Phia Group Media


Phia Group Media

Overpayment Recovery Services Suite | The Phia Group

TPAs Recently Deemed Liable for Failed Overpayment Recoupment

Since the inception of ERISA, but with startling frequency in recent years (with major cases being decided in the past year, and ongoing presently), TPAs, brokers, and other entities servicing self-funded plans are deemed to be fiduciaries and held directly liable to their clients for failing to adequately enforce overpayment recoupment provisions.  So why are most TPAs merely sending a few letters to providers and filing away cases that fail to result in a refund?  Because they feel that there is no other option available to them… until now.

Overpayments are Not a Sign of TPA Negligence

We look to TPAs to ensure the right amount is paid to the right parties.  When an overpayment occurs, TPAs feel personally responsible, and seek to handle recoupment on their own.  This desire to resolve matters in-house is proper, and should be the first step… but failing to take additional action when internal efforts fail is inexcusable.  Overpayments occur for any number of reasons, most of which are entirely uncontrollable by the TPA, including incorrect eligibility information; misrepresentation by patients and providers; and incorrect discounting by networks.  Indeed, providers now employ entire billing schemes meant to maximize billable rates.  It is impossible to identify every outside attempt to “game the system,” before the claim is paid.

Improve Results by Improving Your Approach

It is a credit to TPAs that resultant overpayments are identified at all.  Given ever-increasing costs, and the increased frequency of instances where TPAs are deemed liable for failing to recoup overpaid funds, it is crucial that self-funded health plans and their TPAs stop wasting time and resources on fruitless efforts, and execute a new process that increases their chance for success – adding additional layers of overpayment pursuit to existing internal procedures.

We Can Help

By combining technology with experience, The Phia Group empowers overpayment recovery efforts, reviews existing procedures, provides best practices to improve in-house efforts, and offers options to pursue refunds when those internal efforts fail.  We implement unique methods, such as bundling refund demands when a single provider is involved, thereby submitting a demand that is so large no provider can ignore it.  Only with strategies such as these, a dedicated overpayment recovery team, and attorneys experienced in dealing with providers, can a fiduciary ensure that their duty to recover overpayments will be fulfilled.

To learn more about The Phia Group and its Overpayment Recovery Service, please contact Michael Branco at 781-535-5618 or  

Case Studies

A case was transferred to The Phia Group by another subrogation vendor, at the request of the Arizona benefit plan involved.  The subrogation vendor failed to recoup any funds even though they had over two years to do so.  The Plan participant’s dependent was involved in a severe motorcycle accident and there were reportedly policy limits of $100,000.  It was also discovered that the patient may not have been eligible for some of the later paid plan benefits after a subsequent termination date.
The other vendor failed to request refunds of the overpayments from providers for a lack of eligibility, and focused instead entirely on the motorcycle’s policy; the case was at a standstill.  After failing to convince The Phia Group to waive reimbursement rights, the parties involved requested a 50% reduction of the Plan’s lien.  The Phia Group refused and entered into negotiations knowing that it could recoup funds from the providers (overpayments) as well.  As a result, this case was finalized within three months and the Plan received close to full recovery.
Plan Exposure:                   $213,000
Phia Intervention Saved:  $175,000

The Phia Group was presented with an overpayment case stemming from the member’s misrepresentation on an accident report. The police report had a separate page discussing the member’s intoxication during a motor vehicle accident, but when that police report was provided to the TPA, the addendum describing the intoxication was omitted. As a result, the claims were deniable by virtue of both the misrepresentation and the member’s intoxication.
The Phia Group discussed the case with the provider, which had already been paid, to attempt to recoup the funds. The provider initially refused to even acknowledge our request, but after lengthy discussions and the involvement of The Phia Group’s legal team, the provider ultimately conceded and returned the money to the health plan. The health plan proceeded to deny the claims, and the provider sought payment directly from the member.
Plan Exposure:                   $31,000
Phia Intervention Saved:  $31,000

To learn more about The Phia Group and its Overpayment Recovery Service, please contact Michael Branco at 781-535-5618 or