Can your doctor turn you away due to an outstanding bill?
Can your doctor turn you away due to an outstanding bill? I went to my urologist yesterday due to my 6th kidney stone and was told I couldnt be seen becuase of an outstanding debt thats now in collections. I had to pay half of it until they would see me. Can they legally due that? I know hospitals cant legally turn away a patient can a doctors office??
would i see someone who was in pain and has a previous history with stones and has a damaged kidney due to previous incidents...yes I would. 2 grand is what i owed had to pay a thous.of it Doctors easily make 2 grand in a day! I understand they want me to pay the bill but after I had already payed my copay I dont see the harm in seeing me in their office. Thanks for the input
(also in hospital waiting rooms it clearly states they by law, cannot turn away someone due to lack of insurance or debt)
Unfortunately yes. They can turn you away due to an outstanding bill. Especially if its in collections. I dont know your circumstance on why you couldn't pay. So please dont take this the wrong way but would you continue giving service to someone who owes you money? hospitals cant turn you away. But its the doctors choice.
Hospital are PUBLIC entities, often funded in part by public money (taxes). As part of their agreement in the city they are in, most hospitals have a "charity" clause, stating that they will do a certain amount of charity (free) work.
Doctors are PRIVATE organizations, and can practice however they see fit.
BTW: Hospitals CAN refuse to treat anyone, but most CHOOSE to treaty everyone.
ALWAYS make sure that you doctor bills are paid!
Just a little info that may make things easier for you in the future...ask a doctor upfront if they accept assignment and if they do, they will accept what your insurance pays as payment in full. You would only be responsible for any deductible or co-pay.
It's true that hospitals who receive money from the government cannot turn you away for emergency treatment, however they can refuse to admit you for elective procedures if you are in collections. More and more, hospitals are demanding payment up front for certain procedures (not emergencies).
As other people have already indicated, any private entity, doctors' offices included, can refuse you service for any reason.
In my state I can refuse to treat anyone unless it's a medical emergency. Then I have to administer care.
Yes, unfortunately he can turn you away. The patient will usually recieve a certified letter from the doctor's office/practice advising the patient that they are terminating their relationship due to non payment/non responsiveness. The letter will usually state a date that this termination of services is effective, and will advise the patient to select another physician, and the practice discontinuing their services will offer to transfer the patient's medical record to the new physician of their choice. This is usually done after multiple attempts to collect on the debt has failed and the account has been turned over to a collection agency.
Try to offer a little per month to show that you are paying on the account, before this happens. It is tough these days, but paying a small amount each month will enable you to see your current physician. Ten dollars a month is better than zero dollars a month.
Doctors and other medical providers are facing rising costs, along with many uninsured patients needing care that are unable to pay for services rendered. This is one reason that providers are requiring payment up front. Also, providers have to collect appropriate copays, co-insurance, deductibles, ect in order for the insurance to pay their portion of the bill. It is part of the contract when a practice/physician participates in that insurance company's network of providers.
Hospitals recieving public funding has to treat patients in emergency situations. Elective (non emergency procedures/surgeries) procedures are a different story, and patients can be turned away for non payment. Also remember that the patient will recieve seperate bills, for example: one for physician services, one for anesthesia services, and yet another bill from the hospital itself.
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