No. 16-0851 IN RE NORTH CYPRESS MEDICAL CENTER OPERATING CO., LTD., RELATOR
The Supreme Court of Texas, the most binding authority in the State, recently determined in its decision in RE NORTH CYPRESS MEDICAL CENTER OPERATING CO., LTD., RELATOR that hospital lien holders are obligated to provide injured parties the amount the hospital would have been paid by 3rd party health insurance carriers, including Medicaid and Medicare. With this decision, the Texas Supreme Court is putting its foot down and protecting injured parties who are forced into an emergency setting hospital visit after a car accident. Those who don’t have health insurance have hefty hospital liens tacked onto any settlement proceeds they may later recover from the party who injured them. If there is no settlement, the innocent injured party is still responsible for the overpriced, and often times, unconscionable bill the hospital will attach to an unsuspecting injured party. On the other hand, private health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, all have set amounts that hospitals are contractually obligated to accept, regardless of the amount they originally billed.
EXAMPLE: John was injured after a car accident in Corpus Christi. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital and checked out. He received a bill in the mail for $10,000, for the one-time hospital visit. John does not have health insurance.
In this scenario, when the same $10,000 bill is presented by an injured party who has health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, the hospital will receive pennies on the dollar for their bill. But when you do not have health insurance like John, the hospital asserts a lien for the FULL amount of the bill. With the decision rendered by the Texas Supreme Court in RE NORTH CYPRESS MEDICAL CENTER OPERATING CO., LTD., RELATOR, hospitals are now required to provide people like John the amount the hospital would have accepted from someone who had health insurance. Needless to say, this will help put a stop to unfair billing practices by hospitals who take advantage of the uninsured.
If you or a loved one have been in a car accident or truck accident in Corpus Christi, or anywhere else in Texas, call The Patel Firm PLLC for a obligation-free consultation. Our legal consultations for car and truck wrecks are 100% free and always confidential. 24/7/365, someone at The Patel Firm PLLC is ready to speak with you. Give us a call today.