In a recent webinar, ImagineSoftware journeyed into the details of the Class Action Visa and Mastercard Settlement, under the expert guidance of Managed Care Advisory Group's (MCAG) Executive Vice President of Business Development, Jonathan Gadd. The focus was on the $5.5 billion payment card interchange fee and merchant discount antitrust litigation, a topic of significance in the business realm.
"We feel that these are pretty much once-in-a-lifetime opportunities when it comes to the settlement business or the settlement industry." - Jonathan Gadd
Who is MCAG?
MCAG has established itself as an industry leader in the settlement recovery service realm, serving as a third-party filer who consolidates necessary information and submits it to the settlement administrator. This unique practice allows eligible class members to recover their funds from settlements. With a partner-centric model, MCAG has formed beneficial partnerships across various industries, allowing it to collect data and offer a hassle-free solution for clients. This innovative approach ensures maximum return from each opportunity, often increasing clients' reimbursements by an average of 40%.
Moreover, MCAG operates on a no-risk fee structure, charging only a percentage of recoveries. Their partnership with ImagineSoftware brings a special rate of 25% for clients referred by Imagine. With a successful track record of more than 75 settlements and recovery of over $300 million for their clients, MCAG anticipates a substantial increase in funds over the next 12-18 months, especially for Imagine's clients.
Class Action Settlements and Healthcare
In today's healthcare landscape, claims-type settlements are generally not seen. This should be a consideration for everyone, even though we don't predict its re-emergence in the near future. However, Jonathan assures that his team at MCAG is well-equipped to handle data in the event of such an occurrence. MCAG has met all certifications for proper data handling, and always works closely with their clients to ensure their comfort with their data management practices. A point of focus is pharmaceutical settlements, particularly in the context of larger employers. These organizations are often targeted due to their employee benefit plans. Typically, these settlements occur when it's alleged that a pharmaceutical company has manipulated the cost that a consumer or employee benefits plan pays for a drug. In such cases, a fund is usually set aside.
In the case of product settlements, healthcare providers can sometimes be the biggest claimants, especially in cases that involve products they heavily rely on. Despite the potential benefits, industry data suggests that more than 80% of eligible organizations do not participate in these settlements due to various reasons, including uncertainty about the return on investment, confusion about responsibility, and limited access to necessary data and records. This emphasizes the importance of expert guidance in navigating class action settlements, thus raising the value of services like MCAG's for healthcare organizations.
Another major case, the Blue Cross Blue Shield settlement, is currently under scrutiny. The allegations suggest collusion amongst State Blue's plans, which purportedly resulted in lower reimbursements. Interestingly, Blue Cross Blue Shield has already settled a similar case on the employer side for a staggering $2 billion. Given that the impact on healthcare providers is believed to be far more substantial than on employers, Jonathan stated they anticipate that this settlement could surpass $2 billion. In a landscape that once saw hundreds of millions in settlements, we're now entering the era of billion-dollar outcomes. Additionally, MCAG keeps a keen eye on litigation related to generic pharmaceutical pricing, a sphere with an average of half a dozen settlements annually.
Class action settlements present a unique and often complicated situation for businesses. In most instances, organizations become class members involuntarily, with their rights substantially impacted. To retain their rights and pursue individual action, organizations must opt out before a court-defined deadline. Jonathan underlined the importance of MCAG's Settlement Recovery Service, which monitors, notifies, and guides businesses on these opportunities.
MCAG specializes in monitoring class action settlements, making it easier for their clients to navigate this often complex landscape. Each client's uniqueness, be it their industry, size, or organization type, dictates the types of applicable settlements they identify for them. MCAG offers clients complete support, from alerting them about opportunities before the opt-out deadline, preparing the necessary paperwork, to submitting a claim to the settlement administrator.
The complexities surrounding class action settlements are numerous, especially in sectors like the pharmaceutical industry. While these can prove to be substantial sources of off-budget revenue, it is important to be aware that the process is not instantaneous. After the filing deadline, the settlement administrator needs around 8 to 12 months to review and audit all claims, eliminating invalid ones and determining the pro-rated share. Despite any upcoming deadlines, there's always a delay before the payout. Jonathan highlights the importance of understanding the timings involved in class action settlements. The expertise of companies like MCAG can be invaluable in this regard. With its roots in healthcare, it specialize in handling reimbursement issues, primarily from insurance companies, ensuring services provided are paid correctly.
However, their job doesn't end there. MCAG maintains regular communication with the settlement administrator, answering queries and resolving issues over a span of 6 to 12 months after the claim filing deadline. This process, which they refer to as 'curing claims', ensures that the client's interests are thoroughly represented.
Furthermore, with their robust relations with settlement administrators, MCAG performs a back-end audit to ensure that all payouts are as per their submissions. On receipt of the funds, they deduct their management fee and disburse the net proceeds to clients. MCAG is committed to transparency and client satisfaction which extends to offering a client page where they can view and update their information, track pursued settlements, and see historical payments.
Get MCAG in Your Corner!
ImagineSoftware and MCAG strive to be a reliable resource for all your needs. Extensive online offerings, including blogs and posts, enable you to explore their services and the opportunities they track. ImagineSoftware has collaborated with MCAG to provide comprehensive information and links to help you decide if MCAG's services match your needs. As part of its Imagine collaboration, MCAG has extended its support to the ImagineSoftware client base. If you are affiliated with Imagine and have inquiries, MCAG welcomes you to reach out for guidance.
Registering with MCAG is simple; fill out the online registration form, and a notification confirming client status is sent. Quarterly updates are available, and clients have the opportunity to talk to MCAG's team about specific settlements and potential action items. All these services are designed for the client's comfort and convenience.
The ImagineSoftware team is excited about its partnership with MCAG and looks forward to helping its clients recover money from these funds. Stay tuned for future webinars and updates.