Category Archives: Hospital Lien Statute

How Do I Pay My Medical Bills After an Accident?

Overwhelmed by medical bills from my accident – How do I pay my bills?

If you have health insurance, your insurance provider may cover the care you receive from in-network hospitals, doctors and other medical providers. In rare situations where you were taken by ambulance to a hospital that is not in your network, your health insurance may cover the ER bill if you were unable to select an in-network hospital from the scene of the accident. After your health insurance, your medical payment insurance or “med-pay” will help you to pay your medical bills. Check your automobile policy to determine how much med-pay insurance you have.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Lawyer Charlie Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm recommends you purchase as much med-pay insurance as your can afford. Talk with your insurance agent to obtain a quote. Med-pay insurance becomes cheaper the more your purchase. You may be surprised how inexpensive good coverage is when you seek a quote for a higher amount. Remember that medical payment insurance is to your benefit by covering medical bills and medical expenses, i.e. hospital, doctors, radiology, lab work, prescriptions, physical therapy and much more. It can ease the strain of potential economic hardship and/or the loss of your wages after you’ve experienced a wreck or collision.

If you know someone that has been injured in an accident and having trouble paying their medical bills, call attorney, Charlie Ward, today at 317-639-9501.

By Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 639-9501

Indiana Hospital Lien Statute – Legislation Benefits Private Health Insured’s Injured in Auto, Motorcycle, Trucking or Semi Tractor-Trailer Accidents Caused by Another’s Negligence

Lawmakers and lawyers working for fairness in IndianaCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Since the Hospital Lien Statute was amended in 2013, a number of changes have gone into effect that may benefit you if you have a claim for personal injuries and compensation for damages caused by a car, motorcycle or trucking accident. I will discuss the change benefitting the citizens of Indiana called “No Balance Billing.”

Hospitals typically contract with specific Insurance providers to accept their plans. When a patient has health insurance with a hospital approved contracting provider, the treating hospital is bound to honor that contract by accepting the patient’s insurance and billing their services at mutually agreed upon “reasonable fees”. Reasonable fees are predetermined between the hospital and the insurance provider. Anything not considered “reasonable” by the private health insurer is contractually adjusted or written off by the hospital and the patient is only responsible for their deductible, their percentage split or their co-pay.

Prior to July 1, 2013, some hospitals would accept the injured patient’s private health insurance—allowing the insurance provider to pay their contracted amount—and attach a lien to the injured party’s legal claim for the remaining charges. To make matters worse, if the hospital lien could not be satisfied by the plaintiff’s legal claim, the remaining unpaid balance could follow the claimant after judgment or settlement was made.

The original legislation was never meant to hurt accident victims

The original intent of the hospital lien statute served to compensate the hospitals providing treatment for injured victims. Today, as hospitals treat more and more indigent and uninsureds, hospitals are seeking financial compensation that will cover the skyrocketing costs of the medical care our hospitals provide, albeit, the issues outlined above have progressively caused problems for personal injury attorneys seeking justice and wholeness for their injured clients.

New legislation benefits persons injured in a crash

Under the new provisions of the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute [IC 32-33-4-3(b)(5)], the hospital must make reasonable effort to pursue private insurance claims in cooperation with the patient. A lien perfected by the hospital within 90 days of patient discharge must first be reduced by the amount of any benefits to which the patient is entitled under the terms of any contract, health plan, or medical insurance. Most importantly, the lien must reflect credits for payments made by the insurance provider, contractual adjustments and write-offs.

Experienced lawyers helping injured victims

If you have been injured or know someone who has been injured as a result of someone’s negligence, call attorney, Charlie Ward, for a free consultation at (317) 639-9501. The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 80 years of combined experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims including injuries resulting from auto, motorcycle and trucking accidents.

By Charlie Ward

cpw@wardlawfirm.com

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225

 

Medicare Update on Indiana Hospital Lien Statute – Legislation Benefits Medicare Recipients With Personal Injuries

Changes in Hospital Lien Statute Benefit Injured Medicare RecipientsCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

In January I wrote an article about the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute and how it may affect your claim for personal injuries and compensation for damages caused by a car, motorcycle or trucking accident. Since then the Statute was amended and on July 1, 2013 a number of changes went into effect.

History of Hospital Lien Statute and Medicare

The original Hospital Lien Statute became law during the 1930s—decades before Medicare was enacted in 1965. Prior to the 2013 changes in the Indiana Statute, hospitals could elect not to bill Medicare insurance for charges relating to medical treatment rendered to a Medicare recipient who had been injured in an accident through the negligence of another. Today under the new provisions of the hospital lien statute [IC 32-33-4-3(b)(3)(e)], Medicare patients are exempt from the lien.

The Indiana Trial Lawyers Association and the 2013 Indiana General Assembly has taken a stand for the citizens of Indiana and Medicare recipients!

If you have been injured or know someone who has been injured as a result of someone’s negligence, call attorney, Charlie Ward, for a free consultation at (317) 639-9501. The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 85 years of combined experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims including injuries resulting from auto, motorcycle and trucking accidents.

 

The Indiana Hospital Lien Statute May Affect the Compensation You Receive for Your Auto, Motorcycle, Semi Tractor-Trailer Accident or Personal Injury Claim for Damages

History of Hospital Lien StatuteCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Indiana’s Hospital Lien Statute, IC 32-33-4, is designed to legislatively protect the financial interests of treating hospitals in accidents involving injury. When an injured party is taken to the hospital following a car, motorcycle, pedestrian or trucking accident, hospital administrators may instruct their attorneys to file a lien for hospital charges against any action, suit or claim which may be brought by the patient against the party or parties responsible for their injuries. The hospital is given a period of 180 days after patient discharge to file the lien with the county recorder’s office and an additional 10 days to serve notice by registered mail upon the Indiana Department of Insurance, claimant and claimant’s attorneys.There are several exceptions to Indiana’s Hospital Lien Statute including distributions paid from the supplemental state fair relief fund. For a list of others, see IC 32-33-4-3(b)(3).

How does the hospital statute affect your claim?

  1. Hospitals are given up to 180 days to “perfect” or file a hospital lien. An experienced personal injury attorney will not begin negotiating a claim until the hospital has asserted their lien or 180 days have lapsed without the hospital perfecting its lien.
  2. The statute provides that the claimant shall receive no less than 20% of their settlement. However, the hospital may pursue recovery of any remaining unsatisfied balance by any other legal means necessary.
  3. Payments made by health insurance shall be deducted from the total amount due. However, the hospital may assert a claim over and above payments received notwithstanding applied discounts contracted with health insurance carriers. If the hospital lien has not been fully satisfied after disbursement from proceeds of the settlement, the hospital may use any legal means necessary to recover the outstanding balance.

Update on Hospital Lien Statute

Since this article was written, the Hospital Lien Statute has been changed by legislators with the help of dedicated attorneys and the Indiana Bar Association. Medicare recipients have also benefitted under the new legislation.

Financial Effects of Hospital Lien Statute and Your Lawyer

An outstanding hospital lien, the result of a catastrophic injury, can bring about financial ruin at a time when wits are required to piece lives back together emotionally and physically. An experienced personal injury attorney will negotiate with all parties involved to secure a full hospital release before settlement is made. The attorneys of Ward & Ward, Charlie Ward and Don Ward, have over 80 years of combined experience in dealing with personal injury and wrongful death claims. We understand personal injury law and work on behalf of our clients to successfully resolve their legal claims.

Call Charlie Ward today for a free consultation at 317-639-9501.

Charlie Ward