Medical liens are designed to ensure that people are able to receive immediate health care treatment before receiving the verdict of a personal injury trial. With a Doctor lien, physicians agree with the patient that fees for treatment will stay postponed until the conclusion of the trial. In order to better ensure that promised payments will be made, Health care liens are generally more common amongst third party injury cases where the the patient appears (based on the facts) to be the innocent victim. These involves injuries sustained in personal injury cases such as those found in car accidents, product liability suits, slip and fall incidences and many more.
However, despite the noble intentions behind the creation of medical lien agreements, there are a number of factors which have encouraged the reluctance by most doctors and hospitals to consider its use.
The length of time between treatment and payment:
In the halls of a courtroom, time is not a valued factor. Court cases can sometimes go on for many long years before a final verdict is attained. Pending the conclusion of this lengthy legal transaction, most healthcare providers are forced to continue waiting for their payment. Hospitals have no legal authority to “force” payments until the outcome of a case has been reached. The financial implication of this extension of deserved payment is often a lot more than most hospitals are able to deal with. Many of the doctors and physicians, who initially were open to accepting cases of medical liens, have over the years become discouraged of this view for this very reason.
The Lack of Guaranty offered: Despite their best intentions individuals sometimes do fail to uphold their end of the agreement. This occurrence is more common amongst people who go on to lose their injury case in court. Unlike the contingency agreement between an attorney and a client wherein an attorney forfeits his fees in the eventuality of a loss, there is no such agreement with the wordings of a medical lien. Patients are duty bound to still pay their fees even if they lose their legal battle. This however does not always occur.
Unnecessary delays: In an ideal situation, payments should be made immediately after a case has been won. Most insurance companies however tend to delay the payment of these fees on some procedural clause. While doctors are forced to work without their income pending its release, insurance houses continue to benefit from incoming interest gained from the settlement figures which are still being held. Needless to say, most doctors are left frustrated and often make it a point to avoid future lien agreements of this nature.
An effective solution to most of the problems experienced by the health care providers is to issue out their lien agreements to a medical liens funding company. Companies such as these then become acting intermediaries between the physician and the patient going on to provide the funds needed for the hospital payment even before a case has begun. The funding company then goes on to secure the agreed payments of a lien from the patient via the insurance company that has been charged with the provision of the settlement.
Tags: Health and Fitness