Plaintiff’s lawyers: do you want to have the hell scared out of you? Read this article by Rick Swedloff on Medicare subrogation entitled "Can’t Settle, Can’t Sue: How Congress Stole Tort Remedies From Medicare Beneficiaries." The article appears in Volume 41.2 of the Akron Law Review.
[A 2003 amendment to the Medicare Secondary Payor Act, which grants rights to Medicare in personal injury cases where Medicare pays benefits] significantly affects the ability of Medicare beneficiaries to bring or settle individual tort claims, the incentives for attorneys to represent Medicare beneficiaries in individual and mass tort litigation, and the tort system generally. Because of this – and despite the fact that courts and academics have largely ignored this amendment – attorneys from around the country have sounded alarm bells since the government first took the litigation position now reflected in the MSP. Lawyers have raised serious concerns about their ability to bring and settle individual and mass tort litigation under the MSP’s harsh liability rules. [Footnotes omitted.]