DOCTOR ORDERED AN MRI OF WRONG AREA AND HOSP IS BILLING ME FOR THE TEST

MY DOCTOR MISTAKENLY FAXED AN RX TO THE HOSPITAL FROM HIS OFFICE FOR AN MRI OF MY HIPS WHICH HE INTENDED TO BE DONE ON MY BACK. THE HOSPITAL DID THE TEST ON MY HIPS AS HE REQUESTED ON THE RX BUT BECAUSE IT IS OF THE WRONG AREA OF MY BACK, IT IS OF NO DIAGNOSTIC VALUE AS IT DOES NOT SHOW THE AREA IN WHICH I AM HAVING PAIN. THE HOSPITAL HAS DONE AN AUDIT OF THE RX AND VERIFIED THAT IT WAS THE DOCTORS ERROR ON THE PRESCRIPTION AND NOT THEIRS AND THE TEST WAS DONE AS ORDERED. AS A RESULT, THE HOSPITAL IS BILLING ME FOR MY COPAYMENT OF $450 AS IS THE RADIOLOGIST. I HAVE CALLED THE DOCTOR SEVERAL TIMES TO AS I DO NOT THINK I SHOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR HIS MISTAKE. MY DOCTOR IS ONLY WILLING TO ORDER ANOTHER MRI OF THE CORRECT AREA AND DOES NOT RETURN MY CALLS TO DISCUSS THE MATTER FURTHER. THE TEST WAS DONE IN 12/08 AND I AM NOT WORKING NOW AS MY EMPLOYER OF MANY YEARS CLOSED THE BUSINESS AND I AM ON COBRA WITH A NEW 2009 $2500 DED/10% COPAYMENT. ANOTHER MRI IS NOT AN OPTION AS I AM NOW STRUGGLING TO PAY MY COBRA PREMIUMS ALONG WITH OTHER BILLS NOR DO I FEEL I SHOULD OWE THIS MONEY. THEREFORE, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT I CAN DO TO GET THE DOCTOR TO ACCEPT THE FINANCIAL BURDEN FOR HIS MISTAKE

Fort Lauderdale, FL -

Attorney Answers (1)

Frank Albert Ashton

Frank Albert Ashton

Medical Malpractice Attorney - Jacksonville, FL
Answered

If the doctor in fact directed the hospital to perform an MRI on the wrong area of your body, you could arguably sue him for negligence and ask for your co-pay amount as damages. The problem for you would be that suing a physician for medical malpractice is both very technical and an expensive proposition. The cost of your suit would likely be far more than you could reasonably expect to recover from the doctor, even if you win. You can also expect that the doctor may claim that an MRI of the hips was necessary because you either reported some pain in that area or the doctor suspected that some of your low back pain was possibly referred pain from the hip area (thus making an MRI of the hips appropriate).

My best suggestion is that you schedule another appointment with the doctor to follow-up on your problem and at that appointment explain what happened and ask him to "do the right thing" by paying the copay for the incorrect procedure. If he declines, you can report his conduct to the Florida Department of Professional Regulation but there is little else I think you can reasonably and economically do.

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