A common reaction we see from litigators when first exposed to Medicare is to resort to litigation against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This particular agency is part of the Health & Human Services Department and it is charged with the administration of the Medicare Trust Fund. CMS is the logical target to haul into state court to resolve any Medicare “lien” issues related to a liability claim. Regrettably this strategy does not work. If this course of action is undertaken, the usual response of the United States government will be first to remove the claim to Federal District Court and then to move to dismiss under the principle of soverign immunity. The Government will win, even if your arguement is that CMS is a necessary party. There is a substantial volume of case law on this point as identifed in the recent U.S. District Court Opinion out of Mississippi. Take a look at Thweatt v. Grant, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43494.
Jurisdiction against CMS is possible, but requires patience and appropriate exhaustion of administrative remedies. The process is long and probably not necessary. Medicare “liens” can be identified and resolved without wasting legal expense. We can help you do this at a reasonable cost. Call us today to let us show you how.