The National Association of Medicare Set-Aside Professionals (NAMSAP) hosted its 8th Annual Meeting and Educational Conference at the Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, at the Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, FL on March 28-30, 2012. NAMSAP is a non-profit trade association that exclusively addresses the issues and challenges of the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute, and its impact on workers’ compensation and liability settlements.
Over 150 members representing attorneys, MSA vendors, insurers, structured settlement brokers and other stakeholders attended the conference. The feedback from the attendees was exceptionally positive. Many described it as the best conference NAMSAP has ever had. My congratulations to NAMSAP, and especially to the NAMSAP Conference Committee, for putting on a very successful program. The conference chairman was Tom Matson (Medivest) and the members of his committee were Gary Patureau (LASIE), Greg Gitter (Gitter & Associates), Tom Files (MyMatrixx), and Christine Melancon (EZ-MSA) with Leslie Schumacher (PlanPoint MSA) as the board liaison.
The Educational Program
Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL): The highlight of the excellent educational program was the keynote presentation by U.S. Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL), a co-sponsor of H.R. 1063: Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers (SMART) Act of 2011. Congressman Ross spoke very knowledgeably about the SMART Act, past limitations and future improvements needed for the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Program. He informed the audience of a new bill he is currently drafting and invited NAMSAP members to meet with him to offer their opinions as to what would help make this latest bill more successful.
Evidence Based Medicine and CMS Policy: Dr. Trang Nguyen, MD, Dr. Dave Randolph, MD, Dr. Suzanne Novak, MD and Attorney Perry Staub discussed the scientific approach of Evidence Based Medicine and why it should be used by Medicare as the standard in preparing and evaluating Medicare Set-Aside proposals.
Tips, Trends, and Tendencies: The Data and Development Committee: Speakers Deborah Pfeifle (Gould & Lamb), Marty Cassavoy (Crowe Paradis), Rita Ayers (Tower MSA) and Fran Provenzano (Medicare Set-Aside Specialists, Inc.) spoke about a very exciting project, primarily the brainchild of Matt Larkin (Experea Healthcare) to collect, aggregate and distribute data analytics for the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) industry. The goal of this effort is for NAMSAP to be an information resource and to lay the foundation for best practices through data analytics. In addition, these presenters discussed current trends and practice tips that the industry is experiencing.
Liability MSA Issues. Two panels dealt with the issues regarding Liability MSAs. The first, presented by Diana Dunn-Roberts (Medivest), Dan Smith (Coye Law Firm) and Steve White (Liberty Mutual) discussed the major differences between workers’compensation and liability MSAs. The second panel; Beth Meyer (Subrogation Claims Specialist), Daniel Simone (Weidner & McAuliffe) and Tom Ash (Ametros Financial) talked more about the specifics on how to prepare and utilize a liability MSA within a settlement.
Superbad Claims: Greg Gitter’s (Gitter and Associates) presentation focused on complex and catastrophic claims. Greg provided tremendous insight from his years of experience in dealing with these claims, and more importantly provided tips on mitigating the high exposures that are associated with these cases.
The Greater Good: Tom Files (MyMatrixx) helped usher in an era of cooperation and teamwork within NAMSAP. Tom spoke about common issues we all face working within the MSP compliance industry, and commented on that we are now coming together to make positive changes to the industry that will benefit us all.
Legal Update: Janice Rickert (Rickert & Rickert, P.A.), Gail Diamond Baker (Kelly Kronenberg), and John Cattie (Garretson Resolution Group) gave an insightful legal update reviewing current court decisions that will affect the MSA industry.
Pre, Current, and Post MSA: Stacy Guillory (LWCC), Jeff Knipper (CCS Holdings) and Steve Peacock (Safety National) discussed strategies that can be implemented throughout the claims process to help mitigate MSA costs.
MSA Jeopardy: The final event on Friday afternoon was the annual MSA game show, hosted by the incomparable Christine Melancon (EZ-MSA), where contestants from the crowd came up to play MSA Jeopardy.
Board of Directors: NAMSAP also announced their officers and board of directors for the upcoming year. My congratulations to the two newest Board members, Aaron Fredrickson and Matt Larkin! The 2012-13 Board of Directors are:
Michael Westcott (Ringler) – President
Doug Shaw (Medivest) – President Elect
Deborah Pfeifle (Gould & Lamb) – Secretary
David Korch (EPS Settlements Group) – Treasurer
Nicole Singleton – (Third Eye Group) – Executive Director non-voting
Aaron Fredrickson (MSP Compliance Solutions)
Barbara Bate (Northeast Life Care Planning)
Ben Basista (Burns White & Hickton)
Fran Provenzano (Medicare Set-Aside Specialists)
Leslie Schumacher (PlanPoint MSA)
Mark Popolizio (Crow Paradis)
Matt Larkin (Experea Healthcare)