Can a doctor refuse a payment as too small if they don’t reference any minimum payment info in their patient registration paperwork?

UPDATED: Oct 27, 2011

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UPDATED: Oct 27, 2011Fact Checked

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Can a doctor refuse a payment as too small if they don’t reference any minimum payment info in their patient registration paperwork?

I have a medical bill that is $100 for a no-show. I called to cancel 24 hours in advancebut the doctor’s office states that because it was for a procedure 72 hour notice should have been given. In protest, I have tried to make 2 payments, 1 for $2 in the form of a check and 1 online for $1. Both times, the billing clerk called to inform me that she was returning/reversing the payment and that, no they don’t have anything in writing according to this policy and that they were going to send my account to collections. What are my options?

Asked on October 27, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Louisiana


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a doctor or anyone else can refuse to accept a payment if it is considered too small of a payment even if the policy of the doctor or anyone lese has no minimum payment requirement.

Personally, the refusal of a payment could be deemed a bad business practice in that any payment no matter how small is an acknowledgment that services were provided by the person making the payment. When there is such an acknowledgment, it makes it difficult for the person making the payment to claim that the services provided were not worth what the bill states.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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