Health Advocates Inc. has filed suit against the Social SecurityAdministration over procedural changes the company contends hinderits work to ensure that workers' compensation settlements are inline with Medicare requirements.

Health Advocates, based in Tampa, Fla., is a company that helpsworkers' comp insurers establish trusts for settlements. Underguidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, allworkers' comp settlements totaling more than $250,000 involvingworkers who can be expected to become Medicare eligible within 30months should be reviewed to ensure that Medicare does not beginpaying for care until the settlement runs out, which is donethrough a set-aside trust.

Health Advocates performed the checks through the Tampa branchoffice of the Social Security Administration. The Administrationmaintains a database that contains, according to the suit,information about beneficiaries of Social Security programs,including the dates upon which those individual beneficiariesbecame or will become entitled to receive benefits under suchprograms.

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