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HB 306: "An Act relating to a lien for services provided by a physician."

00 HOUSE BILL NO. 306                                                                                                      
01 "An Act relating to a lien for services provided by a physician."                                                       
02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
03    * Section 1.  AS 34.35.450(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
04  (a)  An operator of a hospital in the state, [OR] a licensed special nurse in a                                     
05 hospital in the state, or a physician who furnishes service to a person who has a                                     
06 traumatic injury has a lien upon any sum awarded to the injured person or the personal                                  
07 representative of the injured person by judgment or obtained by a settlement or                                         
08 compromise to the extent of the amount due the hospital, [OR] nurse, or physician for                               
09 the reasonable value of the service furnished before the date of judgment, settlement,                                  
10 or compromise, together with costs and reasonable attorney fees that the court allows,                                  
11 incurred in the enforcement of the lien.  AS 34.35.450 - 34.35.480 do not apply to a                                    
12 claim, right of action, or money accruing under  AS 23.30 (Workers' Compensation                                        
13 Act).                                                                                                                   
14    * Sec. 2.  AS 34.35.455 is amended to read:                                                                          
01  Sec. 34.35.455.  LIMITATION ON EXTENT OF LIEN.  Except as otherwise                                                   
02 provided, a lien under AS 34.35.450 - 34.35.480 may not be allowed for                                                  
03 hospitalization or the services of a physician or licensed special nurse furnished after                              
04 a settlement is made by or on behalf of the person causing the injury unless the                                        
05 settlement is made within 20 days from the date of the injury.  A lien is not allowed                                   
06 for necessary attorney fees, costs, and expenses incurred by the injured person in                                      
07 securing a settlement, compromise, or judgment.                                                                         
08    * Sec. 3.  AS 34.35.460 is amended to read:                                                                          
09  Sec. 34.35.460.  NOTICE OF LIEN.  To perfect the lien described in                                                    
10 AS 34.35.450  - 34.35.480, the hospital or the owner or operator of the hospital, or the                               
11 physician or licensed special nurse, shall, not later than 20 days after the date of                                   
12 injury, or in no event later than 15 days after the discharge of the injured person from                                
13 the hospital or the provision of the physician's services, file a notice of lien                                      
14 substantially in the form prescribed in AS 34.35.465, containing an itemized statement                                  
15 of the amount claimed, with the recording officer of the recording district or borough                                  
16 in which the injury occurred, and shall, after the 20-day period, before the date of                                    
17 judgment, settlement, or compromise, serve a certified copy of the notice of lien by                                    
18 registered mail, at the last known address, upon the person alleged to be responsible                                   
19 for causing the injury and from whom damages are claimed, and upon the insurance                                        
20 carrier that has insured against the liability, if the insurance carrier is known.                                      
21    * Sec. 4.  AS 34.35.465 is amended to read:                                                                          
22  Sec. 34.35.465.  FORM OF NOTICE.  The form of notice required by                                                      
23 AS 34.35.450  - 34.35.480 shall be substantially as follows:                                                            
24 NOTICE is hereby given that . . . . . . . . . . . . has rendered services for                                          
25 hospitalization, physician services, or special nurses' services for . . . . .. . . . . . ., a                        
26 person who was injured on the . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . . .at . . . . . . . in the state, and                    
27 the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (claimant) hereby claims a lien upon any money due or                               
28 owing or any claim for compensation, damages, contribution, settlement, or judgment                                     
29 from . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . alleged to have caused           
30 the injuries and any other person liable for the injury or obligated to compensate the                                  
31 injured person on account of the injuries; the hospitalization, physician services, [(]                               
01 or special nurses' services [)] were [WAS] rendered to the injured person between the                                 
02 . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . . .and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .:                                  
03 (Itemized statement)                                                                                                    
04 ...................................................................................................................... 
05 elapsed since that time; that the claimant's demands for care                                                           
06 and service is in the sum of $. . . . . . . . and that no part of the demands has been                                  
07 paid, except $. . . . . . . . . ., and that there is now due and owing and remaining                                    
08 unpaid thereof, after deducting all credits and offsets, the sum of $. . . . . ., in which                              
09 amount lien is hereby claimed.                                                                                          
10 United States of America                                                                                               
11 State of Alaska                        ss.                                                                             
12 . . . . . . . . . . Judicial District                                                                                  
13  I, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . being first duly sworn on oath say: That                       
14 I am . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . named in the foregoing claim                 
15 of lien; that I have read the same and know the contents thereof and believe the same                                   
16 to be true.                                                                                                             
17         ..........................................                                                                     
18  Subscribed and sworn to before me this . . . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .,                              
19 19. . . .                                                                                                               
20         ..........................................                                                                     
21         Notary Public for Alaska                                                                                       
22    * Sec. 5.  AS 34.35.470 is amended to read:                                                                          
23  Sec. 34.35.470.  LIEN DOCKET.  Each recording officer shall maintain a                                                
24 hospital, physician, and nurses' lien docket in which, upon filing of a notice of lien,                               
25 the officer shall enter the name of the injured person, the approximate date of the                                     
26 injury, the name and address of the hospital, physician, or nurse filing the notice, and                              
27 the amount claimed.  The recorder shall make an index in the name of the injured                                        
28 person.  Notwithstanding any other provision of AS 34.35.450 -  34.35.480, the                                          
29 docketing of the lien is sufficient notice to a tortfeasor or the tortfeasor's insurer.                                 
30    * Sec. 6.  AS 34.35.475 is amended to read:                                                                          
31  Sec. 34.35.475.  SETTLEMENT AFTER NOTICE.  (a)  A person or insurer                                                   
01 is liable to a hospital, physician, or nurse, in the amount that the hospital, physician,                           
02 or nurse is entitled to receive, for 180 days after the date of a payment to the injured                                
03 person, the heirs of the injured person, personal representatives, or the attorney of                                   
04 them, when the person or insurer                                                                                        
05   (1)  receives the certified copy of notice of lien, or the lien is recorded                                          
06 as provided in AS 34.35.460 and 34.35.465;                                                                              
07   (2)  makes the payment after receipt of notice or the recording of the                                               
08 lien as compensation for the injury suffered; and                                                                       
09   (3)  does not pay the hospital, physician, or the licensed special nurse                                           
10 for the reasonable value of the services rendered to the injured person and claimed in                                  
11 the notice of lien, or so much of the value of the services as can be satisfied out of a                                
12 judgment, settlement, or compromise, after paying the attorney fees, costs, and                                         
13 expenses incurred in connection with it.                                                                                
14  (b)  The hospital, physician, or nurse has a cause of action, during the 180                                        
15 days, against the person or insurer.                                                                                    
16    * Sec. 7.  AS 34.35 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                      
17  Sec. 34.35.482.  DEFINITION.  In AS 34.35.450 - 34.35.482, "physician"                                                
18 means a person licensed as a chiropractor under AS 08.20 or a person licensed as a                                      
19 doctor of medicine under AS 08.64.