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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I was surprised by a bill from a bariatric surgery center because

Customer Question

I was surprised by a bill from a bariatric surgery center because I attended what was billed as a seminar--a dietician talking about nutrition, a breath test, and brief visits with a nurse and a doctor. My insurance company, Aetna, had pre-approved bariatric surgery. I signed the paperwork at the end of the seminar. But over the weekend I had second thoughts, and went in on Monday and spoke with two different people in the bariatric office who assured me that I was completely cancelled out of the program. Aetna denied the doctor's claim for an "initial consultation" since he is out of their network and I did not continue the program. Now his office manager is insisting that I must pay this bill for $897 out of pocket because what I had was a medical consultation, not a free seminar as I thought. No one told me that if I dropped out of the program after the initial seminar that I'd be stuck with a consultation fee bill for $897. I have said I will take them to small claims court. Do I have a case if they do not reconsider and void this bill? Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 2 years ago.
HelloThis is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard since the professional you requested is not available at this time.Do you have any copies of documents, stating this was a Free Seminar?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have documents. They do not say it is a free seminar. But there is no disclaimer anywhere in any of the documents saying that if I decide not to continue after the seminar to proceed with surgery that my insurance, which pre-approved my participation, would deny the claim and that the doctor would then bill me for a regular medical consultation.
Expert:  Sam replied 2 years ago.
HelloThank you. I understand. The documents are ambiguous. I suggest that you do not need to pay that bill and if they sue you for the money, your defense is that they have a deceptive practice. That these is nothing in the agreement documents that specifies responsibility to pay for the first session - and that in not having that information, it appears to be a "free" seminar. In the meantime, I suggest you can report this to the Texas Attorney General Consumer Protection division and request they investigate this company for deceptive consumer practices. Here is the LINK to do that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you!
Expert:  Sam replied 2 years ago.
HelloYou are welcome. Thanking you in advance for a positive rating and good luck