§ 405.380 - Collection of past-due amounts on scholarship and loan programs.
(a) Basis and purpose. This section implements section 1892 of the Act, which authorizes the Secretary to deduct from Medicare payments for services amounts considered as past-due obligations under the National Health Service Corps Scholarship program, the Physician Shortage Area Scholarship program, and the Health Education Assistance Loan program.
(b) Offsetting against Medicare payment. (1) Medicare carriers and intermediaries offset against Medicare payments in accordance with the signed repayment agreement between the Public Health Service and individuals who have breached their scholarship or loan obligations and who -
(i) Accept Medicare assignment for services;
(ii) Are employed by or affiliated with a provider, HMO, or Competitive Medical Plan (CMP) that receives Medicare payment for services; or
(iii) Are members of a group practice that receives Medicare payment for services.
(2) For purposes of this section, “provider” includes all entities eligible to receive Medicare payment in accordance with an agreement under section 1866 of the Act.
(c) Beginning of offset. (1) The Medicare carrier offsets Medicare payments beginning six months after it notifies the individual or the group practice of the amount to be deducted and the particular individual to whom the deductions are attributable.
(2) The Medicare intermediary offsets payments beginning six months after it notifies the provider, HMO, CMP or group practice of the amount to be deducted and the particular individuals to whom the deductions are attributable. Offset of payments is made in accordance with the terms of the repayment agreement. If the individual ceases to be employed by the provider, HMO, or CMP, or leaves the group practice, no deduction is made.
(d) Refusal to offset against Medicare payment. If the individual refuses to enter into a repayment agreement, or breaches any provision of the agreement, or if Medicare payment is insufficient to maintain the offset collection according to the agreed upon formula, then -
(1) The Department, within 30 days if feasible, informs the Attorney General; and
(2) The Department excludes the individual from Medicare until the entire past due obligation has been repaid, unless the individual is a sole community practitioner or the sole source of essential specialized services in a community and the State requests that the individual not be excluded.