Doctor gets stethoscope in a knot over bill

2010-07-17 09:40

The office of a Tshwane

medical doctor who incorrectly billed a patient and agreed to refund him has

since backtracked on the promise.

Initially, Dr Jason White’s

office agreed to pay out a refund of R2 408 owed to Nelson Motshwane, but later

changed its tune when Hotline insisted on a written response.

The wrangle between the

doctor and Motshwane dates back to November last year when Motshwane was forced

to make a cash payment despite being a member of a medical aid scheme.

The doctor later submitted

a claim for the same amount to the medical aid scheme and accepted the payment.

Motshwane said: “I find it

unacceptable that the medical ­practitioner would allow himself to be drawn into

a petty wrangle when all he needs to do is pay out a refund.”

Motshwane reported the

matter to his medical aid scheme, Gems, who concluded that he was entitled to a

refund.

After fighting a losing

battle with the doctor, Motshwane decided to contact Hotline and we referred the

complaint to the doctor’s room.

Hotline is in possession of

a cash receipt as well as the statement from the medical aid ­reflecting the

payment of R2 407.

On May 28, a clerk who

introduced herself only as Nabasha ­acknowledged receipt of our enquiry and

promised to investigate.

Two weeks later, Nabasha

claimed that her office picked up the administrative error and promised to pay

out a refund but that did not happen. On Monday, Nabasha made another promise

but reneged when Hotline insisted on a written response.

White has since refused to

refund Motshwane, insisting that the double payment was justified.

He said: ”There was no

double payment. It was merely an additional code. The patient could not have

been quoted for in advance.”

White explained that the

payment was for a separate surgery and the payment of a doctor who

assisted.

Furthermore, he said that

as with any surgical procedure, ­complications did arise.

”Motshwane was instructed

to claim a refund from his medical aid but he failed to do so. This practice

cannot be held responsible for the patient’s negligence,” said White.

Hotline referred the

complaint to Gems medical aid and the office promised to investigate.


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