I wrote recently about the decision in Arkansas Dept. of Health and Human Services v. Alhborn, 126 S.Ct. 1752 (2006), the USSC decision which ruled that state Medicaid agencies’ claims for reimbursement out of tort settlements are limited to that portion of any settlement attributable to past medical expenses. The ruling means that the agencies may not lay claim to any portion of a plaintiff’s recovery for lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disability or other future damages.
Now, ATLA’s Center for Constitutional Litigation has issued a paper titled “Possible Extension of Ahlborn Ruling to Medicare and Guidance to Plaintiffs’ Counsel Regarding the Decision.” The CCL’s view: “We believe that Ahlborn’s logic should control repayment claims by other federal programs, such as those asserted under the Medical Care Recovery Act (“MCRA”) and the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (“MSPA”), despite differences in the language of each statute, because the basic structure of the repayment obligation is the same under all three federal statutes and because all three acts share a common congressional purpose.”
The memo is a six-page receipe for addressing this issue.
This is a great article an exactly the type of thing that trial lawyers organizations need to do to help their members. (The CCL is ATLA’s law firm.)
If you are going to attack this issue, please be sure to pick the right case and develop the record appropriately. If you are an ATLA member call the CCL for help. If you are not, join ATLA and call for help.
Thanks to the Kentucky Injury Law Blog for bringing this item to my attention.