Columbia, SC (PRWEB) October 30, 2013
Personal injury lawyers are all too familiar with that sickly feeling that sometimes comes with attempting to negotiate a settlement, while dealing with a Medicare lien.
That’s because accident victims who are also Medicare patients are obliged to use part of their settlement to repay Medicare for the medical treatment they receive related to their accident. The burden of figuring out the details falls on their attorneys. And one thing is for sure, Uncle Sam wants his money!
Mistakes can create delays that last weeks, months, or even years, creating unhappy clients and stressed out attorneys. Some lawyers are either so nervous or so confused by what is necessary; they’ve stopped accepting Medicare patients as clients altogether.
Other attorneys, like those at the Joye Law Firm, are on the opposite end of that spectrum. Not only have they continued to represent Medicare patients, they have challenged themselves to become intimately familiar with the recently passed “Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act,” aka the “SMART Act” in order to provide better client service.
“For us, throwing in the towel and saying ‘we just won’t accept Medicare patients’ was just unrealistic,” says Ken Harrell, managing partner of the Joye Law Firm, “The complexities associated with Medicare liens shouldn’t be an impediment to justice for its insureds.”
Harrell has become somewhat of a “go-to guy” for interpreting and explaining the challenges that come with Medicare liens. In addition to the article he and Melissa Fried penned for South Carolina Lawyer Magazine, Harrell has also been tapped by legal organizations to teach other lawyers how to navigate these murky Medicare waters.
“While the SMART Act seems to be a step in the right direction, there are still some pitfalls that exist for attorneys,” adds Harrell. “The best defense is learning everything you can about the rules and regulations, and making sure everyone in your office becomes familiar with the right way to do things. That’s what we’ve done at the Joye Law Firm and, so far, it has been smooth sailing.”
A copy of Harrell and Fried’s article, which is being published as the cover article of the November 2013 issue of South Carolina Lawyer Magazine, is titled “SMART Act: A Ray of Hope on Medicare Lien Issues.” The article is available here.