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Will I be able to continue seeing my doctor after a bankruptcy?

| Feb 5, 2018 | Firm News

For non-emergency services, a medical clinic or dentist can stop seeing you as a patient for any reason, including nonpayment, even if that is due to bankruptcy. As a practical matter, medical clinics, and dentist will permit you to continue as a patient. I’ve actually never had a client tell me they had issues with this after a bankruptcy, I just can’t make guarantees. A doctor’s primary concern under the Hippocratic oath is supposed to be caring for the patient, not money. But the bottom line is, a clinic is a business, and if they lose you as a patient, that just means you are going to go to the competition, which means a new patient for competition. In general, the bigger the organization, the less likely they are going to have an issue with you in continuing as a patient after having filed bankruptcy. It’s entirely possible that they will put you on a COD basis.

If you don’t owe them any money, of course you don’t need to list them as a creditor. If you owe them a nominal balance, you can just pay them off before you file, in which case the one to be careful of, is to make sure you do not pay them $600 within the 90 days prior to filing, because that actually creates another issue called an avoidable preference.

If your continued ongoing post bankruptcy care with a medical provider, to whom you owe money, and is a paramount consideration before you file bankruptcy, my best advice is that you talk to the business office before you file bankruptcy, and ask what their policy is if you need to file bankruptcy. I suppose reaffirming the debt could be a possibility, but I’ve never seen a medical provider request that.