Georgians injured in a car crash have to be on their toes when it comes to hospital billing departments. Most hospitals code the intake so they know if the patient came in with a broken leg from a car accident or a broken arm from a trucking crash. Even where the patient has health insurance (which they are obligated to bill unless there is medpay insurance) the hospitals are trying to opt out and hiring a collections law firm to send out immediate lien notices. Why are they doing this to injured people in Georgia?
The answer is simple; if United Health insurance only allows $4,000.00 under their fee schedule for a set of procedures but the procedures are billed at $24,000.00, the hospital would rather get $24,000 instead of $4,000.00. By placing a medical lien on the file, they hope that they can tap into the injury settlement that the injured patient may be pursuing.
How can you fight this? The answer is complicated. First you have to nag them to death. Second, copy you insurance card and send a letter to the hospital by certified mail advising them that you have health insurance and that you advised them of that at the hospital. You should advise them to bill it immediately as you have no medical payments insurance. That way they are stuck with it. If they try to pursue the lien, you have proof positive that you presented them with your health insurance and they do not get to opt out of it just because they are greedy. If you have a serious injury and are facing a situation where the hospital has put a lien on you and your case, an injury lawyer is a welcome companion.
As for their whining about the fee, they signed the darned fee contract with United or BCBS or whomever and they cannot come crying to you when they want out. Keep in mind that you paid the premium on the policy and under Georgia’s “Made Whole Doctrine”, health insurers covered by state law are not entitled to reimbursement unless the injury settlement made you whole. Clients that are hit by a tractor trailer in Georgia and sustained serious injuries would have access to enough liability coverage but if the client was injured in a car accident by a driver with minimum limits, then the Made Whole Doctrine is the only thing standing between the client and the hospital taking everything.