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rodydoe89's avatar

Help! I am being scammed by a doctor's office!

Asked by rodydoe89 (356points) November 24th, 2010

In March of this year, I visited a local doctor’s office to have blood work to check my vitamin levels. A few months later, I received a bill for more blood tests allegedly done six weeks after my initial visit. Although I did not go to the doctor to have a second set of tests done, the doctor’s office is claiming that I was there. At my first visit, I was required to sign a “client bill acknowledgment” form because I don’t have insurance. I asked them for a copy of the form that I would have had to have signed on my alleged visit and they replied that they didn’t have one because they wouldn’t know if it was a patient bill unless I told them it was, therefore I would have had to file it with my insurance company. I replied that I don’t have insurance. At that point, the doctor’s husband, who is an attorney, walked in and informed me that I had the option of changing it to a patient bill, however I would be charged a $50 paperwork fee. The first set of tests included about 20 different areas tested and cost me $152. The second set they are claiming I had only included three vitamin levels, costing me $323.50. I am really at a loss of what to do next. I am absolutely positive that I did not have a second set of tests done. The date they are saying I was there was two days before my 21 birthday. There was no way I could have taken off to go to the doctor, or even afforded to pay for another doctor’s visit, considering I was going all out for my 21 birthday. Help! What do I do?

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15 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

Contact your state’s attorney and Medical Board. Also go talk to a malpractice attorney. Also tell your insurance agent that you are getting scammed.

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Blueroses's avatar

That is just ridiculous. God, that makes me so mad. You should have a right to see all of your medical records. Get copies of all blood test results and your complete history with this doctor, find someone who knows where you were on the questionable date and find an atty, pronto.

It’s that kind of practice that reflects poorly on the entire profession and if you had submitted it to insurance, it would probably never have been caught at all.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I would call them one last time and request a copy of any records and testing they have from while you were there as well as a detail bill. Do they draw the blood work in their office or do you have to go to a lab for it. If you had to go to the lab for it, I’d contact the lab about the mistake as well. If they cannot provide any proof of you being there, I would refuse to pay and tell them you will be getting a lawyer.

I’d also make sure to write to the local paper and let them know about what this office does.

I’d then go to the state Medical Board as @WestRiverrat suggested, along with the state’s attorney (they will be quite interested to hear about a doctor that is fraudulently charging patients (and possibly their insurance)).

Ohh, and if you can get a print out or something from your work showing the hours you were at work on the day in question, it would help. If (and this is a big if) it is a mistake on the offices part, proving there is no way you were there to them would help. From their end of things, they are probably seeing it as you just not wanting to pay your bill.

WestRiverrat's avatar

If she is treating Medicare and medicaid patients, you should contact the Medicare fraud hot line too. If your call leads to the recovery of any money or fines, you will get some of it.

Blueroses's avatar

The other thing that gets me on this is the $50 paperwork fee to cover using a different form for an uninsured patient. That might not be illegal but it surely speaks about the ethics of the practice.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Oh and their claim about insurance is complete bull. Every office I’ve been in has it right on your chart what insurance you have and if you don’t have insurance, it would say something like self-pay or uninsured. They would know it before you even went in for and subsequent appointments after your first one. It really sounds like someone in the office messed up somewhere (wether it’s that they have someone else with the same name or just pulled the wrong file, there’s definitely a mistake somewhere).

Judi's avatar

Ask for the results too!

rodydoe89's avatar

Well, the really bad thing about this situation is that the doctor’s husband is a lawyer, and it’s their word against mine. What a perfect set up for a scam, don’t you think? @Seaofclouds they have a lab technician from the lab company in the office taking the blood, then they send it off to Atlanta or California. Unfortunately for me, my employer is a very small business owner and wouldn’t have records of me being there that day in question.

MissPoovey's avatar

No, it is more than just their words against yours. In front of a judge they have to prove it was you. My doctors office checks ID, one of my specialists actually takes a picture of you with a webcam.
My opinion is too keep denying it and tell them to sue you, then when you go to court you can tell the judge all about it.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@rodydoe89 For their own protection as well as yours, your employer better have records of when you worked. They can be held liable for anything you do while on the “clock”.

It doesn’t matter that she is married to a lawyer. They are just trying to intimidate you. Tell them to sue you. Also check your credit scores, and if they have dinged you, challenge it and tell them the incident is in litigation so it doesn’t drop your FICO score.

JLeslie's avatar

Go to Better Business Bureau’s website and see if there are other complaints and you can file your own if you want. You can do it all on line, and they will have to reply to you through the BBB.

Get a copy of your entire chart. Call the lab directly that supposedly did these tests, and see if their records match your doctors. The billing is actually by the lab and passed onto you I would think.

Possibly they have filed someone else’s labs under your name, could be the lab that screwed it up. Check the labwork to make sure it is you. Your name, your social security number, your birthday. This could just be a case of human error, and the idiots at the office are choosing to think you are trying not to pay your bill, instead of taking a second to think you might be telling the truth, empathasize, and see if there really could be some sort of mistake and investigate for you. Pisses me off. The apathy in doctor’s office I witness all to often.

Also, do they make you sign in when you come to the office? Are they claiming you did indeed sign in?

Last question: are the lab tests the same ones you had done previously? Are they tests that even apply to your medical concerns?

snowberry's avatar

Put it up on as well.

meiosis's avatar

The lab will have accurate records of whose blood they tested when. Ask your doctor to provide you with the test results that they received from the lab. Here in the UK, we can use the Data Protection Act to request a copy of any personal data an organisation holds about us – maybe there’s similar legislation you can use to get a copy yourself.

JLeslie's avatar

@meiosis It is the same in the states she has the legal right to her records, she just needs to request them.

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