Academy of Chiropractic’s Lawyers PI Program

Infrastructure #138

From the Desk of :
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

"Lien Demand Letter"

I received this email today:

 

Mark 

I just heard from a PI patient that he was made an offer to settle his case yesterday,  that he accepted based on his lawyers advise. He was told the total insurance available on the case was only $100,000 and the offer was $85,000. The lawyer told him by the time expert witnesses were hired he would get much less than the offer. He also told him he would have life time medical for the areas involved (low back which resulted in a fusion and the cervical spine). As for my past medical bills that have been previously denied by the carrier for several years and had been denied in arbitration previous to his lumbar fusion, the attorney told him that I would be paid by way of arbitration. I'm new to this but it doesn't sound right given the previous denials. I did send a lien to this attorney for this case via certified mail as directed.  

Is it accurate that the proper protocol is to resubmit unpaid bills again to arbitration? Or, is the lawyer supposed to pay my outstanding balance from the settlement and then future care goes to arbitration if denied? The balance is large due to using spinal decompression in addition to the adjustments. I know I won't get full value but also don't want to be left holding the bag.  

Please let me know how to handle this in a timely and professional manner. 

Respectfully, 

I responded accordingly:

On Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:09 AM, Dr. Mark Studin <drmark@teachdoctors.com> wrote:

The lawyer is SCREWING you....see image below to ensure you understand... You get paid from your legal...valid...lien...NOW!!!!!                                   

[image]

The doctor responded accordingly:

So I call him right now and tell him the amount that I will take based on the small settlement? And that I expect him to honor the lien that was sent certified to his office ?

I responded:

Yes...or...you will report him to the State Bar for license infractions. You need to send a letter right now, via fax

This is the demand letter we created for the doctor to pay the lien:

 

December 18, 2013

Mr. John Badman, Attorney

Dewey, Cheatum and How, P.C.

1 Main Street

Anytown, XZ 66578

Dear Mr. Badman:

I have been told by my patient, John Smith that he executed the agreed settlement yesterday. Please be advised as per the signed certified return receipt through the US Postal service it has been verified that you are in possession of our valid lien for $4,230.86. 

Please understand over the last 2 years I have provided periodic services to Mr. Smith to help control his pain and my care, along with my documentation is a large part of the reason you were able to settle the case. Also note that it is my normal business practice that regardless of my bill, to not take more than 1/3 of the settlement. In this case that policy does not apply, therefore payment in full is fair for all parties and expected immediately.

 I have communicated with your staff who have verified that you are now in receipt of this communication. Please understand that the only avenue of payment that I will pursue is for payment is through the settlement proceeding and not through any other legal, administrative or insurance mechanisms. I will however prepare any documentation required to support my patient, through your help to become whole in recouping my fees. 

As in any professional, responsible relationship I request that you inform me via fax return or email when said check should be received and I will allow 7 business for the check to be received

Thank you in advance for your timely cooperation.

Respectfully,

Harry Gooddoc DC, DAAMLP

 Attachment (copy of certified receipt)

Should the demand letter go unpaid, the following letter should be considered understanding that you are now starting to make threats and it probably will hurt your future relationship ...but... why have a future relationship if you won't get paid on this case or ones in the future? 

 

December 30, 2013

Mr. John Badman, Attorney

Dewey, Cheatum and How, P.C.

1 Main Street

Anytown, XZ 66578

Dear Mr. Badman:

It has been 7 business since you received the demand letter for payment of my fees for Mr. John Smith totaling $4,230.86. Understanding that there is a high likelihood of our paths crossing again on future clients/patients and in the spirit of assuming this was an oversight on your part, I will allow 24 hours for you to communicate with me when payment will arrive in my office based upon my last communication.

Should I not hear from you and should payment be reasonably withheld, you will then decide to force me to both report you to the Bar for possible bad faith and ethical violations and then retain counsel to enforce the valid contract in the form of a lien I have verified you are in possession of. Please do not put me in the that position as I look forward to a respectful and productive professional relationship with you in the future.

I anxiously await your response and payment.

Respectfully,

Harry Gooddoc DC, DAAMLP

 Attachment (copy of last letter)