On September 20, 2013, CMS issued an interim proposed rule to begin its implication of the SMART law.  The new proposed regulation (42 C.F.R. §411.39  was published in the Federal Register and can be found at Vol. 78, No. 183 or simply click here.  No doubt, CMS has taken a liberal interpretation of what Congress had intended with SMART to create finality in settlements, judgments and awards.  What was expected to take 120 days to secure a demand that the Parties can rely on before settlement turned into a process that requires at least 210 days.   Even of more concern, was the fact that it could be used only once.

The rule will take effect on November 17, 2013, unless it is withdrawn.   CMS is taking comments until the effective date, so if you have any concerns now is the time to voice them by sending it to electronically.  You can do so by following the instructions at www.regulations.gov, click the “comment or submission” button and enter the file code (RIN 0938-AR90).   The Medicare Advocacy Recovery Coalition (MARC) is preparing a separate comment letter that will be out in the next several days.  If you wish to join that letter let us know and we will add you to the list.
 
Roy Franco had an opportunity to meet with Office of Management and Budget in D.C. on November 4th.  He attended the meeting with two other MARC members to express concerns over the regulation and how it will impact the prompt closure of claims.  Congressman Kind’s office also attended.  The comments were taken into consideration and hopefully will assist in moving toward the original intent of SMART.  Franco Signor encourages you to consider joining MARC.  Your participation will help shape the law to be more sensible in application.

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