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  • Does my dentist owe me $6500?

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    Old 01-25-2015, 11:29 AM   #1
    IKJlfp
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    Angry Does my dentist owe me $6500?

    Hi everyone,

    Last September, I became a patient of an orthodontist (who in the interests of good taste, will remain unnamed) in New York City. His practice is slightly outside of the city, but he does a couple office visits in the city a month, and once a month flies to Los Angeles, where I live now. Since September, I've seen him five times for treatment for a narrowed palate. I forked over $6500, but now we're almost five months in and I don't have an appliance that fits. He's fitted me twice, but the second one was worse than the first (it will fall out on its own at night).

    To make matters more exasperating, he's suggesting that I go to a different dentist in the LA area (40+ miles away from me, though, which means I'd have to miss pretty much a full day of work to go for the visit). My dentist said that he would have the other dentist bill him. That said, my actual dentist, whom I paid in good faith, DOES practice in LA, monthly. So why he wouldn't just make room for me there, I don't know.

    Am I wrong for wanting a refund? The analogy I used to explain my situation to him was if I paid a mechanic $6500 to fix my car and four months later he told me to take my car to his buddy's garage and he'd pay him, I'd just ask for my money back and find a new mechanic.

    Any insight/advice/knowledge on what I'm entitled to in this situation would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

     
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    Old 01-25-2015, 12:38 PM   #2
    Titchou
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    Re: Does my dentist owe me $6500?

    First of all, whether he owes you or not is a question for an attorney, not a healthboard. Where you go from here depends on several things. Why did you use an orthodontist who doesn't practice full time in your area? If he had good reviews and you were referred by people who have used him and know him, I may hang with him for a while. Why does he want you to go to someone else? I men specifically why. And why this particular person? Would he pay for you to go to the orthodonist of your choice? Has he given this to you in writing? Does the other dentist concur?

    Way too many questions to give you a yes or no answer.

     
    Old 01-25-2015, 12:39 PM   #3
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    Re: Does my dentist owe me $6500?

    First of all, whether he owes you or not is a question for an attorney, not a healthboard. Where you go from here depends on several things. Why did you use an orthodontist who doesn't practice full time in your area? If he had good reviews and you were referred by people who have used him and know him, I may hang with him for a while. Why does he want you to go to someone else? I mean specifically why. And why this particular person? Would he pay for you to go to the orthodonist of your choice? Has he given this to you in writing? Does the other dentist concur?

    Way too many questions to give you a yes or no answer.

    Last edited by Titchou; 01-25-2015 at 12:40 PM.

     
    Old 01-25-2015, 12:57 PM   #4
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    Re: Does my dentist owe me $6500?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
    First of all, whether he owes you or not is a question for an attorney, not a healthboard. Where you go from here depends on several things. Why did you use an orthodontist who doesn't practice full time in your area? If he had good reviews and you were referred by people who have used him and know him, I may hang with him for a while. Why does he want you to go to someone else? I mean specifically why. And why this particular person? Would he pay for you to go to the orthodonist of your choice? Has he given this to you in writing? Does the other dentist concur?

    Way too many questions to give you a yes or no answer.
    Not sure why you'd bother to answer in that instance; I'd assume that a medical board would have people familiar enough with the process of patients' entitlements to refunds to merit asking. I was also living in New York at the time - so I assumed in the subsequent three months we'd have the time to establish my treatment and then do the check-ins during his monthly trips to LA.

     
    Old 01-25-2015, 03:02 PM   #5
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    Re: Does my dentist owe me $6500?

    IJKlfp.
    In my own personal opinion, using your car mechanic anaology, I wouldnt do what he was suggesting either...

    If you feel that you are not getting good enough care, being that he is only there for one week a month, you have the right to change doctors and even if you go with his recommendation, I still wouldnt let that guy "pay him back". That does seem unethical to me....although I really cant say if its illegal.

    I would find a new doctor altogether, get an opinion on whether or not he can help you and if he feels he can, maybe let him try. In the meantime, visiting an attorney is not a bad idea. Even just calling one (they usually all do initial consults for free and many have night and weekend hours). Run this past them and see what they think. If you find a doctor totally Unafiliated with your current one who can help you, then Id say that the one you are currently with is a quack- and that you should take legal matters up and get your money back! BUT if you see another doctor for a second opinion and he feels that your case is unusally difficult or isnt guaranteeing that he can help you, maybe your doctor hasnt done anything wrong and the third time will be a charm and you should give it another go...

    This is a unfortunate situation. Waiting a month in between visits has got to be frustrating (thats why Id go with a doctor who is local) but then again, giving him the benefit of the doubt, maybe its just a really difficult case and no one else could have gotten it right on the first try either. But, asking him to refund you and being directed to his buddy.....? That doesnt seem right either, and something smells fishy about that suggestion. I personally would stay completely away from that idea.

    I hope you get some answers so you can get your medical issue fixed quickly. Please think about getting a second opinion. It will give you peace of mind on whether or not the problem is this particular doctor, or its really your mouth giving issue.

    MSnik
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    Old 01-25-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
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    Re: Does my dentist owe me $6500?

    The doctor owes you a refund. I live in NY. You agreed to be treated by one particular dentist. If he cannot provide the service to you anymore, you are entitled to go wherever you want, and he owes you money. I would threaten to sue him, if I were you...and I have Never said that, on this board before.

     
    Old 01-25-2015, 05:05 PM   #7
    Titchou
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    Re: Does my dentist owe me $6500?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IKJlfp View Post
    Not sure why you'd bother to answer in that instance; I'd assume that a medical board would have people familiar enough with the process of patients' entitlements to refunds to merit asking. I was also living in New York at the time - so I assumed in the subsequent three months we'd have the time to establish my treatment and then do the check-ins during his monthly trips to LA.
    I just felt like we didn't have enough information. You've now porvided some more. I'd still talk to an attorney just to find out your rights. You can call your local Bar Association for a referral to someone who works in this line and does a 1 visit pro bono. They all have people who do this so you wouldn't have to pay anything for legal advice.

     
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