Arizona Supreme Court Preempts “Balance Billing” by Hospitals
The Arizona Supreme Court just delivered a very important decision concerning Hospitals and their rights to recover liens against patients who are suing for injuries caused by a third-party. In Ansley v. Banner Health, the Court looked at the question of whether Medicaid patients may sue to challenge Arizona statutes authorizing the recording of liens against third-party tortfeasors for hospitals to recover health care costs exceeding their Medicaid reimbursement; and if so, whether federal law preempts the lien statutes. The Court held that the patients have a private right of action, and that Arizona statutes are preempted to the extent hospitals utilize them against third-party tortfeasors for “balance billing” to recover costs exceeding Medicaid reimbursement. Hospitals “balance billing” patients has been a huge problem for injured plaintiffs seeking recovery against defendants who caused their injury. This decision helps the victims.