Can a doctor bill a patient for a procedure the patient did not request?

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Can a doctor bill a patient for a procedure the patient did not request?

I went to an OB for prenatal care, at the recommendation of my regular doctor. I went only for maternity care and made this clear when I scheduled my first appointment. At that appointment, they performed a pap smear which is not considered by this doctor to be part of my prenatal care (it was just something they did for overall good female health). My insurance at the time would pay 100% of my prenatal care costs, but a copay was required for services not part of the prenatal care. I was not told that it wasn’t part of my prenatal care, and would have gone to my regular doctor for this.

Asked on August 9, 2011 California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a physician can bill a patient for a procedure that was not requested by the patient. Ordinarily physicians have set protocol to comply with in treating patients in compliance with accepted procedures with the American Medical Association. Failure to comply with such accepted protocol could possibly fail to uncover problems with the pateint with dire results.

I understand that you are not pleased with having to pay a co-pay for services not part of the prenatal care provided you and if you had known this, you would have gone to your primary physician for that treatment.

In the future, you will know to ask in advance as to what medical treatments you will receive and if they are covered under your insurance policy or not.

 


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