What can I do regarding overcharges from when I went in to a doctor’s office to see if my finger was broken?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do regarding overcharges from when I went in to a doctor’s office to see if my finger was broken?

I brought my own X-rays with me. Before the visit, I asked that if my insurance did not pay for it, how much would it be and they told me about $300. I went in for a 10 minute visit in which they confirmed the finger was broken and there was nothing they could do and that was all. Now, 2 years later, I am receiving a bill for $4,500 in which they charge $1,500 for the office visit and $3,000 for a procedure that I did not have done. Is this fair? Is there anything I can do about it? $300 already seemed extraordinarily excessive for the near non-existant services rendered, but $4,500 was just ludicrous. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on November 14, 2015 under Business Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If they never did the procedure, they are committing fraud; and if they are charging you more than they agreed to charge (though this can be difficult to prove if you don't have anything in writing, like a quote or estimate), they are in breach of contract, too. Of these two things, trying to charge for work they never did is more serious and provides more leverage; assuming you could convince a court of your claims, you should not have to pay these amounts.
You could tell the doctor's office that if they keep trying to bill you an excessive amount and especially for a procedure they never did, you will file a complaint with your state's medical licensing board; report them for fraud to the state attorney general; and if they pursue this matter and try to collect from you, will sue or countersue them for fraud, consummer fraud, and abuse of process.

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