Hospital Liens in Texas
In 1933, the Texas Legislature passed a law that states, “if you are injured in an accident by a third party and are admitted to a hospital within 72 hours after the accident,” then the hospital can seek recovery from the insurance of the person that caused the accident. The key portion of this act is the word admitted. A hospital lien cannot attach to the insurance of a person causing an accident unless you are admitted to the hospital.
“Admitted” according to the Texas Administrative Code and the definitions of Medicare/Medicaid is an action by a hospital that accepts you as an inpatient of that hospital. Only a doctor can admit you to a hospital. Seeking treatment in the emergency room is not inpatient, because you are not “admitted,” but rather you are an outpatient. You do not get admitted to an emergency room.
If you are admitted to the hospital as an inpatient then the hospital can file a hospital lien in the records of the county clerk in the county where the services were provided. Any treating doctor can also recover their expenses under the hospital billing on a hospital lien.
When a hospital files a valid hospital lien, it is because you were admitted to that hospital as an inpatient. The hospital files a hospital lien affidavit with the county clerk and your name is registered in the county clerk’s hospital lien records as owing money to that hospital.
This law has been abused by hospitals, emergency medical clinics and doctors. Hospitals are filing liens for treatment in an emergency room for as little as two (2) hours. We have seen bills for emergency room treatments in excess of $20,000.00 for unneeded test and treatments. This is how hospitals make money.
If you are injured as a result of an accident by another, that person’s insurance must pay the hospital if a lien is filed, even though the lien is fraudulent. You can’t control the funds being paid and you are not a party to the payment of the funds. The bottom line is that you end up with less money in your pocket because a fraudulent lien is filed.
To continue, doctors have now found out that if they file a fraudulent lien they can get paid even though the lien is fraudulent. There is no such thing as a doctor’s lien or a hospital lien filed by doctors. This is wrong and it is cheating the people of Texas out of money they are entitled to.
The problem with the liens being filed and paid directly to hospitals, doctors or clinics is that these liens are fraudulent. Because these liens are filed, even though they are fraudulent, you pay more money in overall medical expenses than what you could negotiate for a reduction. Remember, if you control the cards, you win, but with fraudulent hospital liens you don’t even have a chance to play a hand in the game. It is controlled by others.
Texas has a fraudulent lien filing act. It penalizes those who file fraudulent liens. It is also against the law, that being the Penal Code in Texas. You not only have civil recovery, but the individual who files the fraudulent lien is committing a crime ~
(i) A person who knowingly causes an affidavit with false information to be executed and recorded under this section is liable for the penalties for filing a false affidavit, including the penalties for commission of offenses under Section
1. 37.02 of the Penal Code. The attorney general may sue to collect the penalty. A person who negligently causes an affidavit with false information to be executed and recorded under this section is liable to a party injured by the affidavit for actual damages. If the attorney general or an injured party bringing suit substantially prevails in an action under this subsection, the court may award reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs to the prevailing party.
Contact our office today and we can help you recover for a fraudulent lien filing.
REMEMBER: IT IS YOUR MONEY THAT THEY ARE TAKING AND THEY ARE USING DOCUMENTS THAT ARE FRAUDULENT TO GET YOUR MONEY.