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Arizona Supreme Court rules on hospital payments

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Hospitals in Arizona received the go-ahead to pursue lawsuit settlements to get back care costs of some patients covered by the state’s Medicaid program.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on the hospital payment issue Monday.

The justices were considering an appeal after lower court rulings split on whether hospitals can record and enforce liens on settlements that patients get from other individuals or entities.

The liens sought payments to the hospitals that would cover the difference between what the hospitals got from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System and the larger amounts that the hospitals billed for their services.

Hospitals in metro Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Casa Grande, and northern Arizona were part of the case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.