Colorado Supreme Court to Hear Hospital Lien Case
The Colorado Supreme Court recently announced it will weigh in on whether hospitals must first bill Medicare before filing a lien against an accident victim who has other coverage.
“I think Garcia got it right,” said Nelson Boyle of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, who filed an amicus brief in Garcia on behalf of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA). He said the state’s hospital lien statute and federal law would only conflict if hospitals were required to file liens.
“Centura’s argument rests on the idea that a hospital lien is required by them, but it’s a discretionary thing. They don’t have to ever file a lien,” he said, adding that in Garcia, the Court of Appeals appeared to weigh legislative history and intent more heavily than the Harvey panel, which might have led to the conflicting rulings.
“The purpose of the hospital lien statute has always been to preserve ‘reasonable and necessary’ payments to hospitals,” the court wrote in its Garcia opinion. “However, the goal of Centura’s billing and lien practices is to achieve maximum payments — these practices are what the General Assembly sought to curb in enacting the 2015 version of the statute.”
About Nelson Boyle
Nelson Boyle’s civil litigation practice focuses on appeals, business, insurance bad faith, and personal injury litigation. He has practiced in Colorado trial courts, the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for Colorado, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Boyle Chairs the Judicial Performance Commission for Colorado’s Second Judicial District. The Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives has twice appointed him to serve on that Commission. Nelson serves as a member of the Amicus Curiae Committee of the American Association for Justice and on the Board of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, where he co-chaired the Amicus Curiae Committee from 2010-2018.