Florida hospitals can often increase their ability to collect for services rendered to patients who fail to pay through use of a lien management program. Hospitals which do not yet have an operating lien management program may contact us, our medical collection lawyers can explain how claims are paid through hospital liens.
Which Florida Counties Have Hospital Lien Ordinances?
There are many counties in Florida and Georgia which have lien ordinances, as allowed for by the state legislature. Those are the counties of Alachua, Bay, Brevard, Bradford, Broward, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jackson, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Sarasota, Seminole, and Volusia.
How are Claims Paid Through Provisions of Florida’s Hospital Lien
Under Florida’s Hospital Lien Act, in these counties, a lien attaches from the moment an injured person receives services in a qualified hospital. The lien, in most cases, attaches to any and all causes of action, suits, and claims, and upon all judgments, settlements, and settlement agreements resulting from the illness or injury which was the reason for hospital care. The lien is not a lien against the patient, but rather, against all third-party payers such as insurance companies which may make payment as a result of the illness or injury.
Hospital Liens Take Priority
A hospital’s lien takes priority over all other personal injury protection benefits (P.I.P.) including funeral expenses and lost wages. The Third District Court of Appeals in Crowder v. Dade County, 415 So. 2d 732 (3rd DCA 1982) and Public Health Trust of Dade County v. O’Neal, 348 So. 2d 377 (3rd DCA 1977) held that a hospital lien is intended to be effective for the “full amount” against the proceeds of a judgment or settlement in favor of the patient, and is not to be diminished by the amount of any attorneys’ fees.
Contact us to Learn About How to Establish a Lien Management Program for Medical Collections
If your Florida hospital is located in one of the twenty counties listed above and does not yet have a lien management program for medical collections in place, Lotane & Associates, PA, can help you develop one.
To learn how the attorneys Lotane & Associates can assist your hospital in carrying out medical bill collections through liens, contact us today.
Lotane & Associates, P.A. in Cocoa, FL handles legal collections and auto subrogation throughout the entire state of Florida and Georgia.
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