I must admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. Can a company whose core business is MSA compliance offer a comprehensive two day MSA/MSP seminar without making it come off as a 48 hour infomercial for their services?

Turns out they can, and in fact, they did it quite well.

In early August I attended the St. Louis Jackpot! MSP Educational Conference produced by Medicare Compliance Services Company Gould & Lamb. It was one of four such seminars put on by the company around the country, with the others being held in New Orleans, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. As a MSA novice the time spent was quite useful, but in talking to other attendees with far more exposure and experience on the topic, I learned that they also benefitted from the program. Some attendees admitted that they had wondered if the two day event would be worth their time, however, for those I spoke with, all doubt had been erased by the end of the seminar.

There is an inherent risk in undertaking such an endeavor as these seminars. As I already noted, the risk of coming off as nothing more than a self aggrandizing promotional campaign looms large. Similarly, a company concerned with “giving too much away” might produce a shallow event that lacks information and value for the attendees. Neither was the case here, and Gould & Lamb pulled off a balanced, useful educational experience, and comes out a winner as a result.

I found the information provided to be generous and complete, with several presenters doing an excellent job of making this highly complex topic understandable. Topics included the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Act, Workers’ Compensation & Liability, Medicare Set-Asides, Mandatory Insurer Reporting, Prescription Drug Management, Conditional Payments and Post-Settlement Administration 

While all of the presentations were informative, two presenters stood out for both their presentation styles and interaction with the audience. Rafael Gonzalez and Russell Whittle covered much of the core material, including An Introduction to the MSP Act, Conditional Payments Resolution, Liability and the MSP Act, and MSP & Ethics, using humor and detailed examples that made the core topic understandable, and for a non-MSA guy like myself, even bearable.

I spoke with Gould & Lamb CEO Deborah Pfeifle about this seminar, and she told me that the aim of this series was to bring expert MSP educators to regionally-accessible locations, as multiple locations allowed for a unique attendee experience, while keeping attendance to a limited amount allowing for more discussion and personalized attention. According to Pfeifle, “Gould & Lamb’s Jackpot! Conference Series of 2012 gathered together some of the industry’s most respected leaders and experts to provide attendees with 2 full days of Medicare/Medicaid Compliance education”. Additionally, participants were able to take advantage of 12 Continuing Education/Continuing Legal Education Credits. Pfeifle told me attendees hailed from the US and the UK, ranging from Claims Managers and Corporate Insurance Coordinators, to C-level Executives/VPs and Directors of Risk Management, as well as both Plaintiff and Defense Counsel.

Gould & Lamb has called the events a huge success, saying attendees have lauded the speakers and materials as necessary for anyone dealing in the areas covered. Pfeifle adds that the materials, themselves, have been added to required reading lists at a number of highly-rated law schools throughout the country and are being ordered by those unable to attend, so as to be used as “desk reference” materials.

Locations and dates for the 2013 series, along with the re-branding of the events under the newly-formed National Institute of Medicare & Medicaid Education (NIMME), are being solidified and will be announced soon. 

MSA’s continue to be a significant challenge for much of the industry. Changing standards and requirements, legal gray areas and pending court decisions mean that this will continue to be a fluid area of concern for some time to come. These types of seminars, properly conducted, can be quite useful to the company looking to get a claim off its books while limiting its future liability. 

With that in mind, attending a Jackpot! seminar might in itself prove a pretty good bet.

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