My friend, attorney Julie Bell at Lewis & Daggett, in Winston-Salem, tipped me off that Medicare is going to change their lien processing system, again. For a long time, we would deal with a local office. Then we transitioned to a national office in New York and they would get us in touch with a local office. I noticed very little improvement in the system.
Looks like Medicare is now going with a new national lead contractor and all requests will go to the same place. The new lead contractor will also cover every step of the process, including final payment letters. Note: You will STILL "open" your files with the New York office.
Julie told me that "in preparation [for] the transition, Medicare has scheduled "dark days" from September 18-30, 2006, during which they will not be receiving or sending information. Therefore, you will not be able to call them nor should you try to send any information to them. Thereafter, once the new lead contractor's office is operational (anticipated to be October 2, 2006), you may contact the new contractor to determine the updated conditional payment amount and provide settlement information. They intend to put a first priority to address previously submitted notices of settlement and to make a formal Medicare demand."
The new Medicare address, as of October 2, 2006, will be:
I have to admit that I'm not holding my breath that this change will improve the program one bit. But you never know. Maybe they will put that assembly line technology to work.