FAQs About Hospital Liens
Hospitals may file liens in a personal injury case when they believe an injury has been caused by a 3rd party. In most cases, hospital lien claims arise when someone is involved in an accident of some sort and received care at a hospital. These types of claims are particularly complicated and challenging for numerous reasons, but namely because the charges claimed are often grossly inflated above what the insurer would have paid. Another common issue is for hospital’s to file liens for what is known as “Balance Billing,” which means the hospital is trying to collect the difference between what a person’s health insurance paid on the bill vs. what the hospital’s actual bill was prior to contractual reductions for health insurance. Below you will find information on some of the most frequently asked questions regarding hospital liens. If you have any additional questions or would like to speak with a personal injury lawyer from Atkins & Markoff about a hospital lien, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What is a lien?
A lien is basically a demand for repayment that can be placed on or against things, such as your house or bank account. When a lien is placed, it means that there is now a financial liability upon property or funds for the intention of satisfying some debt or duty, such as unpaid hospital or medical bills.
Are hospitals the only ones who file liens?
No. In fact, liens can be filed by health insurance companies, worker’s compensation carriers, and the government, to name a few. When a lien is filed by your health insurance company, it is done so with the intention of recovering money that was paid for medical care under a health insurance policy.
Is there anything I should know about hospital liens?
Yes. There are actually a lot of important rules pertaining to hospital liens. Because these types of cases can be so complicated, it is recommended that you contact your Oklahoma personal injury attorney in order to help you sort through all the important details. It should be noted that hospitals can only file a lien on the money you made from a settlement if you were admitted to the hospital within 72 hours of the accident. Keep in mind there are other specific rules like this that your lawyer will be able to explain to you.
What does it mean when a hospital has statutory lien rights?
When this occurs, it means that hospitals generally do not have to reduce their lien claims to the same extent as health or medical payment insurers.
Can a hospital refuse my bill, instead filing a claim?
Yes. This is where things get even more confusing. Even if you do send in payment for your hospital bill, the hospital can refuse it and instead assert a lien. When this happens, you will be stuck negotiating with the hospital, rather than the health insurance carrier.
What happens when a hospital lien is not settled?
When this happens, the hospital will continue to seek payment from the responsible third party, whomever that may be.
To learn more about hospital liens in Oklahoma or to discuss your particular case with a knowledgeable attorney from Atkins & Markoff, please contact us today.