can a medical specialist charge a fee for a service not rendered

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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can a medical specialist charge a fee for a service not rendered

The urologist performed a kidney stone operation on a patient. He called the patient in two weeks after the op for a consultation to discuss the results of the sample of kidney stone sent to the lab. At the ‘consultation, the doctor advised that they were not in receipt of the lab results. No examination was conducted on the patient either. He called the lab to enquire about the results but was told that they did not receive a sample. Doctor did not send or authorize the nurses to send the sample for testing. Doctor is now claiming the consultation fee together with the interest thereon. Please advise if there is recourse for the patient.

Asked on February 12, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, no one can charge you for services without rendering the service: it is "breach of contract" to not do what was agreed (what you were told they were doing; i.e. the reason you were having the service), and when the service provider violates or breaches the contract/agreement by not performing, they are not entitled to pay.
That's the law. Whether as a practical matter, it is better to refuse to pay and possibly be sued or put through collections vs. simply paying and moving on with your life, that is something you decide for yourself.

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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