Tuesday, May 1, 2018

1.3 million wrongly charged veterans eligible for refunds

VA payments to wrongly charged veterans begin; Up to 1.3 million veterans eligible
Cherokee Tribune and Ledger News
Thomas Hartwell
May 1, 2018
According to Jim Lindenmayer, director of the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program and American Legion 9th District service officer, at least 750,000 veterans who received emergency care from non-VA medical centers and were billed through Medicare Part A or other insurance programs are eligible for reimbursement. He said there may be up to 1.3 million veterans affected by the Staab case going back several years.
BALL GROUND – After a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims ruled unanimously last year that the Department of Veterans Affairs wrongly charged VA-enrolled veterans millions in emergency medical bills, the government entity has begun to pay partial claims. Local veteran advocates say there are many Cherokee veterans who could be eligible for reimbursement.

The VA lost its fight in the Staab vs. Shulkin case (originally filed as Staab vs. McDonald) in April 2016. Air Force veteran Richard Staab served from 1952-1956 and was forced to use non-VA emergency care in 2010 when he had a heart attack and underwent open heart surgery. Medicare covered a portion of his $48,000 bill, but the VA medical center in St. Cloud, Minnesota denied his request for the reimbursement of the remainder. Staab filed a notice of disagreement in May 2012.

Until January the appeals court decision benefitted only Staab, but the VA has since revised a rule that allows payment of hundreds of thousands of claims like Staab’s.
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