Senate Bill 19-217 was introduced in the Colorado Legislature last week with the goal to effectively hide litigation finance and other factoring companies in litigation and treat them like collateral sources. (See, SB19-217). Senate testimony is scheduled for Thursday, April 4th at 1:30 pm.
Pursuant to the bill,
- Healthcare providers will have a lien for the “billed” amount of their services regardless of what other billing standards may apply to the actual treatment. The bill allows the injured person to elect to create a “healthcare provider lien” rather than bill the injured person’s health insurance or other insurance under which the injured person is a beneficiary.
- Those liens can be purchased and assigned to third parties who can claim the full “billed amount” – i.e. Factoring companies aka Marrick, Injury Finance, Personicare, etc. The assignee has all the rights and remedies of the assignor. The assignee is specifically not deemed a “consumer lender,” exempting the assignee from restrictions on such practices.
- Plaintiffs would not have to disclose of the existence of any lien purchasers/holders in discovery.
- Such liens, contracts, and terms would not be discoverable or admissible at trial.
- The paid vs. billed amounts cannot be discovered or admitted at trial.
- And, there can be no set-off for such liens post-verdict.
The effects of this bill, if passed, will apply to all bodily injury claims payable under any type of insurance policy that provides coverage for such claims. This includes commercial general liability policies, commercial property policies, business owner policies, commercial and personal auto policies, uninsured and underinsured motorist policies, and primary and excess policies of any kind including umbrella policies. The bill applies to first-party and third-party claims. This bill would render insurers defenseless to challenge the reasonable amount of medical bills claimed by an injured claimant/plaintiff. The result would be a de facto determination that the billed amount is owed once liability is proven, regardless of whether a claimant’s medical bills were already paid by health insurance or another “collateral source.”
If you have any questions about this update, please contact Stephanie Montague, firstname.lastname@example.org.