Indiana Hospital Lien Statute & How it Affects Personal Injury Claims
In 2013, the Indiana legislature amended the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute, some of which favor personal injury and car accident victims.
- Liens may not be filed against a person who is also receiving Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
- The lien must be reduced by the amounts the amount of benefits the patient is entitled to under a health insurance plan (e.g. contractual reductions, write-offs). This provision is especially important as many hospitals have recently chosen to forego payment via health insurance on patients injured in car crashes and other incidents caused by the negligence of others. This was an attempt by the hospitals to avoid the contractual reductions and write-off they agreed to with the injured person’s health insurance. This new provision requires the lien to be reduced per those benefits – even if the hospital did not pursue payment through the health insurance.
- The lien does not apply to injury claims against a disability policy or insurance policies with medical payments coverage.
- The hospital may not pursue collection of the amounts owed under the lien until the injury claim has been fully resolved.
- If the hospital agrees to accept less than its full lien amount, it may not collect the compromised amount from the patient or his representative. They waive the balance owed.
- The time period to file and perfect a lien is shortened from 180 days to 90 days after the date a patient is discharged.
- When a hospital lien has been paid and it fails to release its lien within 15 days, the daily fine was increased from $10 to $25.
The changes to the Hospital Lien Statute took effect on July 1, 2013.