Provided by: Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
August 1, 2017
A patient has requested a refund for certain services. Do I need a written release?
Thanks in advance, Dr. L
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.