Real World Example: Care on Lien Basis
Here’s an example: A prospective patient presents themselves on the phone to your office seeking to make an appointment. This individual was rear-ended by a “big-rig” truck on the highway and sustained accident related injuries. After emergency treatment at the time of the accident, this individual has undergone conservative therapy and care for ongoing low-back pain, all of which have been unsuccessful. Unfortunately, this individual is uninsured and without means to pay, although a claim against the liable 3rd party is being pursued by the prospective patient’s attorney. You’re being asked to provide your services, perhaps even a major surgery on a lien-basis, so what do you do?
Do you have the legal know-how to determine the merits of the legal case? Can you afford to carry large lien-balances for an extended period? Do you have the staff with the expertise necessary to manage long-term, lien-based A/R?
Traditionally, many physicians have not accepted patients on a consensual lien-basis because they had no way to assess the merit of the patient’s underlying legal case. Additionally, many physicians are keenly aware of the significant bad-debt risks and costs associated with collecting on these cases.
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