Absolutely! Medical and Personal injury liens are effective because they represent a clear and unambiguous commitment by Federal, State and Local governments ensuring that 2 imperative public policy issues are met. The first is that doctors, hospitals, ambulance companies and all the other healthcare providers who treat uninsured and underinsured patients are paid their usual and customary charges when a 3rd party is responsible for the injuries which resulted in the need for treatment.
Governments, at all levels, know that Hospitals, Emergency and Trauma Units, the Physicians, P.A.s, R.N.s and technicians are the front line of defenses and the last resort of many patients. They are required to treat any patient who needs emergency care without regard to the patient's ability to pay.
This is a tremendous financial burden on the entire system. Making the people, firm or corporation that caused the need for these medical services pay the providers first is both popular and common-sense. This public policy is recognized by lawmakers, administrators, the courts and the Bar Associations. Therefore, liens are a serious and effective way to enforce your rights, provided you strictly follow the rules set forth in the statutes.
Secondly, the public policy of reducing the burden of providing healthcare benefits on local, state and the federal government is well recognized. The same lien rights and rights of reimbursement for the costs of medical treatment that state governments have given to healthcare providers are the same rights the government has reserved for itself. Thus, when Medicare, Medicaid, the U.S. military or a state equivalent (such as AHCCCS, Arizona's version of Medicare) pays for a patient's care and treatment, they have reserved the right to be paid by the 3rd party, either directly or from the proceeds of any suit or claim made by the patient/plaintiff.
Since 2005, the federal government has been aggressively reviewing its files to ensure that its right of reimbursement in 3rd party injury cases is being honored. Although actual prosecutions of individuals have thus far been rare ,the United States government has started deducting what it believes it is owed under its lien rights from the 3 rd parties insurance companies tax refunds! As a result of several prominent and multi-million dollar tax-rebate offsets, the insurance industry has gotten the message that lien rights must not only be honored, but aggressively investigated as part of the settlement process. Thus, even if there are no attorneys involved, insurance companies check the County Recorder's website and, if the lien is not resolved, the adjustors will refuse to release the settlement funds.