2003 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representative Taylor
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-13-125, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE ANY PERSON WHO BRINGS A LEGAL ACTION AGAINST A HEALTH CARE FACILITY ON BEHALF OF A MEDICAID RECIPIENT TO NOTIFY THE DIVISION OF MEDICAID IN WRITING AND CERTIFY A COPY OF THE PLEADINGS TO THE DIVISION AT THE TIME OF THE FILING OF THE ACTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-13-125, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-13-125. (1) If medical assistance is provided to a recipient under this article for injuries, disease or sickness caused under circumstances creating a cause of action in favor of the recipient against any person, firm or corporation, then the division shall be entitled to recover the proceeds that may result from the exercise of any rights of recovery which the recipient may have against any such person, firm or corporation to the extent of the Division of Medicaid's interest on behalf of the recipient. The recipient shall execute and deliver instruments and papers to do whatever is necessary to secure those rights and shall do nothing after the medical assistance is provided to prejudice the subrogation rights of the division. Court orders or agreements for reimbursement of Medicaid's interest shall direct those payments to the Division of Medicaid, which shall be authorized to endorse any and all, including, but not limited to, multi-payee checks, drafts, money orders, or other negotiable instruments representing Medicaid payment recoveries that are received. In accordance with Section 43-13-305, endorsement of multi-payee checks, drafts, money orders or other negotiable instruments by the Division of Medicaid shall be deemed endorsed by the recipient.
The division, with the approval of the Governor, may compromise or settle any such claim and execute a release of any claim it has by virtue of this section.
(2) The acceptance of medical assistance under this article or the making of a claim thereunder shall not affect the right of a recipient or his legal representative to recover Medicaid's interest as an element of special damages in any action at law;however, a copy of the pleadings shall be certified to the division at the time of the institution of suit, and proof of that notice shall be filed of record in the action. In addition, any person who brings a legal action against a health care facility on behalf of a Medicaid recipient shall notify the Division of Medicaid in writing and certify a copy of the pleadings to the division at the time of the filing of the action, and proof of that notice shall be filed of record in the action. The division may, at any time before the trial on the facts, join in the action or may intervene in the action. Any amount recovered by a recipient or his legal representative shall be applied as follows:
(a) The reasonable costs of the collection, including attorney's fees, as approved and allowed by the court in which the action is pending, or in case of settlement without suit, by the legal representative of the division;
(b) The amount of Medicaid's interest on behalf of the recipient; or such pro rata amount as may be arrived at by the legal representative of the division and the recipient's attorney, or as set by the court having jurisdiction; and
(c) Any excess shall be awarded to the recipient.
(3) No compromise of any claim by the recipient or his legal representative shall be binding upon or affect the rights of the division against the third party unless the division, with the approval of the Governor, has entered into the compromise. Any compromise effected by the recipient or his legal representative with the third party in the absence of advance notification to and approved by the division shall constitute conclusive evidence of the liability of the third party, and the division, in litigating its claim against the third party, shall be required only to prove the amount and correctness of its claim relating to the injury, disease or sickness.
(4) If the recipient or his legal representative fails to notify the division of the institution of legal proceedings against a third party for which the division has a cause of action, the facts relating to negligence and the liability of the third party, if judgment is rendered for the recipient, shall constitute conclusive evidence of liability in a subsequent action maintained by the division and only the amount and correctness of the division's claim relating to injuries, disease or sickness shall be tried before the court. The division shall be authorized in bringing that action against the third party and his insurer jointly or against the insurer alone.
(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to diminish or otherwise restrict the subrogation rights of the Division of Medicaid against a third party for medical assistance provided by the Division of Medicaid to the recipient as a result of injuries, disease or sickness caused under circumstances creating a cause of action in favor of the recipient against such a third party.
(6) Any amounts recovered by the division under this section shall, by the division, be placed to the credit of the funds appropriated for benefits under this article proportionate to the amounts provided by the state and federal governments respectively.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.