January 18, 2021
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 2464
       
       
       
       By Senator Peaden
       
       
       
       
       2-01218-10                                            20102464__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to hospital liens; creating s. 768.82,
    3         F.S.; providing that a hospital is entitled to a lien
    4         on the recovery of damages from a tortfeasor who
    5         caused or contributed to the illness or injury of a
    6         patient; defining the term “patient”; specifying how
    7         the amount of the lien is calculated; specifying
    8         methods to resolve disputes between the hospital and
    9         patient concerning the amount of the hospital’s
   10         charges and whether the amount of the patient’s
   11         attorney’s fees and costs apportioned to the hospital
   12         produce an inequitable result; specifying time periods
   13         in which a hospital must assert and record a lien;
   14         requiring a patient to send to the hospital a notice
   15         of intent to seek damages against a tortfeasor;
   16         requiring that a hospital cooperate with the patient
   17         to provide information to prove the nature and extent
   18         of the value of the hospital services provided;
   19         allowing the failure of the hospital to provide such
   20         information to be taken into consideration by a court
   21         in determining the right to or amount of a lien or in
   22         apportioning the patient’s attorney’s fees and costs
   23         between the patient and the hospital; specifying the
   24         effect of a release, satisfaction of judgment,
   25         settlement, or settlement agreement with a tortfeasor;
   26         providing that the act supersedes all laws and
   27         preempts all local ordinances relating to hospital
   28         liens; specifying the applicability of the act to
   29         causes of actions for torts accruing before and after
   30         the effective date of the act; providing an effective
   31         date.
   32  
   33  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   34  
   35         Section 1. Section 768.82, Florida Statutes, is created to
   36  read:
   37         768.82 Hospital lien against recovery from tortfeasor.—
   38         (1) ENTITLEMENT TO LIEN.—A hospital is entitled to a lien
   39  upon the proceeds of any judgment, settlement, or settlement
   40  agreement concerning the liability of a tortfeasor who caused or
   41  contributed to an illness or injury of a patient in the amount
   42  authorized by this section. As used in this section, the term
   43  “patient” means the ill or injured person or his or her legal
   44  representative.
   45         (2) AMOUNT OF LIEN.—
   46         (a) The amount of the lien shall be equal to the amount of
   47  the reasonable charges due and owing to the hospital less:
   48         1. The amount of any health insurance payment or other
   49  reimbursement paid and any other obligation owed to the hospital
   50  by a health care policy, plan, or program on behalf of the
   51  patient.
   52         2. The hospital’s pro rata share of the attorney’s fees and
   53  costs incurred by the patient in the recovery of damages from
   54  the tortfeasor.
   55         a. If the patient recovers the full value of damages
   56  sustained, the hospital’s pro rata share equals the percentage
   57  that the amount of the attorney’s fees and costs bear to the
   58  total recovery multiplied by the amount of the attorney’s fees
   59  and costs. The formula to calculate the pro rata share is
   60  illustrated mathematically as follows:
   61  
   62    hospital’s pro rata share = (attorney’s fees and costs/total   
   63                recovery) x attorney’s fees and costs              
   64  
   65         b. If the patient does not or is unable to recover the full
   66  value of damages sustained, the hospitals pro rata share equals
   67  the percentage that the patient’s recovery less attorney’s fees
   68  and costs bears to the full value of the patient’s damages
   69  multiplied by the amount of the attorney’s fees and costs. The
   70  formula to calculate the pro rata share is illustrated
   71  mathematically as follows:
   72  
   73    hospital’s pro rata share = ((patient’s recovery - attorneys   
   74    fees and costs)/full value of patient’s damages) x attorney’s  
   75                           fees and costs                          
   76  
   77         (b)1. The reasonable charges due and owing to the hospital
   78  may not include charges that the hospital would not be entitled
   79  to recover in a direct action against the patient.
   80         2. If the hospital’s charges are reduced as a result of an
   81  agreement or contract between the hospital and a third-party
   82  payor or state or federal law, the patient is entitled to pro
   83  rata reduction in any copayment charges billed to the patient by
   84  the hospital.
   85         (3) DISPUTE RESOLUTION.—
   86         (a) The hospital and the patient shall negotiate in good
   87  faith in an attempt to obtain an equitable resolution if the
   88  hospital and the patient disagree on:
   89         1. The amount of the reasonable charges due and owing to
   90  the hospital; or
   91         2. Whether the patient’s attorney’s fees and costs
   92  apportioned to the hospital pursuant to subsection (2) produce
   93  an inequitable result.
   94         (b) If the hospital and the patient fail to enter into an
   95  agreement as the result of negotiations, a court may order
   96  mediation of the disputed issues. If the hospital and the
   97  patient fail to enter into an agreement as the result of
   98  mediation, the court shall equitably distribute the proceeds of
   99  the judgment or settlement, notwithstanding subsection (2).
  100         (4) ATTACHEMENT AND WAIVER OF A LIEN.—A hospital may assert
  101  a lien pursuant to this section at any time after it provides
  102  services for which it is entitled by filing a verified written
  103  claim with the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which
  104  the hospital is located. However, a hospital waives any right to
  105  assert a lien if it fails to record the lien within 30 days
  106  after it receives a written notice of the patient’s intent to
  107  seek damages from a tortfeasor.
  108         (5) NOTICE OF INTENT TO SEEK DAMAGES.—
  109         (a) A patient shall send a written notice of the patient’s
  110  intent to seek damages from a tortfeasor to a hospital that
  111  provided services subject to this section. The notice must be
  112  sent by certified or registered mail. The notice also must state
  113  that the hospital waives any right to a lien on the patient’s
  114  recovery unless the hospital, within 30 days after receiving the
  115  notice, provides the patient or the patient’s attorney with a
  116  statement asserting the lien and setting forth the amount
  117  claimed to be due and records a lien.
  118         (b) If the patient has filed suit against the tortfeasor at
  119  the time the notice is sent, the patient must send a copy of the
  120  complaint against the tortfeasor along with the notice.
  121         (6) DUTY TO COOPERATE.—A hospital claiming a lien under
  122  this section must cooperate with the patient by producing the
  123  information that is reasonably necessary for the patient to
  124  prove the nature and extent of the value of the hospital
  125  services provided. Notwithstanding subsections (1) through (5),
  126  the failure of the hospital to comply with this duty to
  127  cooperate may be taken into account by the court in determining
  128  the right to or amount of a lien or in apportioning the
  129  patient’s attorney’s fees and costs between the patient and the
  130  hospital.
  131         (7) EFFECT OF A RELEASE,SATISFACTION OF JUDGMENT, OR
  132  SETTLEMENT.—A release, satisfaction of judgment, settlement, or
  133  settlement agreement with a tortfeasor is not valid against a
  134  lien created pursuant to this section unless the hospital joins
  135  therein. A hospital that joins in the execution of a release,
  136  satisfaction of judgment, settlement, or settlement agreement
  137  releases the patient from all liability to pay the charges due
  138  and owing to the hospital.
  139         Section 2. This act is a general revision of the subject of
  140  the entitlement of a hospital to a lien against a recovery from
  141  a tortfeasor who caused or contributed to the need of an ill or
  142  injured person to receive services from the hospital. The
  143  provisions of this act supersede all other laws and preempt any
  144  local ordinances on that subject. However, notwithstanding the
  145  foregoing, those laws or ordinances shall continue to apply to
  146  hospital liens asserted as the result of a cause of action
  147  accruing against a tortfeasor before October 1, 2010.
  148         Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2010, and
  149  applies to any hospital lien asserted as the result of a cause
  150  of action accruing against a tortfeasor on or after that date.

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