Medical Indemnity Fund - Frequently Asked Questions

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Medical Indemnity Fund

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Frequently Asked Questions

This guidance is provided for informational purposes.  Regulations have been issued by the Commissioner of Health.  In the unlikely case of a conflict between this FAQ and any regulations issued by the Commissioner of Health, the regulations would prevail.

  1. General Questions
  2. Enrollment
  3. Operation of the Fund and Claims Information
  4. Transition to Public Consulting Group

A. General Questions

1. What is the Medical Indemnity Fund and why was it created?

Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2011 amended Article 29-D of the Public Health Law to create the Medical Indemnity Fund ("Fund"). The Fund is designed to provide a funding source for future health care costs of plaintiffs in medical malpractice actions who have suffered birth-related neurological injuries as the result of medical malpractice during a delivery admission, and are "qualified plaintiffs" as defined in the law. The purpose of the Fund is two-fold: 1) to pay or reimburse certain costs necessary to meet the health care needs of a "qualified plaintiff" throughout his or her lifetime; and 2) to lower the expenses associated with medical malpractice litigation throughout the health care system.

2.  What is a "birth-related neurological injury" for the purpose of the Fund?

For the purpose of the Fund, a "birth-related neurological injury" is an injury to the brain or spinal cord as the result of a deprivation of oxygen or mechanical injury that occurred in the course of labor, delivery or resuscitation, or by the provision or non-provision of other medical services during delivery admission that rendered the infant with a permanent and substantial motor impairment or with a developmental disability.

3. What costs will the Fund pay or reimburse?

The Fund will pay or reimburse "qualifying health care costs" necessary to meet the health care needs of a "qualified plaintiff" as determined by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner, and as otherwise defined by the Commissioner of Health in regulation. Examples of qualifying health care costs include:

4.  What happens if the "qualified plaintiff" has health insurance?

Any health insurance, excluding Medicaid and Medicare, available to a "qualified plaintiff" must be utilized for each claim before the Fund will become a payer. Amounts paid for copayments and deductibles may be reimbursable by the Fund, however health insurance premiums are not.

B. Enrollment

1. Who can apply for enrollment into the Fund?

A "qualified plaintiff," anyone authorized to act on the plaintiff’s behalf or a defendant in the medical malpractice action that results in a court-approved settlement or judgment may apply to enroll the "qualified plaintiff" into the Fund.

2. What documentation is required as part of the application?

A party seeking to enroll a "qualified plaintiff" must submit the following:

The Fund Administrator will provide assistance with the application process.

3. What information must be included in the court-approved settlement agreement or judgment in order for a "qualified plaintiff" to be eligible for enrollment into the Fund?

Every settlement agreement that provides for the payment of future medical expenses for the plaintiff or claimant must provide that all payments for future medical expenses will be paid in accordance with Title 4 of Article 29-D of the Public Health Law, in lieu of that portion of the settlement agreement that provides for payment of such expenses.  When a settlement agreement does not so provide, the court shall direct the modification of the agreement to include such term as a condition of court approval.

With respect to a judgment, as a condition of enrollment, the judgment must state that, in lieu of that portion of the award that provides for payment of such expenses, the future medical expenses of the plaintiff shall be paid out of the Fund in accordance with Title 4 of Article 29-D of the Public Health Law.  The Public Health Law sets out a procedure by which any party in an action of medical malpractice resulting in a birth-related neurological injury may petition the court for the court to add such language in the judgment.

4. How long must a "qualified plaintiff" wait to be enrolled once an application to the Fund has been submitted?

A "qualified plaintiff" will be enrolled promptly following the submission of all documentation required as part of the application for enrollment – see response to question B-2.

5. What happens to enrollees in the Fund if enrollment is suspended?

Once enrolled, a "qualified plaintiff" will remain in the Fund for his or her lifetime, and will not be impacted by a suspension in enrollment. Such a suspension would only happen if the Fund’s estimated liabilities – the sum of the eligible costs for all enrollees in a given year – equal or exceed 80 percent of its assets.  If this occurs, then new enrollment into the Fund will be suspended until either an adequate deposit of funds is made, or an actuarial analysis determines that the Fund’s estimated liabilities are less than 80 percent of its assets and the Fund Administrator reinstates enrollment.  The Fund Administrator will provide public notice upon any suspension or reinstatement of enrollment.

C. Operation of the Fund and Claims Information

1. Will the Fund Administrator provide assistance to help with the claims filing process?

Yes, the Fund Administrator will provide assistance.

2. Must "qualified plaintiffs" be current or past New York residents?

No.  Eligibility for or continued enrollment in the Fund is not dependent on the current or past residency of an individual.

3. How are qualifying health care costs paid or reimbursed?

Regulations have been developed by the Commissioner of Health to provide for a claims submission and payment process.  In most instances the provider will submit claims directly to the Fund Administrator and be paid directly by the Fund.  There is also a process for reimbursement in instances where out-of-pocket costs are incurred by the enrollee.

4. What health care costs require prior authorization?

The Department of Health regulations require certain services to be approved in advance (prior approval).  They include non-routine services such as environmental modifications, vehicle modifications, assistive technology, private duty nursing, hearing aids, custom made durable medical equipment, specialty drugs, experimental treatments, travel expenses for medical care, myo-electric limbs and respite care exceeding 1080 hours in a calendar year.

5. Is there any administrative review available if there is a denial of a claim?

Yes.  The regulations developed by the Commissioner of Health establish an administrative review process.   A request for review form must be submitted within 30 days of receipt of a denial.  The enrollee may request a document-based review or a hearing, to be conducted by a hearing officer.

6. How long does it take for the Fund Administrator to process claims?

Claims must be submitted to the Public Consulting Group within 90 days of the date of service. Claims for qualifying health care costs will be paid within 45 days of receipt of an acceptable claims form. A request for permission to submit a claim later than 90 days from the date of service may be granted by the Fund Administrator upon a showing of good cause for the delay.

D. Transition to Public Consulting Group

1. When is Public Consulting Group (PCG) transitioning into the MIF Fund Administrator role?

September 1, 2018

2. Will PCG continue to serve as the MIF Claims Administrator?

Yes, PCG will remain in the role of MIF claims administrator in addition to transitioning into the fund administrator role effective September 1, 2018. The process for submitting and receiving reimbursement for claims will be unimpacted by this transition.

3. What does this mean for me?

Beginning on September 1st, 2018, PCG will assume MIF Administrator responsibilities. As the MIF Administrator, PCG will be responsible to handle the day-to-day Fund operations, including, program enrollment, case management services and prior approval of certain claims and communicating approvals to the Claims Administrator. In order to understand your specific case management needs, PCG may be asking you to update your case information.

4. Will there be any changes?

With PCG serving as the MIF Administrator, you may see some program and operational changes. For example, your currently assigned Case Manager will change. However, both the Department and PCG are committed to ensuring that this transition is completed as smoothly as possible.

5. What do I need to do?

There is no action required from MIF enrollees and families. By September 1, you will receive a letter introducing you to your new case manager. Each case manager is a registered nurse or licensed healthcare provider with multiple years of experience providing case management services. We ask that you review your case manager’s information and to expect PCG to contact you directly.

6. Why the transition?

The Medical Indemnity Fund is committed to improving your case management experience and has chosen a provider that is an expert in health care management. PCG has a track record of successfully implementing healthcare programs for a wide range of communities and has over 30 years of experience working in the public sector implementing health and human services programs. For more information on PCG, please refer to:

Over the course of the next several weeks, the Department and PCG will be providing additional information on the transition process. Each enrollee will receive a follow-up letter in the coming weeks, providing contact information for your newly assigned case manager, as well as other general contact information to assist you.

7. How do I get more information?

Additional updates and updated responses to frequently asked questions will be posted on the MIF website at We encourage you and your family to periodically review the MIF website over the upcoming weeks to review additional program announcements.

8. How can I get in contact with the MIF fund administrator team?

On or after September 1, 2018, the PCG team will be on hand to address questions about enrollment, authorizations and case management.

Updated 08/13/2018


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