Utah State Bar Opinion Allows Outsourcing Lien Resolution Cost to Plaintiffs
According to the Utah State Bar (among others), a lien resolution service may be outsourced and treated as a client cost. See Utah State Bar Ethics Opinion Number 14-01 (January 2014). The State Bar said:
- It is ethical for a personal injury lawyer to engage the services of a lien resolution company that can provide expert advice or to associate with a law firm providing this service.
- If properly disclosed in the retention agreement, fee resolution services may be included as “costs” to the client provided the resolution services are professional services equivalent to accountants or appraisers.
That’s simple. But why did the Bar conclude lien resolution can be outsourced?
Lien resolution can be hard work. It is time-consuming and can distract from building a plaintiff’s case value. To add to your confusion, organizations like Medicare give an itemization that literally must be decoded. Are you a code breaker? No? Lien resolution services often have that code built into their systems (for example, we have an Optical Character Recognition system that reviews each and every lien). We know that Z87.891 means a history of tobacco use and that for most plaintiffs, that isn’t related to their case.
The Utah Bar is clever enough to realize that knowledge is a benefit to law firms and plaintiffs, it reasoned:
- In recent years, third party entities have held themselves out as “Lien Resolution” companies. The services offered are often a significant value enhancement for the client. Many plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers might lack the necessary competence in reading medical bills for the purpose of attributing costs to the plaintiff’s general health as opposed to the accident.
Does lien resolution give you an ICD-10 339.10? Oh right – in English: Does lien resolution give you a Tension type headache? Outsource it.
You can read the full 2014 Utah State Bar Opinion on our website: https://gomassive.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Utah-State-Bar-Ethics-Advisory-Opinion.pdf
We can assist you with Medicare lien resolution, Medicaid lien resolution, private insurance companies’ liens, Military, VA and TriCare, Mass Tort lien resolution and more. Call us today at 844-Med-Lien or shoot me an email to discuss your lien resolution needs.
Ryan J. Weiner
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