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Editor's Note

You'll notice a new look this month in The Closing Argument. The Mississippi Association for Justice staff is working with some ways to communicate with our members more effectively. MAJ is also working on a new website, which will not only be nicer visually, but will have enhancements such as paying dues online.

Along with our usual good news and technology feature, this edition will focus on Medicare Liens. Member Boo Hollowell from Greenville has written a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to work through the system and satisfy a Medicare lien. We'll also have a link to a recent report from AAJ on the red-tape moratorium. The Centers, a frequent MAJ sponsor, has also released a quick guidefrom the CMS' new MIR Revised Timeline and Thresholds for TPOC Liability and WC Cases . As these and other legal issues progress, we hope to keep you all better informed through The Closing Argument.

If you have an article you would like to submit or a suggested topic, please e-mail me at

The Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a ‘Conditional Payment Letter’ (CPL) and How to Satisfy the Medicare Lien
By George “Boo” Hollowell, Esq.

My legal assistant, Amy Pieroni, and myself, have spent a number of hours dealing with the Medicare Contractors to resolve their claim/lien. Thus far, we have found the following guide is the most successful method to finally satisfy Medicare and the Courts.

To read the entire article, which includes sample forms, click here.

Medicare Secondary Payer Red Tape Moratorium
From the American Association for Justice

As most of you know, cases involving the Medicare Secondary Payer Act have been a nightmare. Part of the problem has been caused by new reporting requirements for liability settlements and the penalties associated with improper lien resolution. These penalties have created turmoil and delay for anyone trying to reach a settlement in any liability case.

AAJ is proud to announce that we’ve had a breakthrough. AAJ has worked for several months with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CMS. We are pleased to inform you that CMS has announced a one year delay in implementation on Section 111 reporting requirements for claims involving liability insurance, retroactive to October 1, 2010 through October 1, 2011.

Click here to read the entire article.

CMS Publishes MIR Revised Timeline and Thresholds for TPOC Liability and WC Cases
From The Centers

On November 8, 2010, the CMS Office of Financial Management/Financial Services Group published its latest Alert on Revised Implementation Timeline for TPOC (Total Payment Obligation to Claimant) Liability Insurance (Including Self Insurance) and Extension of Current Dollar Thresholds for Liability Insurance (Including Self-Insurance) and Workers’ Compensation.

Based on the Alert, the required submission of liability insurance (including self-insurance) initial claim reports has been changed from the first calendar quarter of 2011 to the first calendar quarter of 2012 for all liability insurance (including self-insurance) TPOC amounts with no ORM involvement. Liability insurance (including self-insurance) ORM reporting is not subject to this delay. Liability insurance (including self-insurance) TPOCs must be reported if the TPOC date is on or after 10/1/2011.

• The current rule requiring reporting of NGHP TPOC dates of 10/1/2010 has been changed to 10/1/2011 but only for liability insurance (including self-insurance) TPOCs.

• The reporting date requirements for TPOC Dates of 10/1/2010 and subsequent associated with no-fault insurance or workers’ compensation claims remain unchanged.

• The reporting date requirements as documented in the User Guide for all NGHP ORM remain unchanged.

• Initial Claim Input Files for reportable claims are still due during the RRE’s assigned file submission timeframe for the first calendar quarter of 2011. RREs that have reportable claims must commence production reporting in first calendar quarter 2011 and then include liability insurance (including self-insurance) TPOC reporting in the first calendar quarter of 2012 for TPOC dates of 10/1/2011 and subsequent.

Regardless of this delay, an RRE who wishes to report liability insurance (including self-insurance) TPOC information may do so during their assigned file submission timeframe for any quarter prior to the first required submission in the first calendar quarter of 2012, as long as the claim report meets the TPOC reporting thresholds defined below.

Based on the Alert, the interim dollar reporting thresholds set forth in the MMSEA 111 Liability Insurance (Including Self-Insurance), No-Fault, and Workers’ Compensation User Guide have all been extended by one calendar year. For “Workers’ Compensation ORM”, the date 12/31/2011 is changed to 12/31/2012. For “Liability Insurance and Workers’ Compensation TPOC Amounts”, the last four bullets are revised to read:

• Claim reports where the last TPOC date is prior to January 1, 2013 with TPOC amounts totaling $0.00 - $5,000.00, are exempt from reporting. Initial claim reports with no ORM where the most recent TPOC date is prior to January 1, 2013 with a total TPOC amount less than or equal to $5000.00 will be rejected.

• Claim reports where the last TPOC date is January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013 with TPOC amounts totaling $0.00 - $2000.00, are exempt from reporting. Initial claim reports with no ORM where the most recent TPOC date is prior to January 1, 2014 with a total TPOC amount less than or equal to $2000.00 will be rejected.

• Claim reports where the last TPOC date is January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014, with TPOC amounts totaling $0.00 - $600.00 are exempt from reporting. Initial claim reports with no ORM where the most recent TPOC date is prior to January 1, 2015 with a total TPOC amount less than or equal to $600.00 will be rejected.

• No threshold applies to claims where the last TPOC date is January 1, 2015 and subsequent.

(For more information, contact Todd Belisle at (800) 498-8323.)

Office for Mac
By Phipps Consulting

(Paid Advertisement by Phipps Consulting)

Office for Mac 2011 is finally here, making good on its promise of bringing new enhancements to the Office productivity suite. Users will notice an immediate difference in application launch time. The older version of Office for Mac was considerably slower, but the new version has been configured and optimized for performance.

In addition to its speed, the new version also offers something that was once Windows only. Microsoft, for the first time, is introducing Outlook for Mac. Users who are familiar with Outlook in the Windows enviornment will feel right at home. The new addition allows for individuals to import their mail from Windows Outlook into Outlook for Mac.

Another important feature is the return of Visual Basic Micros. Put simply, these allow for better document compatibility between Windows and Mac computers. Another great feature with Office for Mac 2011 is full screen mode. With a simple click, users can now view and edit a document while utilizing their whole screen. This is a great feature for individuals who find themselves editing or reading documents on a daily basis.

Like the previous versions before it, the new Office for Mac 2011 comes in multiple versions for different enviornments. The different versions include Home and Student for $149.99, and Home and Office for $279.95. Microsoft’s website also has an Academic only version for $99, which can be purchased online with an appropiate student email address.  It is important to note that the latter two are the only versions containing Outlook.

The new version of Office for Mac 2011 offers many new improvements and enhancements that make this version of Office the best thus far. Increased performance, compatability, and communication tools make this a smart buy! For more information on how Phipps Consulting can integrate Apple Computers into your network, please contact Phipps Consulting at

Good News Journal

Future MAJ Members

E-newsletter editor Matt Kitchens and his wife Casey have a new addition to the Kitchens family. Emma Fullilove Kitchens was born on Tuesday, November 9. She weighed 7.2 lbs. and was 20.5 inches. Emma, who is named after her great, great, great grandmother, was welcomed by her three-year old sister Eydi and 18-month old brother Trax. Pictured below: "Lovie" and Matt.

MAJ members Courtney and Paul Williams welcomed to the world their first child, Ella Denson Williams (pictured below) on Monday, November 15. Ella was 7 lbs., 6 oz., and 20 inches!

Honors & Accolades

Congratulations to Lifetime Member Kathy Nester who has been selected as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in America. Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. Kathy is currently an assistant federal public defender for the Southern District in Mississippi and has been practicing in the Jackson metropolitan area for eighteen years. She is a former Trial Lawyer of the Year and is an alumna of the University of Texas School of Law.  


Editor: Matt Kitchens
November 2010
Volume IV
Issue No. 42

Upcoming Events

Thanksgiving Holiday
State Office Closed
November 24-26, 2010
MAJ Legislative Academy
December 7, 2010
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
CLE credit offered
MAJ Headquarters, Jackson, MS
Lunch & Learn
December 16, 2010
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Jackson, MS
MAJ Board of Governors Meeting
December 16, 2010
3:30 p.m.
MAJ Headquarters, Jackson, MS
MAJ Christmas Party
December 16, 2010
Christmas Holiday
State Office Closed
December 21-24, 2010
Legislative Session Begins
January 4, 2010
MAJ Annual Convention
June 2-4, 2010
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

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