Thursday, April 1, 2010

Providers Time Limit To Bill Medicare

In Missouri, a hospital does not have a valid hospital lien on a wrongful death case. The wrongful death proceeds belong to the heirs. In our case, 120 days passed and the hospital filed a lien which is not being recognized by the liability carrier. The hospital then files a claim against the estate of the deceased. There are no assets in the estate.

What is the time limit for the hospital to bill Medicare? If the hospital admits it its claim against the estate that it doesn't intend to bill Medicare, is that binding? Does it prevent the hospital from later billing Medicare?

Missouri Attorney

Depending on the date of service, providers can have up to 26 months to bill Medicare. The lien is not binding; the provider can remove the lien at any time and then submit a claim to Medicare for a conditional payment. The provider cannot have a lien in place and also submit a claim to Medicare, the lien must be removed first.

If the provider chooses to bill Medicare, then it becomes the Medicare Secondary Payer Recovery Contractors responsibility to recover payment from the settlement for any injury related care that they have paid.

I hope this helps.
Mary Skinner