The focus of this blog is usually California legal matters. However, because the issue seems so important to everyone in the product liability defense world (and the tort world in general), CalBizLit put up a post and a a white paper on what we called the perfect storm caused by three events: the 2003 amendments to the Medicare Act reinforcing Medicare's right to recover benefits from tort settlements; the Center for Medicare and Medicaid's (CMS) retention of a new recovery contractor; and Congress's enactment of the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA).
The upshot of all this was (a) that product liability defendants faced double or even triple payment of Medicare's liens if they didn't make sure CMS was taken at the time of any settlement; and (b) defendants and insurers were being deputized to electronically report actions by Medicare recipients so the agency could make sure its rights were protected. There's much more to it than this, and any company involved in personal injury litigation needs to get itself educated on MMSEA, and soon.
Last month's issue of For The Defense, The Defense Research Institute's monthly mag, has a good article by Dorothy E. Kelly and Robert T. Lewis of Crowe Paradis, called The Next Chapter in Medicare Compliance. DRI doesn't have its June issue up on line yet, but Crowe Paradis (which appears to have established a business to help companies with MMSEA compliance) has posted the article here. Worth a look.