In most businesses, customers are presented with a selection of goods or services which are for sale, and then charged for which ones they select.
Medical offices do not operate under such a buyer-and-seller business model.
Instead, medical offices (clinics and hospitals) do not disclose which services they are charging for, and do not disclose the costs of these services. Instead, patients sign a vague agreement to pay all fees.
This system doubtless passes contract law muster, but doctors (as a regulated profession) should be held to a higher ethical standard. Patients should be informed, procedure-by-procedure, test-by-test, of total costs. Alternatively, patients may be informed of a flat-rate (say, so much per hour for a doctor’s time).
While learning about Canada’s horrific health care system prevented me from complaining for the rude wait time last month, Canada has nothing on the United States with regard to undisclosed fees.
(As readers may have guessed, the aggrevation comes from a fee for the service that resulted in the wait! The injustice!)