The Real Story

The Real Story

In 2007, patient Mr. M. was charged for an operation that took bone from his lower jaw and transplanted it to his upper maxilla. The operation was necessary due to severe bone loss and before he could be a suitable candidate for implants.  Naturally this type of surgery requires general anaesthesia and an anesthesiologist and for which services there is separate charge. As a surgeon, my practice is certified as a ambulatory surgical center with a certified operating room, but no anesthesiologist on staff.  Mr. M paid the bill for surgery by credit card and agreed to pay for the anesthesiologist on his next visit. After many months of promises, the office manager asked him to pay or make some arrangement.

Instead of paying, Mr. M. got angry, threw $30 in crumpled bills in the office manager’s face and stormed out shouting expletives. There was little choice other than to turn him over to a collection agency.  Mind you this was in 2008. Nine months after surgery, when faced with collections for nonpayment, his response was to go to his credit card company and reverse the charges for the surgery saying he never received the services. Fortunately the credit card companies, unlike some Web sites, actually investigate claims. They found in my favor.

 Now that court is imminent, his next move was to begin a campaign of character assignation, cyber bullying and intimidation by posting false accusation on any site he can find. He threatened to do this and is now following through. We’ve been partially successful in having some of the sites remove the offending comments after sending a letter. I received several email messages offering to resolve the issue from reputation marketing companies. One company put the cost of their service at $2,000. Mr. M only owes $2,050. The postings continue to this day.

When Mr. M. was summoned to appear at a deposition regarding payment, the first time he didn’t show up. The second time he didn’t come with a lawyer, he came instead with his mother. Also he didn’t bring any proof or papers to substantiate his claims and it was again necessary to postpone. The reality is that even if the court finds in my favor, I doubt that Mr. M. will pay his bill. The next hearing is in September. I’ll let you know the outcome.

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