Having a hospital lien filed against anyone can be quite a devastating experience for many hard-working people who have just been treated for a major accident. To no fault of their own, many people have unknowingly fallen into a scam that could potentially ruin them financially. At Moore Law Firm, we feel that it is our duty to inform and educate as many people as possible about their rights when a hospital attempts to extort thousands of dollars from them.
What is a Hospital Lien?
Texas laws define a lien as: any official claim or charge against property or funds for payment of a debt or an amount owed for services rendered. More specifically, a hospital lien is defined as a statutory lien claimed by a hospital to recover the costs of medical services. In laymen terms, A hospital lien is a way for hospitals to secure payment from you and force you to pay for their bills. The hospital lien acts like an official IOU filed against you by the hospital you visited. It’s a public record and is easily accessible by going to your local county clerk’s website by searching for your name and printing out your hospital lien in their database. If your local county clerk does not have a website that allows you to access this information online, you may make this request in person.
What Happens When a Hospital Lien is Filed Against Me?
A hospital lien, more importantly, negatively impacts your credit score, which can lead to a reduction in the credit limit that some companies may give you, increases in car or mortgage loan interest rates, or denial of lines of credit altogether. In order to collect payment on your hospital lien, your hospital may send your debt into collection, meaning potentially receiving harassing phone calls to your home, cell, or work, numerous letters looking to collect your debt or even personal contact in some extreme circumstances.
A hospital lien can also impact an attorney’s ability to collect and negotiate your personal injury settlement. According to Texas law, your attorney needs to make sure that your hospital lien is paid in full before either of you see any money from the settlement.
So What Is A Fraudulent Hospital Lien?
A fraudulent hospital lien occurs when a hospital blatantly breaks the law that’s set in place by the Texas Hospital Lien statute.
What Texas Laws Do Hospitals Break When They File Fraudulent Hospital Liens?
Texas Law prohibits hospitals from filing a lien if the charge exceeds a reasonable and regular rate. (Tex Pr. Code Sec. 55.004)
Have you ever felt that hospital bills seem to be unnecessarily expensive? You aren’t alone. Extensive research shows that hospitals are over-billing their patients 600% to even 1000% over market price for those services. Hospital bills are one of the leading causes for everyday, hardworking people to file for bankruptcy in the United States. However, you may be surprised to learn that in most cases involving over-priced emergency room visits, the hospital where you received treatment will typically file a hospital lien against you. Simply, 1000% over market price is an unreasonable and irregular rate to file a hospital lien.
In most circumstances, a patient who had a lien filed against them were not admitted into the hospital within 72 hours of the accident, which is required by Texas Law to file a lien. (Tex Pr. Code Sec. 55.002)
This statute is as simple as it gets. No hospital is allowed to file a hospital lien against someone who was not admitted into the hospital within 72 hours of their accident. Period. Some hospitals try to get away with filing a hospital lien against a patient by arguing that “admitted into the hospital” is the same as an ER visit. It isn’t and a long history of Texas law also agrees with us. If you did not receive a bed and had a room in the hospital, you were never admitted into that hospital.
Which Hospitals File The Most Fraudulent Hospital Liens in Texas?
Here’s a handy list of the most blatant violators of Texas Hospital Lien laws:
McAllen Medical Center (McAllen, TX)
Edinburg Regional Medical Center (Edinburg, TX)
Doctors Hospital of Laredo (Laredo, TX)
Methodist Charlton Medical Center (Dallas, TX)
Parkland Health & Hospital System (Dallas, TX)
Rio Grande Regional Medical Center (McAllen, TX)
Valley Baptist Medical Center (Harlingen, TX)
Memorial Hermann Health System (Houston, TX)
What Can I Do If I Have A Hospital Lien Filed Against Me?
Contact Moore Law Firm immediately. We are currently accepting cases from across the State of Texas to bring these hospitals to justice. There are no statute of limitations and consultations are absolutely free. Call 956-631-5436 to set up your appointment today.