How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33738
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dwayne B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a question regarding patient identification required

Customer Question

Hi, I have a question regarding patient identification required at dental offices. I recently arrived for an appointment that I scheduled 3 months earlier and was told that I had called in and requested that my records be transferred to another dentist office and that I had told them that I was transferring out of that practice because they were not in my network. I been with that practice for 23 years and did not make that call. Are they not required to identify their patients by more than name before taking such actions?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: And canceling my 3 appointments that were on the schedule. They walked me to the door and refused to service me that day.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No, I have not taken any action as yet.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not really but I can provide other details.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Your question was: Are they not required to identify their patients by more than name before taking such actions?

No, there is no law that requires them to do so. Most doctor's and dentist's offices ask for date of birth as well but only if they have more than one patient with your name. For instance, I have to give them my date of birth since there are three other patients with my first and last name. My wife doesn't, since her name is unusual.

If they had released your medical information then there could potentially be a HIPAA violation but nothing in your facts suggests there was a release of medical information.

While having an office be required to confirm with a second type of information would certainly be a good idea, it is not mandated at this time.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Your state was originally showing on my screen but it isn't showing now, in what state is the dentist's office located?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The dentist office is in NC/
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
IF there is no law requiring them to identify their patients properly before taking such actions when there was a "hint" to them that they had pulled up the wrong patient, I assume there is nothing to do but change dentist since I don't like being told that I did something that I didn't and having my 3 appointments canceled. The doctor told me that the person that they were talking to said that she had no appointments currently on the books, and I had 3, one 2 days out. But no laws broken, I will just go else where from now on.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

No, no laws. You may consider filing a complaint with the licensing board in NC. There may be some kind of ethical issue that comes into play in a situation like this. We normally wouldn't hear about those because they're not widely published, you have to do a very specific kind of research in the records of the licensing agency.

The website to file complaints is at

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Five Star Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

I am about to sign off for a while but will try and check back later this evening. If I am not able to I will be back online tomorrow morning.