The Arizona Court of Appeals Provides a Favorable Ruling on Medical Liens
The Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, held on March 12, 2019, that if a medical provider accepts payment from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (“AHCCCS”) payments in relation to treatment provided to that patient the unpaid care cannot be balanced billed and then satisfied with a lien against any personal injury recoveries. Ansley v. Banner Health Network, No 1 CA-CV 17-0075
This is an important ruling for individuals who are injured and who have AHCCCS. A balance bill is the balance between what the hospital receives from a payor like AHCCCS and what the hospital normally charges for the care the individual receives. Often times a healthcare provider will take a lien on a personal injury claim for care that they provided. The holding of Ansley, makes it clear that such a practice is not allowed if the initial payor is AHCCCS. This means the only possible lien holder for an individual with AHCCCS, is AHCCCS.
If you have been injured and may have a claim and there is a lien that has been filed against you and you have questions regarding the validity of that lien please contact the personal injury attorneys at MCR. Even if the lien is valid, the lien may be able to be negotiated to increase the amount of the recovery the injured person realizes.