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Thread: Can a doctor refuse a patient without insurance

  1. #1
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    Default Can a doctor refuse a patient without insurance

    My husbands doctor retired this year. He has been with him for the
    past 8 years. The doctor sent us a letter saying that he was leaving
    and included the name of the new doctor that would be taking over his
    patients. When I called the new doctor I was told that he would not
    take my husband on as a patient because we do not have medical
    insurance. We have always paid for medical needs at the time of
    service and have an excellent credit rating. I told them we would be
    paying cash but they still refused to see my husband. My husband is
    not ill he just needs his annual check up. Can a doctor legally refuse
    to take a patient without insurance? Is this a way some doctors work
    in order to over bill insurance companies? I really do not understand
    this practice. I am now in the process of locating another doctor but
    just wondered if this is legal. Any help?


  2. #2
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    Default Can a doctor refuse a patient without insurance

    bff182 wrote:
    Can a doctor legally refuse to take a patient without insurance?
    Sure. He's in private practice and can determine his own procedures. Some
    doc's only accept cash customers and refuse insurance. If you have
    insurance, you need pay the doc and duke it out with your carrier. This guy
    works the other side of the street.
    Is this a way some doctors work in order to over bill insurance companies?
    Maybe he doesn't want to see you due to your attitude. It could be as simple
    as the doc's experence collecting from folks like you has been so
    problematic that he finds insurance companies easier to deal with.
    I really do not understand this practice.
    I don't understand how barber shops make money, but that's up to the barbers
    to figure out.
    I am now in the process of locating another doctor but
    just wondered if this is legal. Any help?

    For what - finding another doctor? I can't help there.

    -paul
    ianal or a doc




  3. #3
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    Default Can a doctor refuse a patient without insurance


    On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 07:46:03 -0500, bff182@hotmail.com (bff182) wrote:
    My husbands doctor retired this year. He has been with him for thepast 8 years. The doctor sent us a letter saying that he was leavingand included the name of the new doctor that would be taking over hispatients. When I called the new doctor I was told that he would nottake my husband on as a patient because we do not have medicalinsurance. We have always paid for medical needs at the time ofservice and have an excellent credit rating. I told them we would bepaying cash but they still refused to see my husband. My husband isnot ill he just needs his annual check up. Can a doctor legally refuseto take a patient without insurance? Is this a way some doctors workin order to over bill insurance companies? I really do not understandthis practice. I am now in the process of locating another doctor butjust wondered if this is legal. Any help?
    In the USA doctors are, in general, free to do as they please in
    situations like your's.

    The only requirement, imposed upon them by their oath[1] as a doctor
    (though I believe some states may impose legal obligations beyond
    that) is that they must render medical help in an instance where
    someone would either die or suffer if they did not give treatment.

    In some countries, like France for example, there is what is termed a
    "good Samaritan" law which requires even normal people to give what
    aid they can in an emergency.

    While looking up the French angle, I did come across this article:-

    http://www.mndaily.com/daily/1998/05...inions/oo0521/

    Which got me thinking about how the doctor(s) in that ER could square
    their inaction with the Hippocratic oath.

    [1] The original (classical) Hippocratic oath can be found here:-

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors...classical.html

    A more modern version, which lacks some of the magic, can be found
    here:-

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/oath_modern.html

    By the way, good luck to you both in finding a doctor that thinks
    about your needs.

    --
    Bob.

    The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The
    distinction is yours to draw...
    ..


  4. #4
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    Default Can a doctor refuse a patient without insurance

    Can a doctor legally refuse
    to take a patient without insurance? Is this a way some doctors work in order to over bill insurance companies? I really do not understand this practice. I am now in the process of locating another doctor but just wondered if this is legal. Any help?
    Actually, doctors don't "overbill" insurance companies, usually they
    get less from the insurance company than they ask someone who is
    paying out of pocket to cough up. For example, I have a doctor that I
    see regularly and I have decided to stop paying COBRA, so I am no
    longer insured. My insurance would company send me a statement every
    time I went to him, of what he submits to them for payment ($150.00)
    and what they actually pay him ($65.00). I spoke to him about my lack
    of insurance, and asked if he would accept what he gets from the
    insurance company from me. He agreed to accept that, end of story.
    However, he could have just told me no, and I would have had to go
    elsewhere. Hospitals have an obligation to take you regardless of
    whether or not you have insurance, but the same rules don't apply to
    doctors in private practice. They run a business, and as such have
    every right to set the standards for that business.


  5. #5
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    Default Can a doctor refuse a patient without insurance

    > In some countries, like France for example, there is what is termed a
    "good Samaritan" law which requires even normal people to give what aid they can in an emergency.
    All states have laws which protect people who help in an emergency from
    liability. See
    http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache...hl=en&ie=UTF-8

    --
    Brett

    ************************************************** ***************
    * Personal Injury/Malpractice Bankruptcy *
    * *
    * BRETT WEISS, P.C. *
    * Attorneys at Law *
    * Maryland, D.C. and Federal Bars *
    * lawyer@brettweiss.com *
    * www.brettweiss.com *
    * *
    * Small Business Estates & Estate Planning *
    ************************************************** ***************

    The Small Print: This response is for discussion purposes only. It isn't
    meant to be legal advice and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you want
    legal advice, speak with a local lawyer familiar with your state's laws who
    can review *all* of the facts and the law applicable to your situation.
    ************************************************** ***************

    "Bob Brenchley." <Bob@format.publications.ukf.net> wrote in message
    news:05rr30du8bfqn85f3vt64j7cn4jc4d57eu@4ax.com...
    On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 07:46:03 -0500, bff182@hotmail.com (bff182) wrote:
    My husbands doctor retired this year. He has been with him for thepast 8 years. The doctor sent us a letter saying that he was leavingand included the name of the new doctor that would be taking over hispatients. When I called the new doctor I was told that he would nottake my husband on as a patient because we do not have medicalinsurance. We have always paid for medical needs at the time ofservice and have an excellent credit rating. I told them we would bepaying cash but they still refused to see my husband. My husband isnot ill he just needs his annual check up. Can a doctor legally refuseto take a patient without insurance? Is this a way some doctors workin order to over bill insurance companies? I really do not understandthis practice. I am now in the process of locating another doctor butjust wondered if this is legal. Any help?
    In the USA doctors are, in general, free to do as they please in situations like your's. The only requirement, imposed upon them by their oath[1] as a doctor (though I believe some states may impose legal obligations beyond that) is that they must render medical help in an instance where someone would either die or suffer if they did not give treatment. In some countries, like France for example, there is what is termed a "good Samaritan" law which requires even normal people to give what aid they can in an emergency. While looking up the French angle, I did come across this article:- http://www.mndaily.com/daily/1998/05...inions/oo0521/ Which got me thinking about how the doctor(s) in that ER could square their inaction with the Hippocratic oath. [1] The original (classical) Hippocratic oath can be found here:- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors...classical.html A more modern version, which lacks some of the magic, can be found here:- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/oath_modern.html By the way, good luck to you both in finding a doctor that thinks about your needs. -- Bob. The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The distinction is yours to draw... .


  6. #6
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    Join Date
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    Default Can a doctor refuse a patient without insurance

    bff182@hotmail.com (bff182) wrote in message
    news:<inhm309rn829kusfqg83h2lii7m7osirl1@4ax.com>. ..
    When I called the new doctor I was told that he would not take my husband on as a patient because we do not have medical insurance. ... We have always paid for medical needs at the time of service and have an excellent credit rating. ... I told them we would be paying cash but they still refused to see my husband. ...

    I'm a lawyer. I'm not giving you legal advice but here's what I would
    recommend to my client if she/he were in my office with your story:

    1. The doctor has the right to choose or refuse whom he wants, as
    long as it is not based on a legally impermissible basis, e.g. race,
    religion, etc.

    2. You want to go to another doctor, anyway. This guy is not
    interested in treating patients. He is interested only in making
    money. (I actually represent some doctors, and can tell you that the
    money seeking motive is a VERY big deal with these guys much of the
    time.) I would not say this but for your representation that you have
    an excellent credit rating and, I therefore presume, an excellent
    payment history.

    3. You should call the doctor who referred you to him, and let him
    know. This will probably have little impact, since he is probably
    being "bought out" by Dr. Moneygrubber, and will give you the old line
    "gee, that's not very nice, but there's really nothing I can
    (read:want or give a ****) can do... .

    4. Tell everyone you know about Dr. Moneygrubber's attitude and
    priorities.

    5. Call the local and state medical boards and file a complaint. The
    doctor will ahve to respond. PUSH THIS PROCESS AS FAR AS POSSIBLE.
    Make Dr. Moneygrubber spend as much time as possible on this. This
    may not accomplish much since they are set up primarily to protest
    their own.

    7. Tell everyone you know about Dr. Moneygrubber's attitude and
    priorities.

    8. File a complaint with all local hospitals where he is likely to
    have admitting privileges. Push this as far as possible. This may not
    accomplish much, since they are their own and will give you the "well,
    gee, that's not nice, but..." line, an laugh about it over wine.

    9. Call the local newspaper with your story. They might be
    interested, or not. Also, the local TV stations. If one of them
    decides to "take" the story, Dr. Moneygrubber will pay a dear price.

    10. Tell everyone you know about Dr. Moneygrubber's attitude and
    priorities.

    Please understand me-- many doctors are sincere, caring people.
    Please note I did not say "most". It might be most, but it's a close
    call. This guy clearly falls on to the $$$ side, rather than the Rx
    side.


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    1,242

    Default Can a doctor refuse a patient without insurance

    smackey wrote:
    bff182@hotmail.com (bff182) wrote in message news:<inhm309rn829kusfqg83h2lii7m7osirl1@4ax.com>. ..
    When I called the new doctor I was told that he would not take my husband on as a patient because we do not have medical insurance. ... We have always paid for medical needs at the time of service and have an excellent credit rating. ... I told them we would be paying cash but they still refused to see my husband. ...
    I'm a lawyer. I'm not giving you legal advice but here's what I would recommend to my client if she/he were in my office with your story:
    ....
    5. Call the local and state medical boards and file a complaint. The doctor will ahve to respond.
    Bad advice. There's no legal basis for a complaint, as you
    pointed out in point 1. The state board acts in a quasi-judicial
    manner, so they would be "forced" to find the complaint
    unjustified, even if the doctor chooses not to respond,
    and even if the board were inclined to accept the
    complaint. If the board were NOT inclined to accept
    the complaint, the fact of the unjustified complaint
    would be on the OP's record, and any JUSTIFIED complaints
    might be less likely to be handled.

    Local boards and voluntary medical assoications are another
    matter, although, it may cause other doctors to decide they
    don't want the OP as a patient.

    --
    This account is subject to a persistent MS Blaster and SWEN attack.
    I think I've got the problem resolved, but, if you E-mail me
    and it bounces, a second try might work.
    However, please reply in newsgroup.


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