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I am waiting for biopsy results to see if I have cancer. I got a call today saying that I have to settle my bill beforehand.

Panama City, FL |

The billing person informed me that this came from the doctor and my bill must be taken care of before he will discuss the results of my biopsy. I have no insurance and he knew this when he accepted me in the hospital, is this legal???? This is extreme mental stress for me, not knowing if I have cancer or not, and what kind of doctor is he to do this? What about "First do no harm", this is horribly harming for me knowing that results are in, but they are being held hostage until I pay them. I am also unemployed and live with my daughter who barely makes minimum wage. Please help me!

Attorney Answers 6

  1. Best answer

    So sorry to hear about this stressful situation. I understand from your Q that you already had the procedure and pathology. Now you need the pathology results. You are saying the doctor is withholding your results until payment is made.

    This appears to violate the Florida Patient Bill of Rights ( Look, for example, at Sections 381.026(4)(a)(3), 381.026(4)(b)(3); 381.026(4)(1), (2), (3).

    There is something very wrong here, and you should contact the Board of Medicine immediately about this issue.

    I hope everything works out and you are okay. God Bless,

    DISCLAIMER: We do not have an attorney-client relationship. Only those persons who have a signed written fee agreement and authority to represent with me is an actual client. This response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than my educated opinion or viewpoint. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. I recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. Do not act on any information in this response without seeking legal advice from an attorney in your area.

  2. That is really outrageous conduct and I doubt that he is within his rights, even in FL. You should immediately consult with a local health care law attorney to see what your options are. You might start by filing a complaint with the state licensing board.

  3. Talk to an attorney right away about this completely ridiculous conduct!

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

  4. I'm sorry to hear about this. Best bet is to call one of the above lawyers in your state

  5. You have a right to a copy of your medical records. Ask for them in writing. If they are not provided report doctor to Dept of Medicine.

    I do not think the doctor has to see you without payment though.

    This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed. You may call me 772-562-4570; email me, or visit my website

  6. This really angers me. Mr Miller is correct. You are entitled to your records and I would request them, and if they do not promptly reply hire an attorney. In your situation, I would hope someone would do it either on a reduced fee or pro bono. This conduct is the type of story that a consumer affairs reporter on TV or a newspaper would find very interesting, and may get you publicity and put pressure on the doctor. I would file a complaint with the FL board of healing arts, and if he is board certified as an internal medicine or family practice doctor, write those boards. Be persistent! You are right... "first do no harm.." is the first part of the hippocratic oath. Good luck to you and I am truly sorry that I cannot help you more.

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