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Medical Malpractice On a brief side note, given that the defendant will


notify Medicare of the above referenced information once a settlement is reached, it might behoove plaintiffs to incorporate terms of the incident data as part of the settlement discussions. If a settlement is being reached because a portion of the injury originally claimed in the suit is now being excluded, plaintiffs should request at the time of settlement that the defendant’s notification reflect said excluded dates of service. Te closer the defendant’s account matches that of the plaintiff; the easier it will be to resolve the lien.


Myth #2: Fines for double damages, plus interest,


claim is ignored, are penalties which are easily and likely implemented against Defendants


Tis myth, in particular, is getting a lot of mileage,


particularly when it comes time to issue the settlement check. It is true, 42 U.S.C. §1395y provides for the penalty of double damages for any entity that fails to properly reimburse Medicare. In order to recover payment made under this title for an item or service, the United States may bring an action against


if Medicare’s reimbursement


any or all entities that are or were required or responsible (directly, as an insurer or self-insurer, as a third-party administrator, as an employer that sponsors or contributes to a group health plan, or large group health plan, or otherwise) to make payment with respect to the same item or service (or any portion thereof) under a primary plan. Te United States may, in accordance with paragraph (3)(A) collect double damages against any such entity. (B)(iii)


42 U.S.C. §1395y(b)(2) Te threat of paying money for failure to satisfy a Medicare


lien is not really new to plaintiff attorneys, as we have been liable for payments for our clients’ Medicare liens for years. We know not to disburse funds prior to negotiating the lien, issuing the payment, and finally receiving acknowledgment by Medicare of the satisfaction of said lien. Once again, while we have lived with this reality, defendants are beside themselves now that they face any kind of liability in this complex process which we have been navigating for so long. Te reality is that the practical nature of the process


for satisfying a Medicare lien makes the implementation of double damages plus interest extremely unlikely. Tere are a multitude of lengthy steps which must be taken in between the settlement, the failure to pay, and the levying


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STRUCTURED S The Only Broker


Lou Omansky, J.D., CSSC LOmansky@ringlerassociates.com


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Richard Ryan, CSSC RRyan@ringlerassociates.com


Designing and implementing structured settlements for injured parties since 1975


Our focus is on achieving the best possible results for all parties in settlement negotiations using tax–free settlement annuities.


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We are one of the few companies that truly enjoys the trust of all parties involved in the settlement process.


410-602-1042 ● 410-602-1101 Fax 4 Reservoir Circle ● Suite 101 ● Baltimore, Maryland ● 21208 Trial Reporter / Summer 2010 15


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