Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: Dr Hickson and colleagues1 found that physicians who had received more complaints
from patients were also more likely to be sued for malpractice. I wish to
report another scenario that is related to billing and may generate complaints
It is not uncommon, particularly for patients with Medicare and a secondary
insurer, for 3 to 6 months to pass before they receive the first bill from
the physician's office. The patients may then be dismayed to find that they
are said to be 90 to 150 days in arrears on payment. This common practice
cannot help but add a significant degree of annoyance and irritation and,
if there are other areas of dissatisfaction, may well trigger a lawsuit.
Graham GK. Patient Complaints and Risk of Being Sued. JAMA. 2002;288(13):1585–1586. doi:10.1001/jama.288.13.1585
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