42 CFR 433.139 - Payment of claims.
(1) For claims involving third party liability that are processed on or after May 12, 1986, the agency must use the procedures specified in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section.
(b)Probable liability is established at the time claim is filed. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section -
(1) If the agency has established the probable existence of third party liability at the time the claim is filed, the agency must reject the claim and return it to the provider for a determination of the amount of liability. The establishment of third party liability takes place when the agency receives confirmation from the provider or a third party resource indicating the extent of third party liability. When the amount of liability is determined, the agency must then pay the claim to the extent that payment allowed under the agency's payment schedule exceeds the amount of the third party's payment.
(2) The agency may pay the full amount allowed under the agency's payment schedule for the claim and then seek reimbursement from any liable third party to the limit of legal liability if the claim is for labor and delivery and postpartum care. (Costs associated with the inpatient hospital stay for labor and delivery and postpartum care must be cost-avoided.)
(3) The agency must pay the full amount allowed under the agency's payment schedule for the claim and seek reimbursement from any liable third party to the limit of legal liability (and for purposes of paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, from a third party, if the third party liability is derived from an absent parent whose obligation to pay support is being enforced by the State title IV-D agency), consistent with paragraph (f) of this section if -
(i) The claim is prenatal care for pregnant women, or preventive pediatric services (including early and periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment services provided for under part 441, subpart B of this chapter), that is covered under the State plan; or
(ii) The claim is for a service covered under the State plan that is provided to an individual on whose behalf child support enforcement is being carried out by the State title IV-D agency. The agency prior to making any payment under this section must assure that the following requirements are met:
(B) The provider certifies that before billing Medicaid, if the provider has billed a third party, the provider has waited 30 days from the date of the service and has not received payment from the third party.
(c)Probable liability is not established or benefits are not available at the time claim is filed. If the probable existence of third party liability cannot be established or third party benefits are not available to pay the beneficiary's medical expenses at the time the claim is filed, the agency must pay the full amount allowed under the agency's payment schedule.
(d)Recovery of reimbursement.
(1) If the agency has an approved waiver under paragraph (e) of this section to pay a claim in which the probable existence of third party liability has been established and then seek reimbursement, the agency must seek recovery of reimbursement from the third party to the limit of legal liability within 60 days after the end of the month in which payment is made unless the agency has a waiver of the 60-day requirement under paragraph (e) of this section.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, if the agency learns of the existence of a liable third party after a claim is paid, or benefits become available from a third party after a claim is paid, the agency must seek recovery of reimbursement within 60 days after the end of the month it learns of the existence of the liable third party or benefits become available.
(3) Reimbursement must be sought unless the agency determines that recovery would not be cost effective in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section.
(e)Waiver of requirements.
(1) The agency may request initial and continuing waiver of the requirements in paragraphs (b)(1), (d)(1), and (d)(2) of this section, if it determines that the requirement is not cost-effective. An activity would not be cost-effective if the cost of the required activity exceeds the third party liability recoupment and the required activity accomplishes, at the same or at a higher cost, the same objective as another activity that is being performed by the State.
(ii) The request must contain adequate documentation to establish that to meet a requirement specified by the agency is not cost-effective. Examples of documentation are costs associated with billing, claims recovery data, and a State analysis documenting a cost-effective alternative that accomplishes the same task.
(iii) The agency must agree, if a waiver is granted, to notify CMS of any event that occurs that changes the conditions upon which the waiver was approved.
(2) CMS will review a State's request to have a requirement specified under paragraph (e)(1) of this section waived and will request additional information from the State, if necessary. CMS will notify the State of its approval or disapproval determination within 30 days of receipt of a properly documented request.
(3) CMS may rescind the waiver at any time that it determines that the State no longer meets the criteria for approving the waiver. If the waiver is rescinded, the agency has 6 months from the date of the rescission notice to meet the requirement that had been waived.
(4) An agency requesting a waiver of the requirements specifically concerning either the 60-day limit in paragraph (d)(1) or (d)(2) of this section must submit documentation of written agreement between the agency and the third party, including Medicare fiscal intermediaries and carriers, that extension of the billing requirement is agreeable to all parties.
(f)Suspension or termination of recovery of reimbursement.
(1) An agency must seek reimbursement from a liable third party on all claims for which it determines that the amount it reasonably expects to recover will be greater than the cost of recovery. Recovery efforts may be suspended or terminated only if they are not cost effective.
(2) The State plan must specify the threshold amount or other guideline that the agency uses in determining whether to seek recovery of reimbursement from a liable third party, or describe the process by which the agency determines that seeking recovery of reimbursement would not be cost effective.
(3) The State plan must also specify the dollar amount or period of time for which it will accumulate billings with respect to a particular liable third party in making the decision whether to seek recovery of reimbursement.