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Qualified Settlement Funds (QSFs) are a vastly underutilized settlement tool. Widely used in the mass tort context, more and more parties are turning to QSFs as a solution to shield settling defendants from all potential exposure to Medicare and lienholders. At the same time, a QSF affords settling plaintiffs the time necessary to ensure proper steps are being taken to minimize Medicare conditional payment and lien resolution obligations while protecting future medical eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid. The lawyers at Cattie & Gonzalez assist clients with all aspects of the QSF process, from the initial steps necessary to establish the QSF legally to opening appropriate accounts and submitting proper tax returns. For those seeking a sophisticated legal manner to walk away exposure free from a pending settlement or buy time to make critical decisions about future medical coverage, the QSF might be your solution.
While Medicare and other agencies seeking recovery do not necessarily have to respect allocations made by settling parties, they must respect judicial allocations determined on the merits of the case. The lawyers at Cattie & Gonzalez shepherd clients through this process upon request. After taking steps proactively to minimize reimbursement obligations pre-settlement, we route parties just prior to settlement to enter into a single event arbitration process involving arbitrators with ample litigation and MSP compliance experience. Once the arbitration process is complete and the arbitrator issues an award, the parties may then enter that award on the record with the judiciary and satisfy MSP and lien obligations accordingly. Done right, judicial allocations on the merits represent a sophisticated settlement solution providing the parties with exact and precise details and corresponding protection.