CMS issues 1st liability settlement memorandum

by Matthew H. Ammerman on October 5th, 2011

First things first -- what does the 9/30/11 memo say? CMS says that where the treating physician certifies in writing that that treatment for the alleged injury has been completed as of the date of the liability (non-workers' compensation) settlement, Medicare's interests have been taken into consideration. The memo is available here:

http://www.cms.gov/COBGeneralInformation/Downloads/FutureMedicals.pdf

CMS will not review the treating physician's certification for approval in liability settlements. The agency encourages the settling party to hold onto the doctor's certification.

The memo comes on the heels of a patchwork of regional announcements, verbal statements, and educated guesses in the personal injury world about what to do in liability settlements. Obviously, it does not address every situation, such as cases where future medical treatment is anticipated. However, this memo gives guidance on the proper documentary support in those cases where medical treatment has drawn to a close.

How is this memo relevant to maritime cases? It provides an official guideline for your settlements of liability claims such as Jones Act, Section 905(b), or other injury claims under general maritime law where medical care has ended. It also confirms CMS' position that Medicare's interests should be protected in liability settlements. Absent specific, comprehensive guidelines from CMS in liability settlements, the best practice is to have credible medical support for the amounts allocated to future medical for prospective, Medicare-covered medical care for the injury.


Posted in Settlement, Jones Act: Settlement; MSA    Tagged with CMS, liability MSA, L-MSA

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