claimants will receive copies of all Conditional Payment Letters and any correspondence that the LRA has requested. You do not need to act on these letters. The LRA will handle all lien correspondence.

I did not have Insurance, why do I have to wait for my money to be released?

As your attorney, we are legally and ethically obligated to verify and resolve certain types of healthcare liens. We are conducting a process to scan health insurance databases to determine whether statutory and/or contractual reimbursement obligations exist. Once this process is complete and we confirm there is no match against the database, money will be released.

What is a global healthcare lien resolution program?

As a claimant in this litigation, you have been enrolled in [INSERT GLOBAL PROGRAM]. It is common in litigations with larger claimant populations to proactively negotiate reimbursement terms with certain health insurers. Average injury category treatment is modeled and set reductions are applied to resolve liens as expeditiously and favorably as possible.

How long does it take to resolve healthcare liens and receive my settlements?

The time it takes to finalize healthcare liens is highly dependent on the type of lien involved. This process can take weeks up to several months. No matter the lien type, the steps in the traditional lien resolution process are the same: (1) reporting claimant information to the lienholder; (2) thelienholder presents claims listings for each claimant; (3) the LRA performs a thorough audit of claims and disputes unrelated claims; (4) liens are negotiated and finalized;and (5) payment is made to the lienholder from settlement funds.

Who is [Rawlings/Equian/Optum/Hill HillCarter/Benefits Recovery/MSP Recovery?

This company represents the reimbursement interests of a significant number of national and regional private insurance companies or health plans. Currently, the firm is verifying with this company whether any of the plans they represent have an interest in the proceeds of your personal injury lawsuit by virtue of providing health benefits to you.

What types of healthcare liens are common?

Below is a list of common health insurers that may have a right to be reimbursed from your personal injury settlement.

Medicare Parts A & B
Medicare is the federal government’s healthcare program that provides healthcare for individuals 65 and older, those qualifying for social security disability, and individuals diagnosed with end-stage renal disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease. When an individual is injured and later receives compensation from another party in relation to those injuries, federal law enables Medicare to be reimbursed from those funds. In cases where Medicare is not reimbursed properly, Medicare may assert financial penalties against you. Accordingly, federal law requires that you satisfy any potential Medicare reimbursement obligation from your personal injury settlement proceeds.

Medicare Parts C and D
Beneficiaries who qualify for Medicare coverage can receive their Medicare benefits through a private insurance company like Humana or United Healthcare. This election is referred to as Medicare Part C and is more commonly known as a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare beneficiaries may also elect to purchase a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to cover medication that is not covered under Medicare Parts A and B. Both Medicare Parts C and D have the same rights of reimbursement described above for Medicare Parts A and B. Accordingly, you are required to satisfy any potential Medicare Parts C and D obligations from your personal injury settlement proceeds.

Medicare Supplement
Medicare Supplement plans, commonly referred to as a Medigap plan, is insurance offered to Medicare beneficiaries to cover individuals for amounts that Medicare Parts A and B will not otherwise cover. Unlike Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D, Medicare supplement plans derive their rights to reimbursement under state law instead of federal law. Nonetheless, many of these plans do have a right to be reimbursed from your personal injury settlement proceeds.

Medicaid is a needs-based program available to people who are under certain income and/or asset thresholds, administered by the states with federal government oversight. The ability of these plans to seek reimbursement from injury-related settlements varies from state to state as the rules that guide each Medicaid program are unique to each state.

Military Health Benefits
Members and retirees of the United States Military are able to receive healthcare benefits through a number of programs. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (“VA”) for example allows veterans who served during wartime to receive their healthcare free at VA hospitals and clinics. For active-duty members and their spouses and dependents, health insurance is commonly offered through the TRICARE program. Finally, CHAMPVA provides coverage to the spouse or widow(er) and to the children of a Veteran who do not otherwise qualify for TRICARE. Federal law gives all of these Military Programs the ability to seek recovery directly from your personal injury settlements.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation benefits are given to employees who are injured as the result of a job-related function. In cases where youare receiving Workers Compensation benefits for the same injury that you are also receiving personal injury proceeds; Workers Compensation may have the right to recover from your personal injury proceeds. The laws governing Workers Compensation are unique to each state and the ability and amount that Workers Compensation can recover varies accordingly.

Federal Employees

Individuals employed by the federal government are generally eligible for health benefits through a separate federal healthcare program. Under federal law, these plans have a right to seek recovery from your personal injury proceeds.

Private Health Insurance

Many companies offer private healthcare coverage to their employees. Similarly, any individual can purchase a private health insurance policy. In some instances, varying from state to state and the specific plan that you had, the private health insurance company may have a right to seek recovery from your personalinjury proceeds.