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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118789
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I needed to see an allergist, but had no insurance. I found

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I needed to see an allergist, but had no insurance. I found a MD discussed my situation ith the office manager and she told me that the total cost of the testing and md would be 900.00 and that I could make payments. Since my conditon was getting was increasing getting worse with hives and itching on my face and eyes, I had to get treatment. We settled on 75.00 a month and started amaking payments. I had to have blood work drawn for the testing and then recieved a bill for 3000.00 from the lab; I though a mistake. I called the hospital and they said that is what the MD ordered. I called the md office and questioned the amount of testing and thaI was never informed tht there would be any additonal cost. The response was tht they are not responsibe for what the labs charges. Completely irresponable both on the MD part sfor excessive testing and the office manager's for not informing me of any other cost. Much to my dismay, I did start paying them and also the hospital for the lab. I decreased my payment to 20.00 for one month because I was having financial diffuclties, and they immediately started hararrassing me with letters and phone calls. I sent them extra money this last month and then today I recieved a letter that they are dropping me as a patient and sending me to collections. I think I owe them 200.00. I can't believe the callousnous of this. I wanted to know if there is any legal recourse for me such as sueing the practice to have them pay the 3000.00 hospital bill,perhaps in small claims court. If not I don't want to waste my time. Thyanks you for your time.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

I am sorry to hear this has happened. Did the doctor's office give you any type of written contract for services? Did they tell you that only the MD costs would be $900?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, I don't believe there was a written contract for services. I was told that the testing and MD cost would be the 900.00. They did skin testing in their office as well. However, they did not do any contact testing and I figured out that I am allergic to hairspray.

Thank you for your response.

I was afraid of just what you replied. Unfortunately, the doctor's office can only speak to the charges from the doctor's office. The doctor's office cannot legally make any agreements for payments to outside vendors, including the lab. Pursuant to your agreement with the doctor, if the doctor is not charging you any more than the $900, then they are not in breach of their contract with you and you would be obligated to their contract.

As far as the lab, if they did not give you any price on their independent services, you would still be liable to pay them, but you certainly have grounds to negotiate those payments with them and you should have offered them a settlement of lesser amount than they were seeking. Generally, in these medical cases they will agree to reduce charges by upwards of 50% in most all cases. Unfortunately, from what you are stating it does not sound like you did this and you already paid them most everything you owe.

Sadly, you cannot sue the doctor's office for something a third party has charged you for independent services, especially since you did not have any written contract for any of this with the doctor or lab. I am afraid that your issue here is legally with the lab, who did not give you any price up front and they are the one you can negotiate with or could have negotiated with, but not the doctor as they did not have any control over what the lab charged you.

As far as the doctor stopping seeing you, legally a doctor can refuse to see any patient, but in your case you have grounds to argue that they are breaching their contract with you to see you for $900 and as they are in breach of contract you could sue them to try to recover any portion of money that they owe you for stopping your treatment before you were completed with the treatment they promised and you can take that suit to small claims.

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