Friday, March 5, 2010

Medicare Provider Question

A Medicare client was injured in auto/pedestrian accident and sought medical treatment at a local hospital. The hospital does not file a claim with Medicare. Instead, the hospital files a hospital lien against the injured client. Is the hospital obligated to file this claim with Medicare, or, can the hospital recover the full amount asserted in the statutory hospital lien?

Oklahoma Attorney

When a Medicare provider of services learns that a beneficiary received services that may be payable by a payer primary to Medicare, the provider is required to pursue payment from the primary payer for a period of 120 days following the date of treatment. At the end of the 120 day period, if the insurer has not made payment, the provider may choose to bill Medicare or continue to wait for payment from a future insurance settlement. If the provider chooses to bill Medicare, then it becomes the MSPRC’s responsibility to recover Medicare’s conditional payments if a settlement occurs at some point in the future. The provider of service is not required to send the bill to Medicare if they choose to pursue payment from a possible future insurance settlement.

That being said, a provider may either:

• Bill Medicare for payment and withdraw all claims/liens against the liability insurance/beneficiary’s liability insurance settlement (liens may be maintained for services not covered by Medicare and for Medicare deductibles and coinsurance); or

• Maintain all claims/liens against the liability insurance/beneficiary’s liability insurance settlement.


• If the provider bills Medicare, the provider must accept the Medicare approved amount as payment in full and may charge beneficiaries only deductibles and coinsurance.

• If the provider pursues liability insurance, the provider may charge beneficiaries actual charges, up to the amount of the proceeds of the liability insurance less applicable procurement costs but may not collect payment from the beneficiary until after the proceeds of the liability insurance are available to the beneficiary.

I hope this was helpful.
Mary Skinner