- August 7th, 2010
Many attorneys and agencies have interpreted the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services v. Ahlborn, 547 U.S. 268,126 S.Ct. 1752 (2006), to mean that, Social Services agencies may be entitled to a lien on only that portion of personal injury litigation proceeds that reasonably represents the past medical portion of the award or settlement. In fact, the New York State Office of Medicaid Management published a memorandum dated September 14, 2006, which has confirmed that limitation, as applied in New York Cases.Since Ahlborn was decided, some trial courts have held allocation hearings to determine the medical portion of a recovery, so that the Medicaid 'lien' could be computed.
Recently, in Homan v. County of Cattaraugus Department of Social Service, 74 A.D, 3d, 1754, 2010 WL2332742 (N.Y.A.D. 4th Dept.), New York's Appellate Division, Fourth Department, rejected the theory that one could avoid a Medicaid lien by settling for "pain and suffering" only, and sent the case back to the trial court for such an allocation.