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Can a doctor refuse to treat

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Latest post Mon, May 17 2010 12:30 AM by Vadgue.1026. 6 replies.
  • Tue, Feb 6 2007 10:28 PM

    • anina27
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    • Joined on Tue, Feb 6 2007
    • Posts 2

    Feedback [*=*] Can a doctor refuse to treat

    I went to my doctor after trying several treatments for my back that were caused by a auto accident in January of 2006, and mentioned that maybe we should try another MRI(2nd). My lawyer and my doctor both said that at this point it is a good idea to stop treatments because the insurance company from the other party that I was in the accident with might not pay for any more service. One year after the accident I am still in pain, and still need pain killers at least every other day for my back. the medical bills were around 5000.00
    Can my doctor stop treatment, and is it to late to start back up again?
    I guess the part that worries me the most is that my attorny and my doctor hang out toghere.
  • Wed, Feb 7 2007 10:35 AM In reply to

    re: Can a doctor refuse to treat

    I'm not sure I understand the question. If your doctor is not being paid, and does not believe that he will be paid in the future, then of course he will stop treating you.

    Do you not have another source from which to pay for treatment? PIP or Med Pay? Private or employer sponsored insurance? Medicare or Medicaid?
  • Wed, Feb 7 2007 11:19 AM In reply to

    • ashkicker
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Sep 17 2001
    • MO
    • Posts 794

    re: Can a doctor refuse to treat

    Doctors order an MRI when there are clinical findings to warrant such examination. If your clinical history does not meet such criterion, it is likely that your personal insurer would deny payment for the exam based on medial necessity.

    Your previous MRI would have adequately revealed any anomolies of spinal disc geography that were caused by trauma from the accident. A follow up MRI might demonstrate subsequent degenerative changes, but the third party liability insurer would likely resist your unrelated health expenses and subsequent findings might compromise the merits of your accident related liability claim.

    Your doctor might feel that you are at the point of maximum medical improvement. Alternatively, the doctor may have done all that he/she can do in your behalf. Nevertheless, you should discuss your health situation with your doctor to be sure that all
    recommended physical therapy regimines have been attempted

  • Wed, Feb 7 2007 11:21 AM In reply to

    • anina27
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    • Joined on Tue, Feb 6 2007
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Can a doctor refuse to treat

    The doctor suggested that further treatment can be done if I had personal health coverage which at the time I didn't, but does do not suggest that the he is aware that my injuries have not yet recovered. Now that I do have personal health coverage is it too late to start treatment again and is it possible for the insurance company from the other party involved in the accident to refuse to pay for this bills.
  • Wed, Feb 7 2007 1:17 PM In reply to

    re: Can a doctor refuse to treat

    Whether your new health insurance wil cover your preexisting condition depends upon the terms of the contract with your new insurance carrier. If it is an employer sponsored policy then it will probably cover your preexisting condition (not always, but often). If it's a personal policy, then it will probably not cover it. Either way, you need to read your policy to determine whether it will cover your treatment.
  • Sun, May 16 2010 10:41 AM In reply to

    • voyajer
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    • Joined on Sun, May 16 2010
    • CA
    • Posts 1

    Re: Can a doctor refuse to treat

    Can my physician refuse to see me because of an unpaid bill?


    The general AMA policy on billing is Opinion 6.05, "Fees for Medical Services." This Opinion does not specifically address whether a physician might refuse to see a patient due to an unpaid bill. However, Opinion 8.11, "Neglect of Patient" states, "Once having undertaken a case, the physician should not neglect the patient." Refusing to see a patient might be considered neglect, unless the physician appropriately terminated the patient-physician relationship. Opinion 8.115, "Termination of the Patient-Physician Relationship" states that the physician should provide "notice to the patient, the relatives, or responsible friends sufficiently long in advance of withdrawal to permit another medical attendant to be secured."

    In addition, there may be specific regulations in your state that pertain to unpaid bills or the termination of the patient-physician relationship. You should contact your state licensing board or medical society to find out what the regulations are in your state. Contact information of the licensing boards in all 50 states.


    For California Patient Rights see:


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