Emerging Trend: Hospitals Avoid Billing Patient’s Health Insurance
In a recent report, Channel 2 reporter Dave Huddleston investigated the reasons why accident victims were being billed directedly by hospitals for treatment, even when they have the health insurance. The report found that some Georgia hospitals are going after a cut of any personal injury settlement, rather than billing the patient’s health insurance. While it is usual for hospitals to go to the patient’s health insurance first for payment, many hospitals are avoiding that route altogether in the hopes of collecting larger payments.
Unfortunately, the latest news from WSB is happening more and more across the state of Georgia. People hurt due to the negligence of others—whether a car wreck, a slip and fall, or any other event—often need emergency treatment. So, obviously, they go (or are taken because they’re too incapacitated to speak) to an emergency room for care. And care is always given and almost always is appropriate and helpful.
But when it’s time to bill, the story changes. Hospital billing departments across Georgia are now doing everything they can to avoid billing a patient’s health insurance—insurance that the patient paid premiums for and that each hospital likely has a contract with where the health insurer does not have to pay the actual billed charge. And that’s why hospitals have started billing patients directly instead of their health insurance. Instead of accepting payment of the agreed-upon rate, hospitals are now filing liens in the courts to attempt to recover the total amount from the patient—or, more to the point, the settlement they may receive for their injury claim.
The net effect of this brazen, insulting practice is that hospitals are now ignoring their contracts with health insurers to try and get as much money from patients as possible-which also may be why their charges are going up!
At Johnson & Alday, we know how to deal with these liens so they don’t affect your credit or your potential recovery. We can make sure to enforce your rights and protect against what has become a predatory practice among health care providers. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.