A.R.S. 33-931 Interpretation
In Arizona, health care providers may record a lien for the "customary charges for care and treatment or transportation of an injured person" against a claim by the injured person arising out of the injury. A.R.S. 33-931.A.
The lien is held against any recovery the injured person may receive on the claim. Id.; Blankenbaker v. Jonovich, 205 Ariz. 383, 387-88, 19, 71 P.3d 910, 914-15 (2003).
The underlying purpose of a health care provider lien is to "lessen the burden on hospitals and other medical providers imposed by non-paying accident cases." Id. at 387, 19, 71 P.3d at 914 (quoting Labombard v. Samaritan Health Sys., 195 Ariz. 543, 548, 18, 991 P.2d 246, 251 (App. 1998)).
Accordingly, "the provider can always proceed, even in the absence of a lien, against the patient for the value of the services rendered." Id. at 388, 19, 71 P.3d at 915 (citing Johnson v. Health Care Auth. of the City of Huntsville, 660 So.2d 1017, 1019 (Ala. Civ. App. 1995) (hospital may sue for recovery of medical fees in a direct contract action against patient even in the absence of a valid statutory medical lien)).