An implied contract is a contract agreed by non-verbal conduct, rather by explicit words. As defined by the United States Supreme Court, it is “an agreement ‘implied in fact’ as “founded upon the meeting of minds, which, although not embodied in an express contract, is inferred, as a fact, from conduct of the parties showing, in the light of the surrounding circumstances, their tacit understanding.”
Although the parties may not have exchanged words of agreement, their actions may indicate that an agreement existed anyway.
For example, when a patient goes to a doctor’s appointment, his actions indicate he intends to receive treatment in exchange for paying a reasonable/fair doctor’s fees. Likewise, by seeing the patient, the doctor’s actions indicate he intends to treat the patient in exchange for payment of the bill.
Editor’s Note: Almost no one ever pays a hospital’s full charge. Managed care contracts routinely pay much less than Charge Master rates. So does Medicare and Medicaid. Under an Implied In Fact Contract, the premise of consideration is based on fair and reasonable reimbursement. Thus is the foundation of Cost Plus Insurance (www.costplusinsurance.com )