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    class action lawsuit alleges that hospital abuses medical liens to rip off patients

    Medical liens are one of the biggest nightmares for personal injury attorneys.  They add cost and complexity to a case as well as delay settlement payments.  That’s an undisputed fact.  Now, it’s alleged that a hospital is abusing the liens, too:

    Silver Cross Hospital for a decade has exploited accident settlements to get higher fees from patients, a class-action lawsuit alleges.

    By placing medical liens on personal-injury settlements, the New Lenox-based hospital seeks to force patients to pay higher, out-of-network fees even when Silver Cross has network agreements with the patients' health insurers, the complaint says. Settlement proceeds can’t be distributed until a lien is released by the hospital or declared invalid by a judge.

    Silver Cross has placed a lien for $18,000 on an $85,000 settlement won by Brian Falls even though it accepted payment of under $6,000 at the discounted, in-network rate from a subsidiary of Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group, Mr. Falls alleges.

    Source: Suit against Silver Cross alleges misuse of medical liens - Health Care News - Crain's Chicago Business

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