All healthcare providers, from solo practitioner physicians to durable medical equipment suppliers will at some point receive incorrect payments from federal healthcare payors such as Medicare and Medicaid. These incorrect payments often result in overpayment determinations which must be repaid to the government, whether or not the health care provider or supplier is at fault.
At Suarez Gaitan — The Health & Business Law Group our attorneys provide comprehensive legal counsel in overpayment matter, handling all stages of Medicare and Medicaid overpayment appeals. Our health care attorneys understand the strict timelines and documentary requirements of both the Medicare and Medicaid programs, protecting our clients’ appeal rights and increasing tho possibility of overturning the overpayment claim.
Record of Success
Working under Rafael A. Gaitan, Esq., the health care attorneys at Suarez Gaitan — The Health & Business Law Group, have successfully represented health care providers and businesses facing an overpayment claim from several government of contractors, including:
- Fiscal Intermediaries (FI)
- Regional Home Health Intermediaries (RHHI)
- Medicare Administrative Contractors (A/B/MAC)
- Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractors (DME MAC)
- Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC)
- Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC
Recent successes include:
- Rafael A. Gaitan appealed a Medicare overpayment claim against a laboratory, successfully reducing the claim to less than 1% — from $736,305.82 to $6,826.00.
- Rafael A. Gaitan appealed a Medicaid overpayment claim against a Home Health Care Provider, successfully reducing the claim, plus sanctions and costs to less than .01% — from $204,558.68 to $148.93.
We offer flexible fee arrangements, depending on the client’s situation. Legal services are provided under hourly, flat-fee, and contingency agreements. Flat-fee agreements start as low as $5,000.
At Suarez Gaitan — The Health & Business Law Group, our health care team integrates the experience of respected litigators with the specialized knowledge of health care professionals, the know-how of a former medical clinic administrator and the insight of a former attorney of HHS at the ALJ Office (OMHA).
Medicare Overpayment Appeal Process Explained
First Level of Appeals – Redetermination
Once the claim denial has been reviewed by the Medicare carrier, intermediary or MAC it may be appealed in writing by requesting a redetermination of the claim. Redetermination decisions will be provided to the Medicare provider in writing and must provide an explanation for the determination. When the claim denial is upheld, the provider may appeal the decision through a reconsideration.
Second Level of Appeals – Reconsideration
When a Medicare provider or supplier is dissatisfied with the outcome of the redetermination, a written Request for Reconsideration may be filed to the qualified independent contractors (QICs). The QIC reconsideration is usually the best time to involve legal counsel, as this will generally be the last time during the administrative process that the appealing provider or supplier can submit new documentation to challenge the overpayment determination. Before submitting a Request for Reconsider, a Medicare provider or supplier should align itself with a qualified health care attorney in order to ensure that the administrative record is complete and that its appeal rights are preserved.
Third Level of Appeals – Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearings
If a provider or supplier is dissatisfied with the result of the reconsideration, a hearing before an ALJ may be requested. Requests for an ALJ hearing must be filed in writing with the entity specified in the QIC’s reconsideration notice and must be timely received. At the OMHA ALJ hearing, the appellant and CMS will have the opportunity to offer testimony, conduct discovery, subpoena witnesses, and can proceed in a manner similar to that of a civil trial. At this level, Medicare providers and suppliers should be represented by health care attorney with specific experience handling Medicare ALJ hearings.
Fourth Level of Appeals – Medicare Appeals Council (MAC)
If the ALJ decision is unfavorable, a Medicare provider or supplier may file a request for review with the Medicare Appeals Council. The MAC appeal is in writing and is limited to the same issues and evidence considered by the ALJ. The Appeals Council may either modify or reverse the ALJ’s decision or may remand (send back) the case to the ALJ for another hearing.
Fifth Level of Appeals – Federal District Court
When the decision of the Appeals Council is unfavorable to the Medicare provider or supplier, a law suit may be filed in federal district court. Only an attorney admitted to the federal bar can present a case to the federal district court. This is the last level of appeals available to providers and suppliers.
Our highly experienced team of attorneys will develop a proactive strategy focused on breaking down the initial overpayment determination in order to test its legal and factual sufficiency. Lead by Rafael A. Gaitan, Esq., our health care attorneys take meticulous care to understand our Medicare clients’ business, thoroughly planning each appeal in order to preserve a Medicare provider or suppliers legal rights, as well as to protect its financial and corporate interests. Our fully-integrated, multi-disciplinary, approach truly distinguishes Suarez Gaitan — The Health & Business Law Group from other law firms, and has earned us the respect of our peers and clients, alike.
To speak with an established health care attorney, e-mail Suarez Gaitan — The Health & Business Law Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 786.440.8115 to speak with Rafael A. Gaitan, Esq.We offer flexible fee arrangements.