Effective today, Medicare has three years to claim reimbursement for its subscribers medical costs. This statute of limitations is mandated by The Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers (or SMART) Act1 which became law early this year. Until now, there had been uncertainty on the timeframe in which Medicare could seek to recoup costs for which another party accepted responsibility (through settlement, judgment, award, or other payment). The United States now has a three year window to file suit in an action to seek repayment, measured from the date of reporting to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of the Mandatory Insurer Reporting rules following Section 111 of the Medicare Medicaid SCHIP Extension Act of 2007.2
Overall, the SMART Act aims to shorten the Medicare reimbursement timeline and create further clarity concerning the process. But, the law's full impact won't be known until its provisions are implemented over the course of the next 18 months.