Musings in the life of an internist, cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist.
With English subtitles: Arms Arriving, Mother of all Rockets, Eternal Rains of Fire, Fiery Mountain.
Totally voting for you. You should have a Medical Weblog banner, Dr. Wes, to guide faithful readers to the site.
Dr. Wes - I'm your reader who spent 8 days in the hospital with pneumonia and a resultant electrolyte imbalance.I just received the pathology bill and am shocked to see it shows a "Drug Screen Multiple Classes" code 80100. The doctor never told me he was going to run this, and I would have refused it if he had because I'm not a drug user and it was a waste of my money. What are the ethical issues surrounding running such a test on an inpatient without their knowledge?
Anony 4:32-Interesting question. Doctors are not ethically bound to ask patients first whether or not they agree to a particular test before ordering it - especially in an emergency room setting. Hopefully, they are only ordering those tests they deem necessary to establish the diagnosis based on your presentation and symptoms. While I understand your frustration over this charge, we must also understand the legal climate that ER and practicing physicians see these days that requires that "no stone go un-turned" in evaluating patients. Overtesting exists in ER's and on the wards due to doctors' liability concerns, and it should in no way be construed as a reflection on your character. Should an insurer refuse payment for this test, then you might consider potesting this charge with the collections department.
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