No Sir! Read Our Agreement!

Next time you’re asked to sign papers at the doctor’s office or hospital, documents that no one ever reads, try signing your name “I did not Read this” or “I Don’t Agree With This.”

I tried something like that several months ago. Arriving early for my doctor’s appointment I was handed a clip board with several documents attached. In small print between the lines of one document around where it stated I was responsible for all charges no matter what they were I hand wrote “I consent to charges of no more than 100% of Medicare.”

I handed the clip board back to the in-take clerk. As I looked on she scanned each document without reading them. After she was through I asked “Did you scan those to my medical records.”

“Yes Sir” she replied with a smile.

Reference Based Pricing plan members would be wise to do the same. We know of one instance where a plan member did that. She hand wrote a note above her signature stating “I consent to charges of no more than 120% of Medicare” which is what the plan allowed.

She eventually received a balance bill but no worries, it went away quickly when she said “No Sir. Read our agreement!”

From Physician

In the ER, these are contracts of adhesion. In an urgent care center and other physician offices???????  Probably not

The next iteration of the office contract (the one I wanted to create) would limit our liability to the fees paid for the services.  How many contracts have you seen from professionals who do this?  I’ve seen it from lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, surveyors and others.  It has become standard.  It won’t be long before that is attempted in medical offices.  Whether it’s enforceable is another matter.  Can’t you just hear the plaintiff attorneys wail about this?