Man says hospital went after car crash settlement instead of billing insurance

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ATLANTA – Channel 2 investigates dug into why accident victims might be treated differently at a hospital, even when they have the same health insurance.

You can’t tell the difference in the emergency room. It happens when the hospital is ready to collect its money.

Grady Memorial Hospital provides a critical service in Atlanta, and often does it without getting any payment at all. But attorneys have told us that when a client is in a car wreck, the hospital is going after a cut of any settlement, rather than billing health insurance.

What you need to know to protect yourself, Tuesday on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.

A Grady spokeswoman says this is not the hospital’s practice, but tell that to Michael Warner.

“When I did come back to consciousness, I asked them, ‘Did the car roll over? And they told me yes,’” Warner told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston.


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Warner was leaving work in 2016 when another driver slammed into his car. An ambulance rushed him to Grady.

Despite having health insurance through Kaiser Permanente, Grady hit Warner with a lien on money he’d get in any settlement with the at-fault driver. 

State case law indicates hospitals should contact health insurance first for medical payments.

“I told them that I’d use my insurance to cover the accident and for some reason now I’m stuck with a $17,000 bill from Grady,” Warner said.

Warner’s attorney, Chris Simon, said Warner is not alone. Simon said he represents more than 30 clients who Grady and  a third party company slapped with liens, even though they have insurance. He says hospitals can get full price from hospital liens, rather than negotiated rates with health insurance.

The long back and forth Warner went through with the hospital to clear things up, Tuesday on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.



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