Health Law Section

This section works to further the knowledge of its members in federal, state and local health care law. The section also sponsors the nationally known annual Health Law Forum, as well as the primer course for attorneys new to the health law practice.

Chair
Community Health Systems...
4000 Meridian Blvd.
Franklin, TN 37067
(615)465-7115
Immediate Past Chair
Miller & Martin PLLC
832 Georgia Ave Ste 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423)756-6600

Supreme Court Rules Hospitals Can’t Maintain Liens After Bills Paid in Full

In a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court has decided that hospitals are required to release their hospital lien against a patient as soon as the patient and the patient’s insurance company have paid the full amount of the hospital charges. In West v.Shelby County Healthcare Corp., three patients who received treatment at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis’ (Med) emergency room filed suit in the Circuit Court for Shelby County challenging the Med’s practice of filing liens against its patients and declining to release these liens after they had been paid. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit, but the Court of Appeals reversed. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the Med’s appeal, ruling that neither the laws authorizing hospital liens nor the Med’s contract with health insurance companies permitted the Med to maintain its lien after the patient’s debt to the Med has been fully extinguished with payments from the patient and the patient’s insurance company. The AOC has more.

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Court Vacates Extraordinary Appeal

The Tennessee Supreme Court today ruled that a Hamilton County trial court did not depart from accepted and usual judicial course during a health care liability lawsuit, so an immediate appellate court review was not called for. The Court of Appeals had granted an application for an extraordinary appeal in a case involving a request to waive the Tennessee law that requires expert medical testimony to come from one who practices in Tennessee or a contiguous state. With this ruling, the court remanded the case back to the trial court.

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