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CMS alert: upcoming reduction in time frame for referrals of delinquent debts to Treasury

On August 5, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released an alert indicating that the time frame for referrals of delinquent debts to the U.S. Department of the Treasury will be reduced from 180 to 120 days, beginning October 1, 2015.

Why is the time frame changing?

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) was signed into law on May 9, 2014. One of the outcomes of the DATA Act reduced the time frame for the referral of delinquent debts to the Treasury Department.


What is the effect of this change?

Beginning October 1, 2015, the referral time frame to the U.S. Treasury Department for delinquent debts will be reduced from 180 to 120 days after payment is due. The alert makes note that this procedure is applicable for both Group Health and Non-Group Health Plans (including self-insurance, liability, no-fault, and workers' compensation). The alert also indicates that debtors will continue to be notified of the intent to refer the debt to the Treasury’s Offset Program for further collection activities if the debt is not paid within 60 days. The procedural change outlined in this alert does not change the fact that a debtor has 60 days to repay a debt (i.e., a Final Demand) before interest will begin to accrue. The practical effect of this alert is that as of October 1, 2015, unpaid debts can now be referred to Treasury in four months instead of six.

How can we help?

We have extensive experience working with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, collection agents, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — not only to resolve Treasury demands or debts in the Offset Program but also to programmatically address potential Treasury exposure that hasn’t yet reached your organization. For more information on our Treasury services, please click here.

For more information about any of the information contained in this alert, please contact me directly at 978-825-8158 or at

Shawn Deane

Shawn Deane is vice president of Medicare / Medicaid compliance and policy at ISO Claims Partners, a Verisk business. You can contact Shawn at

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