Colorado hospitals treating some accident injuries must bill Medicare before patient

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Colorado hospitals treating Medicare patients injured in accidents caused by other people will have to bill Medicare before seeking payment from the patient, the state's Supreme Court decided Sept. 13.

The rule doesn't require hospitals to bill Medicare at all, as they can rely on liability insurers for payment. Medicare will act as the secondary payer after liability insurers.

The decision overturned an appeals court ruling from earlier this year that allowed hospitals to create liens against patients' personal injury settlements instead of billing Medicare or Medicaid.

The law is meant to protect patients against hospitals with aggressive billing and collections practices.

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