A bill has been proposed in the Missouri Senate that would prevent hospitals in the state from refusing a patient’s health insurance in hopes of collecting more money from an injury settlement.
Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, filed a bill to ban the practice, which targets victims of auto accidents. Hospitals will refuse an accident victim’s health insurance to avoid discounted payments they have agreed to with insurers. Instead, the hospitals go after money the injured person might get in an auto insurance settlement, by attaching a lien on the settlement.
Class-action status had been filed against St. Luke’s Hospital and Research Medical Center in Kansas City and SSM DePaul Health Center in St. Louis over those hospitals’ refusal to accept insurance from some auto accident victims. The hospitals said the practice was legal under state law. Liberty Hospital and Truman Medical Centers also face lawsuits over the practice.