Legal Actions

Legal Actions

The following describes the legal actions that may or may not be taken by VUMC employees, Agents, or third-party contractors after making all reasonable efforts to determine an individual’s eligibility for Financial Assistance. Before pursuing any of these actions the determination of whether an individual is eligible for Financial Assistance must be fully documented.

Legal Action Type

Professional Services

Hospital Services

Collection Agency Legal Action

  • Agency will take legal action to collect a debt for account greater than $500
  • Agency determines that it is a collectible debt
  • Agency validates income and credit
  • Agency issues a warrant


  • If account Balance is with outside attorney, then Agency action is put on hold
  • If technical charges are in settlement talks then agency actions put on hold
  • Currently reviewed case by case

Third Party Recovery Liens

VUMC does file liens against third party liability case settlements as permitted by the State of Tennessee

Wage Garnishments

VUMC and their Agents may garnish future wages when it is determined the patient does not qualify for Financial Assistance and has the means to satisfy the debt for medical services

Body Lien

VUMC or their Agents do not permit body liens

Personal Residence Liens

VUMC or their Agents do not permit the use of liens against personal residences


VUMC and their Agents do not currently file lawsuits

Legal Actions that do not require a determination on an individual’s eligibility for Financial Assistance and not considered an Extraordinary Collection Action

Per 501(r) Final Rule: Any lien that a hospital facility is entitled to assert under state law on the proceeds of a judgment, settlement, or compromise owed to an individual (or his or her representative) as a result of personal injuries for which the hospital facility provided care is not an ECA.


  • Does not file Liens and does not receive any money from Technical Lien recoveries
  • Cannot file hospital liens until discharge date
  • Filing has to be done within 120 days of discharge
  • File lien on charges greater than $1,500


  • Charges greater than $500
  • If we know account has outside legal representation we will follow up with the attorney
  • Portion of settlement money received by Technical is allocated to Professional balances. Amount allocated is agreed upon by Vanderbilt Legal and Director of VMG Business Office
  • Vanderbilt Office of General Counsel works with outside attorneys or other agencies to collect on settlements
  • If settlement payment received, portion is allocated to Professional if there are Professional charges