Medical liens are one of the biggest nightmares for personal injury attorneys. They add cost and complexity to a case as well as delay settlement payments. That’s an undisputed fact. Now, it’s alleged that a hospital is abusing the liens, too:
Silver Cross Hospital for a decade has exploited accident settlements to get higher fees from patients, a class-action lawsuit alleges.
By placing medical liens on personal-injury settlements, the New Lenox-based hospital seeks to force patients to pay higher, out-of-network fees even when Silver Cross has network agreements with the patients' health insurers, the complaint says. Settlement proceeds can’t be distributed until a lien is released by the hospital or declared invalid by a judge.
Silver Cross has placed a lien for $18,000 on an $85,000 settlement won by Brian Falls even though it accepted payment of under $6,000 at the discounted, in-network rate from a subsidiary of Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group, Mr. Falls alleges.