Can a doctor’s office charge for an unrequested medical test?

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Can a doctor’s office charge for an unrequested medical test?

I went with my wife to her first prenatal visit. We did not have insurance and made it clear to the office staff and the doctor we were paying out of pocket. We paid for the visit up front and waited patiently in the exam room for about an hour before the doctor arrived. During this time we chatted with the nurse and she prepared the ultrasound equipment. When the doctor came in she talked with us for a few minutes about the pregnancy. The OBGYN came in and without informing me or my wife she performed a pap smear, sent it out to a lab, and now we have a $400 bill. Are we liable for the cost?

Asked on June 26, 2013 under Malpractice Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are absolutely not liable for this cost. You informed them that you are paying out of pocket. You need to switch doctors immediately and file a complaint with the medical board regarding this charge. Provide written notice to the medical office that you did not agree to this charge, that you informed everyone you do not have medical insurance and have to pay cash and that this was not a service to which you were informed you either needed or would be subject to in your visit.


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