Can a medical clinic ban a patient from their network?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a medical clinic ban a patient from their network?

My fiance was struggling with an addiction a few months ago. Because of the addiction he would seek medical care continuously and become belligerent when he was refuse. He has since been clean and hasn’t sought out treatment almost 6 months. He was injured at work and was taken to the ER. As part of the follow-up, he was supposed to make an appointment with occupational health but when he called to make the appointment he was told he was banned from this hospital’s network and would need to seek treatment elsewhere. Is this legal? As this is a worker’s comp case?

and the company he works for chose this network. Also, what happens if there insurance only covers this network?

Asked on August 22, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is perfectly legal: any business, including a medical clinic, may ban any customer who has previously, as you describe, been "belligerant" at that business or to its employees; the law does not require business to render services to anyone who is disruptive or a potential threat. It does not matter if there are not other good options (e.g. other than paying out of pocket for a different clinic or provider) for the banned customer; the law does not let your fiance's desire for or interest in affordable car override the clinic's right to ban disruptive or belligerent persons.

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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