When a person is seriously injured, they will require medical treatment, or sometimes even hospitalization, depending on the severity of the situation. Typically, these bills are initially covered by the person’s medical or health insurance provider. If the person desires to pursue legal action against the one responsible for their injuries, the losses from the medical expenses will be considered in the damages pursued from the case, along with any other relevant damages that stem from the case. Health insurance is a person’s first line of defense against medical expenses. A majority of the time, the hospital will bill the insurance company so that the injured party will not be overcome with medical debt. For one hospital in Arkansas, however, patients who have been injured as a result of someone else’s actions are finding some difficulty with hospital administration accepting their insurance plans.
Turning Down Insurance
Northwest Medical Center, a hospital in Arkansas has begun a questionable practice of turning down insurance for injured persons. In the case of one Jessica Mounce, the hospital is being sudeagainst them for their practices. Mounce was injured in a car accident, and went to Northwest Medical for treatment for her injuries. While awaiting treatment, discussion of her insurance came up. She was asked if the accident was her fault, and then she was asked if the other party involved had insurance. At this time, Mounce had only intended to use her own personal health insurance to cover the claim. The hospital took her insurance information down, but when the bill came in, Mounce had found that the hospital had placed a medical lien on her for over $6,000. The hospital could have filed the claim with Mounce’s insurance but instead placed a debt on her for the full coverage amount upon finding out that Mounce could have a case against the other driver.
The hospital claims that that they are within the bounds of the law to engage in this practice, however, Mounce has been the first of 4 individuals to file lawsuits against the hospital for this very reason. In essence, the hospital has authority to either file the claim with the insurance agency, or to create a medical lien if a person is unable to pay. The problem is that Mounce’s insurance would likely be able to pay, but the hospital chose to bill Mounce directly instead, placing her in thousands of dollars of medical debt, on the hopes that she will pursue a personal injury case. This cuts costs to the hospital and allows them to collect debt.
While it is important for victims of injuries to pursue legal action to obtain recovery for their injuries, hospitals should not be involved in pushing patients toward this course. Damage awards from lawsuits are intended for the victims of the injuries to be made whole once more, not for hospitals to turn a quicker profit.
If you or a loved one has been severely injured in an automobile or motorcycle collision, contact the NH Injury lawyers and their legal team at Tenn And Tenn today.