All too often there are patients who need continued medical treatment but have no access to medical benefits. Perhaps their PIP was exhausted or denied and there is no health insurance to fall back on.
A letter of protection from your patient’s attorney can allow you to continue treating the patient when there is no insurance. A letter of protection states that when the case settles the attorney will pay you directly from the settlement proceeds. It does not guarantee payment; it guarantees that you will be paid from the patient’s recovery before the patient sees any of it.
Not all letters of protection are created equally. Make sure the letter of protection you receive is worth more than the paper it is printed on. Just because you have one does not guarantee you will be paid. Before accepting a letter of protection, ask the attorney:
~ Are there any problems with liability?
~ Are there concerns with the mechanism of injury or pre-existing conditions?
~ If PIP has denied the claim, what is the balance of available PIP benefits?
~ Does the patient have unpaid balances with other providers?
The higher your outstanding balance, the more difficult it can be to collect it and the more important it becomes to check in with the attorney periodically. This is especially true if you are paying out of your pocket for treatment by another provider in your office. If the treatment is part of a PIP claim, make sure you know the amount of PIP benefits remaining.
Finally, if you have accepted a letter of protection, send the attorney a monthly account ledger while your patient is treating. The attorney needs to always know the account balance that is being protected. Clear communication greatly reduces the likelihood of carrying an account that will not be fully paid, or perhaps not paid at all.
If you are interested, we have letters of protection and liens on claims that you are welcome to use.