Under Missouri law, healthcare providers like doctors, chiropractors, hospitals, and physical therapists are permitted to place “liens” on your case instead of billing your health insurance directly. Based on the law, Missouri healthcare providers can refuse to submit their bills to your health insurance company and can, instead, choose to place a “lien” on the proceeds of your settlement or jury verdict. What this means for healthcare providers is that they do not have to take the standard adjustments to their bills that are part of the contract they may have with your health insurance company.
For example, if you have health insurance, your heath insurance provider may agree to have a medical provider “in network” (permitted by the company) only if that medical provider agrees to take a discount on the services it provides you. So, instead of requiring $1,000.00 for an MRI, the healthcare provider has an agreement with your health insurer to accept $400.00 instead. It’s a win-win for the health insurance provider and medical provider — the health insurance pays a lower amount for the MRI and the medical provider gets to treat patients, like you, with a guaranteed payment for its services.