Halifax Health proposes Medical Lien ordinance to Volusia County Council.
Written by Anthony Bicy
Belden Communications News
Halifax Health went to the Volusia County Council during its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 22, providing a proposal for a Medical Lien ordinance to be implemented here in Volusia County.
Halifax Health has been filing Medical Liens, totaling 3,300 per year, since the 1950s but stopped in 2012 due to a Supreme Court ruling that declared special lien laws unconstitutional. County ordinances were considered constitutional under the same Supreme Court ruling.
The ordinance proposed that when a car or motorcycle accident occurs, a Medical Lien on the at-fault driver’s insurance will be considered payment for services rendered in the care of indigent victims.
The claim amounts would not exceed “reasonable and necessary,” with settlement claims attached to the judgment awarded to the patient for injuries. Personal property would not be attached to the liens.
However, Barbara Girtman was the first to ask questions about the ordinance.
“What do you consider a reasonable amount?” Girtman asked. “You have an injured person with no direct responsibility, with $100,000 in medical bills, and they get a $100,000 settlement. The lawyer will take their cut, and the injured person’s bill would go down to zero? I want to see what the equitable distribution amount would be.”
Councilmember Ben Johnson also agreed.
“We need to find a way to make it somewhat equitable. Bring it back to the table,” Johnson said.
In the end, the council unanimously passed a motion for Halifax Health to bring in a new draft ordinance with updated language and equitable distribution at a later date.
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