One main responsibility of a personal injury lawyer is negotiating and reducing medical liens on behalf of an injured client. If you have received medical treatment due to an injury where another person or business is at fault, a medical provider, insurance company, public source, or hospital may assert a lien for amounts they have paid or are owed for your medical treatment.
Ever since the United States Supreme Court decided Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services v. Ahlborn (2006) 547 U.S. 268, California courts have been uncertain about how to apply the new rules for Medi-Cal reimbursement. In Ahlborn, the Supreme Court held that any lien for reimbursement by the Federal Medicaid program (which partially funds Medi-Cal) could only be asserted on that portion of a judgment or settlement reflecting medical expenses. Where medical expenses are not identified or segregated in the settlement or judgment, the parties must determine which portion of the settlement represents medical expenses. After Ahlborn, the California Medi-Cal reimbursement formula in Welfare & Institutions Code §14124.76 was changed. The statute now provides that Medi-Cal liens can only be satisfied out of that portion of any settlement or judgment representing medical expenses.
Your attorney may assist your case by making sure that a settlement correctly reflects what portion of damages relates to recoverable medical expenses by the lienholder. Further, your personal injury attorney will attempt to maximize your recovery by negotiating a reduction of any lien.
Our personal injury attorneys, serving Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, McKinleyville and the other communities in Humboldt County are experienced in negotiating liens on behalf of our clients and will provide you with guidance and assistance in maximizing your recovery. Please contact us.