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Principal Partners (click name for details):

Christine Hummel: President

Joseph Hummel: Vice President of Operations

Hummel Consultation Services is an advanced legal consultation practice specializing in the interpretation and application of the Medicare Secondary Payer Program. HCS was founded in 2002 by Attorney Christine Hummel and Joseph Hummel to respond to the growing concern of the insurance industry to the increasing pressures by the federal government upon all manner of settlements, and to provide an innovative and exciting approach to customer service not previously exhibited by existing Medicare vendors.

The Medicare Secondary Payer Program, established under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act of December 5, 1980, requires consideration of the interests of the Medicare program within all settlements involving Medicare beneficiaries. Federal regulations established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) specifically outline the applicability of the Program to the workers' compensation, liability and no-fault claims.

The obligations of HCS to its clients are:

To ensure that all parties with an interest in
the settlement are in complete compliance with all conditions of the Medicare Secondary Payer

To act as a mediator between the parties to the
settlement and the federal government,

To provide a superior level of customer service
to all interested parties, regardless of any
formal relationship between them and HCS.

It is the objective of the entire staff of HCS to provide the most accurate compliance services possible, at the lowest cost to our customers, with the highest quality of customer service.

The Medicare Secondary Payer Program requires essentially three major functions to be performed in a settlement involving Medicare beneficiaries. The first is the future medical allocation, sometimes referred to as a Medicare Set-Aside (MSA), the second is conditional payment lien searches, and the third is the Section 111 reporting requirement.

Medicare Set-Asides. Through a detailed analysis of the medical records, payment histories, life care plans, drug utilization reports, and other related materials submitted by its customers, HCS determines the MSA and its associated aspects, including for example funding and administration options. HCS presents its conclusions by way of an opinion letter. The opinion letter designed by HCS is specifically tailored for the needs and requirements of not only each client, but is also highly specialized for the infinitely different needs of each claimant. Every opinion letter will always include a legal analysis and interpretation of the applicable Medicare regulations upon the settlement and a breakdown of Medicare covered costs versus non-Medicare covered costs. Each letter furthermore contains a summarized yet comprehensive medical history of the claimant, not just an outline of records reviewed. All of our calculations and recommendations are clearly explained and completely supported by the medical record; HCS never invents its own medical conclusions. All HCS opinion letters also contain custom drafted legal language for inclusion by the parties into their settlement documents, saving our clients time and cost.

Settlement Advisory Letters. A complete MSA analysis is not necessarily appropriate for every case scenario. In those instances where an MSA is either not required, or is not necessarily the best future medical solution, we offer a written assessment of the specific facts of the case, and our recommendations for Medicare compliance in your settlement.

Set-Aside Critiques. HCS can review and comment on Set-Aside analyses prepared by other parties to your case. Our assessments include highlighting errors in both the medical and legal conclusions, and identifying issues that may impact you and your client's compliance with Medicare. This is a valuable tool for protecting your client's interests.

Lien Searches. HCS will perform all aspects of the conditional payment lien search, including obtaining the tentative and final lien determinations, negotiation to dispute or appeal the lien, compromising the lien, and instruction on how to satisfy any potential liens. HCS works with both the BCRC and CRC for lien resolutions depending upon the type of claim. HCS will also perform Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D lien searches.

CMS Approval. Formal approval of an MSA is never required by CMS. However, if the parties to the settlement desire approval of the MSA, HCS provides complete approval services. HCS drafts concise and detailed proposals designed to be analyzed by CMS in the shortest possible time. In the rare event that our proposals are rejected, HCS utilizes the mediation skills of our attorneys to conduct CMS negotiations to obtain figures that all parties to the settlement will find acceptable.

Zero-Dollar MSAs. HCS is a leading proponent of the "zero-dollar MSA," a settlement arrangement whereby no MSA is actually allocated. Our comprehensive knowledge of the legal applications of the Medicare program allows us a unique position in the Medicare compliance industry to strongly advocate for our clients' requests for zero-dollar MSAs, a position which non-legal based vendors have difficulty substantiating. HCS has been very successful with zero-dollar MSA proposals to CMS.

General Question Accounts. Many of our clients enjoy having their own personal legal expert at their side when it comes to Medicare compliance issues. Through our unique program of the General Question Account, we are available to you and your staff at any time to address your non-case specific Medicare questions. This program is useful when you do not need to formally refer an entire case to us for analysis, but you have a Medicare issue that still requires assistance.

Brokerage Services. HCS enjoys a special relationship with the prominent structured settlement companies, and can thus obtain rated ages and structure quotes with no action necessary by our customers. HCS works closely with the brokers to derive highly favorable annuity quotes, and to assist our customers with final settlement transactions.

Custodial Agreements. The attorneys of HCS draft Custodial Agreements without the need to retain outside legal counsel to do so, saving time and expense. Each are drafted specifically for each individual referral and take into consideration the unique aspects of the state jurisdiction of the claim. Our Custodial Agreements are currently in use with all of the major professional administration companies, with whom HCS enjoys a strong and mutual relationship, allowing HCS to offer easy professional administration setup to our customers.

Settlement Transactions. Not only does HCS draft settlement language for inclusion into final settlement documents, but HCS will review these documents in any form, drafts or finalized, for compliance with federal Medicare law. HCS will furthermore forward settlement documents to CMS at no charge to its customers. HCS can provide post-settlement advice for the benefit of the parties involved in assisting with final implementation of the Set-Aside arrangement.

Section 111 Reporting. At this time, HCS does not serve as a Section 111 reporting agent. However, we will provide comprehensive guidance and assistance with all of your Section 111 reporting needs.