Do you have an unpaid hospital lien in Florida?
A hospital claim of lien arises after you visit an ER at a hospital following your accident, and one of the following is true:
- You did not have health insurance or were unable to pay at the time services were rendered.
- Your health insurance only covered part of your hospital bill.
- The hospital became aware that a third-party is responsible and has decided not to submit the bill to your insurance company.
Unsettled hospital liens – or any kind of medical debt – can be problematic for many reasons. Here are five tips that may help you:
Tip #1: Make certain that a lien actually exists.
Unscrupulous debt collectors or other fraudsters may have sent you a notice that you have a lien as a measure to pressure you into making a payment. In Florida, whether a hospital can file a lien is determined by the county in which you received treatment. To find out if you have a medical or hospital lien, contact the clerk of courts within that county.
Tip #2: Did the hospital notify you of the lien?
Most counties have written into their lien laws that the hospital, not the county, has the responsibility to notify you. Therefore, if the hospital has failed to provide notice or if it has notified the wrong person, a lawyer may be able to help have the lien claim against you removed.
Tip #3: Find out the exact balance of the hospital bill.
To know where you stand, you have to find out how much you owe. Often hospitals overbill or fail to file with your insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid. This means that they are filing lien for the wrong amount. An lawyer should audit your hospital bill to ensure that it is accurate.
Tip #4: Reduce the bill for any unrelated charges or uncredited payments, co-pays, insurance payments, etc.
If you find that any payments have not been credited on the bill, including co-payments or payments from insurers, the hospital must remove these amounts from the lien amount.
Tip #5: Consult an lawyer to help you make further reductions of your bill.
Resolving a hospital lien is a complicated matter that often requires the knowledge of an experienced lawyer in order to receive the best possible outcome. To protect your property and ensure that your rights are upheld, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Lawyers at Nowack & Olson, PLLC, can help.