Fee disputes often lead to complaints of professional misconduct. The Office of the Professions does not negotiate or resolve fee disputes. Other claims of professional misconduct, however, may arise due to fee disputes.
To avoid these complaints, occupational therapists could:
- Clarify the billing and payment conditions, including insurance, if applicable, at the outset of the evaluation and treatment, and specify the financial arrangements in terms that the patient/client can understand. It is useful to include an agreement for payment for cancelled appointments.
- Explain to the patient/client that he or she may be responsible for payments for appointments that the patient/client misses that do not fall within the cancellation agreement. It is fraudulent for occupational therapists to bill insurers for services which were not provided.
- Make the patient/client aware of the costs for services, so the patient/client can, therefore, make informed choices.
- Avoid providing any personally identifiable information regarding the patient/client that reveals the professional nature of the relationship when attempting to collect fees. It is wise to determine beforehand what information a collection agency plans to provide to third parties. Employers or family members should not have access to a patient's/client's information.