CMS Continues the Deadline for Reporting Liability Settlements and Makes Other Changes That Could Affect Resolution of Product Liability Claims



Since Congress passed the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act (MMSEA or the Act), litigants have scrambled to interpret the language and discern the likely ramifications of the Act on the resolution of liability claims. The sanctions for non-compliance imposed by Section 111 of the MMSEA, which includes double damages and fines of $1,000 per day of non-compliance, provide the necessary incentive for both the plaintiff and defense bars to actively engage the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on all manner of logistical issues associated with implementation of the Act. The result has been a continuing dialogue with CMS.

Despite these efforts, in February 2010, confusion surrounding application of the Act culminated in CMS moving the reporting start date to October 1, 2010 and the reporting deadline to January 1, 2011. However, as questions remained unanswered, CMS was again compelled to move these deadlines. On November 9, 2010, CMS issued an "alert" indicating the reporting start date for liability claims has been moved to October 1, 2011 and the reporting deadline has been extended to January 1, 2012. The practical effect of this change is that any liability settlements completed before October 1, 2011 will not need to be reported.

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