10/28/2019: Filing hospital liens can enhance the patient experience

While hospitals have long pursued liens as a method of increasing cash collections, did you know that processing liens, when done thoughtfully, should improve your patient experience? When a patient has been a victim to another’s negligence, he/she commonly does not understand that the responsible party’s insurance won’t pay medical bills as they are incurred. Fortunately, proceeds should arrive upon final settlement, but this can take months or even years, in some situations. With no other means for immediate collection, many hospitals will place patient bills into default and pursue collections.
In our experience, processing nearly a half-million claims per year, best practice is to attach a hospital lien to the patient record when he/she has no other health insurance available. This lien should put collection activity on hold and allow the patient a reasonable amount of time to obtain his/her settlement, which should include the costs of their medical treatment. This gives the medical provider a high probability that they will collect some level of payment, if a settlement occurs and keeps the patient from having to endure collection efforts.
At Aspirion we educate patients and hospital staff on the lien process and its benefits. We have found that explaining the process carefully, setting the appropriate expectations, and presenting the hospital lien filing as a service that the medical provider offers on behalf of the patient significantly enhances the patient experience and cooperation to support this process.
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