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May 2015
In this Issue
  • ISMS Protects Physicians Rights in Health Care Lien Case

  • High court sides with ISMS position in ALMA McVEY V. M.L.K. ENTERPRISES, LLC (Southern Illinois Hospital Services, d/b/a Memorial Hospital of Carbondale)

    On May 21, the Illinois State Supreme Court ruled 7-0 in a case which would have upended the current procedure for how health care liens are disbursed in civil cases. Plaintiff’s lawyers were seeking to deduct attorney fees from civil case settlements prior to calculating liens paid to health care entities and physicians.

    In essence, this change would have prevented health care professionals and providers from receiving the full reimbursement to which they are statutorily entitled. The Illinois Health Care Services Lien Act allows physicians and health care entities to apply liens to the gross amount of a settlement or judgment. Plaintiffs’ attorneys were seeking to change the payment process by limiting health care liens to the net portion of the settlement afterthe attorney fees and costs have been paid.

    This issue bubbled up to the high court when conflicting opinions were delivered in separate Illinois appellate districts. ISMS submitted an amicus brief, accepted by the Supreme Court, arguing Illinois law and legal precedent support payment of medical liens apportioned from the gross settlement amount.

    In an unanimous opinion authored by Justice Mary Jane Theis, the court ruled Illinois statute to be “unambiguous and does not permit the deduction of attorney fees and costs prior to calculating the amount to be paid to any health care lienholder.”

    View ISMS Amicus

    View Supreme Court Opinion

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