§ 405.910 - Appointed representatives.
(a) Scope of representation. An appointed representative may act on behalf of an individual or entity in exercising his or her right to an initial determination or appeal. Appointed representatives do not have party status and may take action only on behalf of the individual or entity that they represent.
(b) Persons not qualified. A party may not name as an appointed representative, an individual who is disqualified, suspended, or otherwise prohibited by law from acting as a representative in any proceedings before DHHS, or in entitlement appeals, before SSA.
(c) Completing a valid appointment. For purposes of this subpart, an appointment of representation must:
(1) Be in writing and signed and dated by both the party and individual agreeing to be the representative;
(2) Provide a statement appointing the representative to act on behalf of the party, and in the case of a beneficiary, authorizing the adjudicator to release identifiable health information to the appointed representative.
(3) Include a written explanation of the purpose and scope of the representation;
(4) Contain both the party's and appointed representative's name, phone number, and address;
(5) Identify the beneficiary's Medicare number when the beneficiary is the party appointing a representative, or identify the Medicare National Provider Identifier number of the provider or supplier that furnished the item or service when the provider or supplier is the party appointing a representative;
(6) Include the appointed representative's professional status or relationship to the party;
(7) Be filed with the entity processing the party's initial determination or appeal.
(d) Curing a defective appointment of representative. (1) If any one of the seven elements named in paragraph (c) of this section is missing from the appointment, the adjudicator should contact the party and provide a description of the missing documentation or information.
(2) Unless the defect is cured, the prospective appointed representative lacks the authority to act on behalf of the party, and is not entitled to obtain or receive any information related to the appeal, including the appeal decision.
(3) If an adjudication time frame applies, the time from the later of the date that a defective appointment of representative was filed or the current appeal request was filed by the prospective appointed representative, to the date when the defect was cured or the party notifies the adjudicator that he or she will proceed with the appeal without a representative does not count towards the adjudication time frame.
(e) Duration of appointment. (1) Unless revoked, an appointment is considered valid for 1 year from the date that the Appointment of Representative (AOR) form or other conforming written instrument contains the signatures of both the party and the appointed representative.
(2) To initiate an appeal within the 1-year time frame, the representative must file a copy of the AOR form, or other conforming written instrument, with the appeal request. Unless revoked, the representation is valid for the duration of an individual's appeal of an initial determination.
(3) For an initial determination of a Medicare Secondary Payer recovery claim, an appointment signed in connection with the party's efforts to make a claim for third party payment is valid from the date that appointment is signed for the duration of any subsequent appeal, unless the appointment is specifically revoked.
(4) For an initial determination of a Medicare Secondary Payer recovery claim, an appointment signed by an applicable plan which has party status in accordance with § 405.906(a)(4) is valid from the date that appointment is signed for the duration of any subsequent appeal, unless the appointment is specifically revoked.
(f) Appointed representative fees - (1) General rule. An appointed representative for a beneficiary who wishes to charge a fee for services rendered in connection with an appeal before the Secretary must obtain approval of the fee from the Secretary. Services rendered below the OMHA level are not considered proceedings before the Secretary.
(2) No fees or costs against trust funds. No award of attorney or any other representative's fees or any costs in connection with an appeal may be made against the Medicare trust funds.
(3) Special rules for providers and suppliers. A provider or supplier that furnished the items or services to a beneficiary that are the subject of the appeal may represent that beneficiary in an appeal under this subpart, but the provider or supplier may not charge the beneficiary any fee associated with the representation. If a provider or supplier furnishes services or items to a beneficiary, the provider or supplier may not represent the beneficiary on the issues described in section 1879(a)(2) of the Act, unless the provider or supplier waives the right to payment from the beneficiary for the services or items involved in the appeal.
(4) Special rules for purposes of third party payment. The Secretary does not review fee arrangements made by a beneficiary for purposes of making a claim for third party payment (as defined in 42 CFR 411.21) even though the representation may ultimately include representation for a Medicare Secondary Payer recovery claim.
(5) Reasonableness of representative fees. In determining the reasonableness of a representative's fee, the Secretary will not apply the test specified in sections 206(a)(2) and (a)(3) of the Act.
(g) Responsibilities of an appointed representative. (1) An appointed representative has an affirmative duty to -
(i) Inform the party of the scope and responsibilities of the representation;
(ii) Inform the party of the status of the appeal and the results of actions taken on behalf of the party, including, but not limited to, notification of appeal determinations, decisions, and further appeal rights;
(iii) Disclose to a beneficiary any financial risk and liability of a non-assigned claim that the beneficiary may have;
(iv) Not act contrary to the interest of the party; and
(v) Comply with all laws and CMS regulations, CMS Rulings, and instructions.
(2) An appeal request filed by a provider or supplier described in paragraph (f)(3) of this section must also include a statement signed by the provider or supplier stating that no financial liability is imposed on the beneficiary in connection with that representation. If applicable, the appeal request must also include a signed statement that the provider or supplier waives the right to payment from the beneficiary for services or items regarding issues described in section 1879(a)(2) of the Act.
(h) Authority of an appointed representative. An appointed representative may, on behalf of the party -
(1) Obtain appeals information about the claim to the same extent as the party;
(2) Submit evidence;
(3) Make statements about facts and law; and
(4) Make any request, or give, or receive, any notice about the appeal proceedings.
(i) Notice or request to an appointed representative - (1) Initial determinations. When a contractor takes an action or issues an initial determination, it sends the action or notice to the party.
(2) Appeals. When a contractor, QIC, ALJ or attorney adjudicator, or the Council takes an action or issues a redetermination, reconsideration, or appeal decision, in connection with an initial determination, it sends notice of the action to the appointed representative.
(3) The contractor, QIC, ALJ or attorney adjudicator, or Council sends any requests for information or evidence regarding a claim that is appealed to the appointed representative. The contractor sends any requests for information or evidence regarding an initial determination to the party.
(4) For initial determinations and appeals involving Medicare Secondary Payer recovery claims where the beneficiary is a party, the adjudicator sends notices and requests to both the beneficiary and the beneficiary's representative, if the beneficiary has a representative.
(j) Effect of notice or request to an appointed representative. A notice or request sent to the appointed representative has the same force and effect as if was sent to the party.
(k) Information available to the appointed representative. An appointed representative may obtain any and all appeals information applicable to the claim at issue that is available to the party.
(l) Delegation of appointment by appointed representative. (1) An appointed representative may not designate another individual to act as the appointed representative of the party unless -
(i) The appointed representative provides written notice to the party of the appointed representative's intent to delegate to another individual, which contains the name of the designee and the designee's acceptance to be obligated by and comply with the requirements of representation under this subpart; and
(ii) The party accepts the designation as evidenced by a written statement signed by the party. The written statement signed by the party is not required when the appointed representative and designee are attorneys in the same law firm or organization and the notice described in paragraph (l)(1)(i) of this section so indicates.
(2) A delegation is not effective until the adjudicator receives a copy of the acceptance described in paragraph (l)(1)(ii) of this section, unless the appointed representative and designee are attorneys in the same law firm or organization, in which case the notice described in paragraph (l)(1)(i) of this section may be submitted even though the acceptance described in paragraph (l)(1)(ii) of this section is not required.
(3) A party's or representative's failure to notify the adjudicator that an appointment of representative has been delegated is not good cause for missing a deadline or not appearing at a hearing.
(m) Revoking the appointment of representative. (1) A party may revoke an appointment of representative without cause at any time.
(2) Revocation. Revocation is not effective until the adjudicator receives a signed, written statement from the party.
(3) Death of the party. (i) The death of a party terminates the authority of the appointed representative, except as specified in paragraph (m)(3)(ii) of this section.
(ii) A party's death does not terminate an appeal that is in progress if another individual or entity may be entitled to receive or obligated to make payment for the items or services that are the subject of the appeal. The appointment of representative remains in effect for the duration of the appeal except for MSP recovery claims.
(4) A party's or representative's failure to notify the adjudicator that an appointment of representative has been revoked is not good cause for missing a deadline or not appearing at a hearing.