Fort Wayne Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer and Attorney Blog

Parkview Now Unable to Put Liens on Medicaid Patient

By Jack H. FarnbauchMay 22, 2020

In a case that many local attorneys were following closely, Allen Superior Court Judge, Craig J. Bobay, ruled last week Parkview was required by law to reduce the value of its liens by the amount of Julie Sabatino's Medicaid benefits. 

Sabatino was in a personal injury accident July 20, 2016, and Parkview treated her injuries twice that same month. Parkview billed Sabatino $25,728.93 and in August 2016 filed two separate liens related to the treatment. A lien is one way a hospital can attempt to obtain payment for treatment. Hospitals can place claims on settlements patients receive from personal injury cases.

Allstate Insurance later paid Parkview $10,000, and Parkview claimed Sabatino owed the remaining $15,728.93. Sabatino was eligible for Medicaid benefits. She argued that because Parkview didn't submit her hospital bills to Medicaid before recording the liens – reducing the amount she owed – the hospital liens are not valid.

Parkview argued the Indiana hospital lien statute does not require Parkview to submit its charges to Medicaid prior to asserting a lien. Parkview also argued it is prohibited from submitting Sabatino's claim to Medicaid. “Parkview routinely and intentionally does not bill Medicaid when it suspects that the treatment it provides to personal injury suffering patients might be the result of some tortfeasor's conduct,” Bobay said in his ruling.

Parkview is the only hospital in the state that takes this position. Any lien claimed by a hospital under the hospital lien statute “must reflect credits for all payments, contractual adjustments, write-offs, and any other benefit in favor of a patient through a patient's Medicaid benefits,” Bobay said.

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