March 12, 2020 Articles

State Medical Lien Statutes Open Door to Discovering Hospital Reimbursement Rates

Filing medical liens may subject their reimbursement rates to discovery.

By Catherine A. Green

Over forty states and the District of Columbia have enacted some form of a medical lien statute. See 152 Am. Jur. Trials § 265 (2017) (noting that Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin have enacted medical lien statutes). Often, these statutes are “limited to the reasonable value of the services rendered by the medical service provider.” As such, cases involving medical liens frequently raise the issue “of what constitutes a reasonable amount” for medical services. This, in turn, has opened the door to discovering providers’ closely guarded reimbursement rates. 

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