2004 Florida Statutes
Recovery of third-party payments for medical services.
(1) As used in this section, "medical services" means medical or medically related institutional or noninstitutional services which are provided or paid for by the Department of Health, except for services provided or paid for pursuant to chapter 394 or chapter 397.
(2)(a) Third-party coverage for medical services shall be primary coverage.
(b) An applicant for or the recipient of medical services shall inform the department of any rights which the applicant or recipient has to third-party payments for medical services. The department shall automatically be subrogated to any rights the recipient has to third-party payments for medical services. The department shall recover for medical services directly from:
1. Any third party who is liable to make a medical benefit payment to the provider of the recipient's medical services or to the recipient under the terms of any contract, settlement, or award;
2. The recipient, if he or she has received third-party payment for medical services provided to him or her; or
3. The provider of the recipient's medical services if third-party payment for medical services has been recovered by the provider.
(c) An applicant for or the recipient of medical services who receives medical services shall be deemed to have made an assignment to the department of any right such person has to any payments for such medical services from a third party.
(d) An applicant for or the recipient of medical services who receives medical services shall be deemed to have provided the department the authority to release medical information with respect to such medical services for the sole purpose of obtaining reimbursement.
(e) The department may, in order to enforce its subrogation rights under this section, institute, intervene in, or join any legal proceeding against any third party against whom recovery rights arise. No action taken by the department shall operate to deny the recipient's recovery for that portion of his or her damages not subrogated to the department, and no action of the recipient shall prejudice the subrogation rights of the department.
(f) When the department provides, pays for, or becomes liable for medical services, it shall have a lien for the amount of medical services upon any and all causes of action which accrue to the person to whom care was furnished, or which accrue to his or her legal representatives, as a result of sickness, injury, disease, disability, or death due to the liability of a third party which necessitated the medical services. The department shall have 1 year from the date when the last item of medical services relative to a specific accident or spell of illness was paid in which to file its verified lien statement. The statement shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court in the recipient's county of residence. The verified lien statement shall contain the name and address of the person to whom medical services were furnished; the date of injury; the name and address of the vendor or vendors furnishing medical services; the dates of the service; the amount claimed to be due for the care; and, to the best knowledge of the department, the names and addresses of all persons, firms, or corporations claimed to be liable for damages arising from the injuries. The department's failure to file a lien shall not affect its subrogation rights provided in paragraph (b).
(g) In recovering any payments in accordance with this subsection, the department is authorized to make appropriate settlements.
(h) The department shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section.
History.--s. 68, ch. 86-220; s. 27, ch. 93-39; s. 810, ch. 95-148; s. 142, ch. 99-8.