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Fees for Nonclinical & Administrative Services

Physicians have a responsibility to balance patients’ needs and expectations with responsible business practices.
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Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 11.3.2

Physicians individually and collectively should promote access to care for individual patients, in part through being prudent stewards of resources. Thus physicians have a responsibility to balance patients’ needs and expectations with responsible business practices.

With respect to fees for nonclinical or administrative services provided in conjunction with patient care, physicians should:

(a) Clearly notify patients in advance of fees charged by the practice (if any) for nonclinical or administrative services.

(b) Base fees (if any) on reasonable costs to the practice for:

  1. Providing special documentation on patient request for such purposes as insurance reimbursement to the patient, certification of immunization or fitness or similar nonclinical services.
  2. Missed appointments or appointments not cancelled in advance in keeping with the published policy of the practice.
  3. Acquisition or processing charges in relation to diagnostic, laboratory, or clinical services, copies of medical records or similar nonclinical services.

AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: II, VI

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