Thursday, August 20, 2009

Medicare Hospital Bill

Posted by Matthew Garretson

I have settled a case with a tortfeasor's carrier for low limits. The hospital bill for my two clients has not been paid by Medicare yet. Currently, I want Medicare to pay the bill. Can I cash the check and still ethically require Medicare to pay the medical bills? Should I wait and let my clients elect to use Medicare to pay the bills and then once this occurs, cash the check and then go through the whole Medicare maze of confusion? Thanks for any and all responses.

You can certainly cash the check and put it in either an escrow or your IOTLA account but - to be safe - you should not disburse any of the funds to the client until you have resolved Medicare's interest. Having said that, why has Medicare not yet paid the claims? Has the hospital billed Medicare yet?

Keep in mind that many providers may take up to 2 years (or more) to bill Medicare.

Hope this helps...

My best,
Matt Garretson