Many hospitals in Texas refuse to submit their bills to a patient’s health insurance carrier if that patient has been injured in an automobile accident. This is because if they submit their bills to the patient’s health insurance carrier, then they have to accept the health insurance carrier’s reduced, negotiated rates. In other words, they have to accept the same payment amount they would have received if the patient was injured, other than in an auto accident.
These hospitals are basically “voiding” a patient’s health insurance coverage and are, instead, placing a hospital lien on the patient’s auto accident claim. This is because the Texas Hospital Lien statute allows a medical provider to place a lien for unpaid medical expenses on a patient’s automobile insurance claim.
The lien acts as a legal obligation that requires the patient or the automobile insurance carrier to pay the full extent of the lien at the time the auto claim is resolved. The hospital waits to get paid until the case resolves, but the hospital can get a much higher payment than they would have received if they would have submitted their claim to the patient’s health insurance carrier.
This is illegal in Texas and always has been.
The Texas Legislature made it very clear just this past session. If this has happened to you contact a competent attorney to find out if you are entitled to compensation.