Grady files $670K lien in name of woman violently attacked, killed in hospital parking garage

After his mother was killed in a violent attack, a Metro-Atlanta man was surprised to learn that Grady Hospital had filed a lien on her behalf for more than $670,000 in hospital bills for her treatment. He learned that the hospital had never submitted the bill to Medicare or any supplemental insurance.
Research from Channel 2 found that Grady does this frequently, particularly when the hospitalization is related to a car accident.
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We reviewed employee records and found that Grady has filed more than 13,000 of these hospital liens in Fulton County over the past 5 years, regardless of whether the patient is insured or not.
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“Who decides to do something like that? it's just unethical. That's what Medicare is for. She paid for it every month," said the woman's son, Charles Kimsey.
Jacqueline Mixon, 78, spent 10 days in Grady before dying as a result of a violent attack in the Piedmont Hospital car park last spring.
As Channel 2 Action News previously reported, Mixon was allegedly attacked from behind by 68-year-old Gloria Franklin and then run over by an SUV.
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Kimsey says Grady never billed his mother, Medicare, or her supplemental insurance before filing the lien.
"I didn't get a single bill for Grady, not one," Kimsey said.
Personal injury attorney Susan Witt says hospitals are filing the liens and looking for a piece of potential settlement.
"It's a predatory practice that we see again and again, and consumers are unaware of their rights," Witt said.
Witt says hospitals file liens for their full retail price. That's significantly higher than what they charge insurance companies or Medicare through negotiated rates.
"They would prefer not to deal with your insurance company because they get paid less than if they charge you the retail rate and scare and intimidate you that that's the rate you have to pay," Witt said.
Grady tells us in a statement quote:
“We never mortgage property or estates. Hospitals routinely attach liens to insurance claims and settlements. For services related to an accident or injury, no-fault or liability insurance pays first and Medicare pays then, in accordance with state and federal law.”
It just adds insult to injury and I don't know what to do. it's unbelievable, it's overwhelming," Kimsey said.
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Hospitals cannot track your personal property like a house or car with a hospital lien like they can with a traditional lien.
Susan Witt tells clients that if the hospital doesn't file the claim with insurance or Medicare, they should do it themselves.
"The hospitals don't like it. They don't want you to know you can do it on your own, but you have the right and the ability to do it," Witt said.
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