General Question

jptferreira's avatar

Should I pay a bill for a service not performed and then performed at another hospital? The other hospital got paid.

Asked by jptferreira (1points) December 11th, 2010

My wife went to surgery because of an advanced case of gallbladder stones. The doctor that removed the gallbladder did it quick and without problems but then found out that one stone was stuck in the bile conduit that goes to the intestine. Because he was not the one to perform that type of procedure another doctor was called that initiated another procedure after getting all the info. He could not have it done and my wife was scheduled to go to another hospital where they are used to perform this type of surgery (Duke Hospital). They did it great and got paid for it. My question is: After all the bills should I pay the $1,200 bill that the doctor sent without any result and even making my wife to suffer more? is this fair for someone to have to pay when a person is not qualified to do it or doesn’t have the correct equipment? Sending to another location and then everything goes fine shows that he should not have started in first place. Thanks for any info!

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8 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

As the question is a bit unclear, I need to clarify before I can answer. I am understanding that your wife went to hospital #1 wherein a doctor removed her gallbladder for the amount of $1200. She later had to go to hospital #2 where a different doctor had to remove one additional stone that the first doctor had not been able to remove due to the location of the stone or the difficulty of the procedure. I can’t tell from the question if there were one or two doctors at the first hospital and, if two, which of the two you think should not be paid.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Removing the gallbladder will not remove stones stuck in the common bile duct. The operation to remove the gallbladder and the procedure to remove stones from the duct are completely different. If you had gone to Dr2 had the stone removed from the bile duct first then you would still have had to go to Dr1 and have the gall bladder removed.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, you still need to pay the bill. The doctor did spend time with your wife and diagnosed her condition.

lbwhite89's avatar

Yes, you need to pay both doctors. They both performed procedures of your wife and should get paid for it. It wasn’t a mistake that the first doctor couldn’t remove the duct stone. That kind of thing happens.

jptferreira's avatar

Sorry if I wasn’t clear. The gallbladder removal went fine and was performed by the first doctor. The stone stuck was diagnosed by the first doctor and then was requested another doctor to remove it. This second doctor is the one that could not have it removed but charged me $1,200. After this my wife had to go to Duke Hospital and there the stone was removed and I had to pay again. I didn’t pay the second doctor because he was not sure he would be able to do it but still charged me for his try. Thanks for any input regarding to this.

lbwhite89's avatar

Ohhh, so there were three doctors. You paid the first and are going to pay the third, but unsure about the second. Is that right?

Well, it really depends on what that doctor did. $1200 is a bit much for an office visit, so he must’ve done something invasive. If he did, even if he couldn’t remove it, then the bill still needs to be paid. It sucks, yes, but that doctor did take the time and equipment required to attempt to remove the stone. I’m assuming the Duke doctor is more specialized, and that’s why you were referred.

Unfortunately, you’ll probably end up having the pay the bill. That’s just how things work. I once passed out during class and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. They took a urine sample, did an EKG (to check for seizure activity), and ran a few other tests just to tell me I was dehydrated. I drink 4 bottles (equal to eight cups) of water a day, religiously. I wasn’t dehydrated, but I never found out the reason I passed out. I ended up owing the hospital over $3000 for that visit and I’m still far from having it paid off. Like I said, that’s just how it is.

marinelife's avatar

Unfortunately, medicine does not come with a guarantee. Even though the second doctor did not succeed in removing the stone, he has to be compensated for his time.

You could appeal to him to minimize the bill by pointing out that even though he failed, you still incurred the expense of a third surgeon. I would take that route. Ask him to minimize his bill.

gorillapaws's avatar

Think of it this way, if doctors only got paid when they succeeded, there wouldn’t be any doctors who would want to take on risky cases. Would you want to live in a world like that?

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