Recently I went to the ER, after having cold/flu-like symptoms that lasted a few weeks, because I was feeling woozy and concerned that I might have some more serious infection.
I signed a generic consent for treatment, and the only tests that were orally discussed (and which I consented to) were an x-ray and blood screen for infections.
When I got the invoice, though, I found out that they also tested me for amphetamines, barbituates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, ethanol, opiates, & phencyclidines. Total bill to insurance $1050, amount of that I had to pay $78.75.
I was never told that they would be doing drug screening, I did not consent, I don't believe it was medically necessary, and in fact I very strongly object to this having been done (and my having to pay for it).
is an interesting article on the topic, which cites this
research paper showing that such testing has no effect on patient treatment or outcome in psych-ward ERs. (To be clear, I walked in to the regular ER.)
The research paper supports my contention that the tests were not medically necessary, since "no effect on treatment / outcome" = "pointless".
So the question:
Is this legal, and how can I, at the least, force the hospital to remove these charges from my bill?
Insurance says that they won't contest it, and I have to take it up with the hospital. The hospital obviously has conflict of interest in reviewing its own decisions, and isn't going to admit to doing something unethical and unnecessary.
So I'm not sure where to go from here.