First few Article Sentences
The Medicare Secondary Payer (“MSP”) statute was originally enacted by Congress in 1980 to reduce federal health care costs. (42 U.S.C. § 1395y(b).) This cost saving is accomplished by making Medicare a secondary payer, with the primary payer being any third party insurance company or self-insured business subsequently found liable for a Medicare beneficiary’s medical costs. Under the MSP statute, if Medicare pays a beneficiary’s medical bills, those payments are deemed conditional and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) can seek reimbursement from a primary payer and/or the recipient of a primary payment. This article examines the potential risk the MSP statute poses for a health care provider settling a personal injury or wrongful death action, and suggests a solution that allows providers to avoid that risk.