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Patient refund - do I need a release?

Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

 August 1, 2017

 

 

Question:

Jennifer, 

A patient has requested a refund for certain services.  Do I need a written release? 

Thanks in advance, Dr. L

Answer: 

Without having any additional information on the circumstances, YES.  By refunding money you are telling the patient - I Agree - I did something I don't deserve compensation for - or you were injured in some way and you deserve your money back.  YIKES!  Why would we do that without taking the protective measures to avoid a future claim for continued extortion, or worse, use of the transaction as an admission of guilt on your part.  A release doesn't have to be a 30 page legal document that is heavily negotiated.  We can keep it simple - a 1-2 pager where the patient acknowledges you are not admitting to any fault, and the patient is waiving future rights to:

1. collect from you again
2. bring an action against you later for malpractice or overcharging, etc.
3.  disparage you publicly

Another point to add - please do not try to write your own release.  Contact our office and we will assist.  As discussed above - this can be simple to wrap up - and as implied - this can be a disaster if handled wrong.  


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