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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Can a Doctor Give You an Informed Consent Form at the Time of Your Procedure

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: NJ

    in general: I thought I heard that when you are given a legal doc to sign minutes before going on a ride / attraction or similar situation, that isn't enforcable? Always? Sometimes?

    Is there a name for that?

    Specifically: I was given a full page legal document at a doctor's office when I arrived for a medical procedure. The title is Consent for treatment, payment and health care operations including admission and medical treatment authorization. It has 6 paragraphs. the 6th paragraph basically says 'this will be an outpatient service in hospital setting'. There was a spot there they highlighted for me to initial, which I did. That paragraph changed the way they billed the procedure from something that would have been covered by my insurance 100% (done in an doctor's office) vs. something I owe the doctor and hospital a total of $900.

    My wife knows / understands the insurance coverage (it's her policy). I signed it without comprehending the implications, signing it with the time, just 7 minutes before the procedure.

    When the doctor recommended the procedure 2 weeks earlier in an office visit in that same office he didn't mention how it would be billed. The person making the appointment didn't mention either. it was only on that document given to me when I arrived for the test.

    None of the medical forms or their website talk about the hospital's involvement (the office says the hospital owns the test equipment so that makes it an outpatient hospital procedure).

    Am I wrong (legally responsible for the bill) for not stopping to consult with an attorney (and my wife) on the documents content, postponing the test

    Or are they wrong for popping this on me at the time of the procedure?

    I guess I need to go to small claims court on this?

    Any thoughts / advice? I and my wife spoke to the office several times on this and there's no 'negotiating / cutting a deal / lowering the cost'.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Legal Docs That Are Given to You Minutes Before an Activity. Are They Enforceable

    With a few exceptions not relevant here, contracts are binding from the moment they are entered into. It doesn’t matter that you entered into it just a few minutes before the procedure. There is no rule that a contract has be executed a certain period of time before the goods or services are provided for you to be obligated to pay for them. Note that it was the nature of the procedure that determined what your wife’s insurance pays, not what the consent you signed said. Even if you had not initialed that paragraph the insurance still would have treated it the same way because the procedure was the same either way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Default Re: Legal Docs That Are Given to You Minutes Before an Activity. Are They Enforceable

    It is standard to be given the Consent papers to sign right before a procedure. Doctors do not deal with billing. If you had questions regarding how the procedure would be billed you should have spoken to someone in billing directly prior to the day of the procedure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    New Jersey

    Default Re: Legal Docs That Are Given to You Minutes Before an Activity. Are They Enforceable

    There is only one way that your signature wouldn't be enforceable. Sometimes if a patient is very nervous or excited, they may give you something to calm your nerves. If that is the case and you were injected or drank something to calm you BEFORE you signed the document, your signature may just be void.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

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