Friday, July 1, 2016

"Huge Progress" Reported On Negotiations With Feds

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

Major progress has been made in negotiations with federal officials over the amount victims of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak will have to pay to reimburse the Medicare program for medical care they received, according to an attorney involved in the talks.

"Huge progress has been made,” said Thomas Sobol, a Boston, Mass. Attorney representing victims. He said in an email Friday that he and other victims’ representatives are now awaiting formal approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Justice Department.
The agreement is crucial if victims are to begin receiving payments from a $200 million trust fund created under the bankruptcy of the firm blamed for the deadly outbreak. The administrator of the fund has stated that no checks will be sent out without an agreement with the federal government.
In a recent court hearing in Boston Sobol told U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel that checks to some 1,250 victims could be mailed out in August.
There had been hopes checks could go out in July, but stalled lengthy negotiations nixed that possibility.
The outbreak, blamed on fungus infested spinal steroids, sickened 778 patients across the country and killed 77 of them. Hundreds more had to undergo painful tests to find out whether they too had been sickened.
Sobol did not give any details of the proposed agreement, but it is likely to include a percentage payment that the federal government is willing to accept in reimbursement for the bills it paid for victims of the outbreak.
It also could include a sliding scale based on the length of time a victim was hospitalized or under treatment. Medicare ended up paying more for those with lengthy stays.
Most, but not all of the victims were covered under the Medicare program. Others face reimbursement demands from private insurers.
Negotiations also have been underway with major private insurers for claims paid for private pay patients and Medicare recipients with supplemental coverage.
The trust fund was created during the bankruptcy of the New England Compounding Center, the Framingham, Mass. firm that shipped thousands of vials of fungus infested methylprednisolone acetate to health care providers in more than 20 states. The tainted drugs were then injected into the spines and joints of unsuspecting victims.
Fourteen owners and employees of NECC have been indicted under charges ranging from second degree murder to racketeering and mail and wire fraud charges. Criminal trials are scheduled for September of this year and January 2017.


  1. No payments go out until theres an agreement with the federal government? Thats major incongruity, ad nauseism .I don't believe my ears! The court removed funds without permission of the victims .what entitles a firm to get paid before theres a government aggrement? Its more double talk. .

    1. There excuse is full of holes.We have bills that need covered too.! Just because our last name doesn't end with Esquire doesn't justify the courts payment to a firm. M

  2. Nice for them, as myself and many others wonder, will I eat, pay rent( lost primary residence), or buy medications that, we're not required before 9/2012.
    On a side note, I have contacted soo many tv stations, news papers, my congress and senators, and all of the above either, total ignore, or are so involved in trying to stop gun sales, they can't fix what was not supposed to be a problem ( things inspected by state, local, federal, trained inspectors) oh ya what happened to the inspectors, have they gotten there annual raises ? Retirement conturbutions ?

  3. Justice is corrupt. Money buys freedom.

  4. I want y p see this so-called firms bill list I want s copy .Why are the courts abusing there own edicts about the only way any payment is going out is when there and agreement with the federal government? ??