When people get seriously injured, you—as a medical professional—don’t hesitate to perform life-saving procedures. Of course, the instantaneous care and treatment you provide to people suffering from injuries comes at a financial cost to your patients. Because many patients can’t cover the entire cost of injuries incurred from personal injury incidents, they may utilize settlement checks to pay off their medical expenses. And because settlement checks take a while to process, you’ll likely find yourself issuing a medical lien to ensure payment for your essential services. Below, we’ll dive into the basics on what to know about medical liens as a health care professional.
Medical Liens: A Healthcare “IOU”
Simply put, a medical lien is an “I owe you” issued by health care facilities to ensure they’re paid for their services following an accident. A lien confirms your patient will pay you for the care you’ve provided once they receive a settlement check for their personal injury claim.
The few main restrictions around a medical lien are:
- Medical professionals must request the lien within 72 hours of their provided services.
- Medical lien amounts cannot demand more than 40 percent of the total settlement check.
- Patients must submit the medical lien against their settlements within 180 days after medical providers release them from the hospital.
The Importance of Medical Liens
With all the employees, equipment, software, and utilities required to run a well-operating medical care facility, hospitals aren’t cheap. Issuing medical liens after providing care for the victim of an accident is in the best interest of medical professionals and their facilities. Medical liens keep patients accountable for the care they’ve received. When health care facilities finally receive payment for their services via their patient’s settlement check, that money goes toward life-sustaining operations, treatment, and other vital elements of medical work.
When To Relinquish Ownership of a Lien
One unfortunate thing to know about medical liens is that not all patients to whom you issue them will be able to pay them off. The reasons for that may vary from person to person, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re left as the holder of their medical lien.
By pairing up with a medical lien purchasing company, you can relieve your facility and yourself from the stress of trying to get paid. If you’d like reimbursement for your services and haven’t received any signs that your patient plans to provide as much, selling your medical lien is a convenient way to attain money for the work you’ve done.