Unable to wait hours to be seen by urgent care physician – will my wife still be billed?

How does medical billing work when a patient departs before being able to be seen by the doctor?

My wife went to Urgent Care to be tested for RSV. Her symptoms are basic cold symptoms but she has a known RSV exposure and if that is indeed what she has, we would like to know before we go visiting our families for thanksgiving since both of our parents are in their 70s. She had an appointment, showed up early and filled out all of their paperwork and then eventually was called back. The nurse took the sample and said it would be 10 minutes for results to become available at which point the PA would be in to share them. She then was left to wait in the exam room for over an hour when she finally had to leave due to an unmovable work meeting. She asked the receptionist on her way out if they could simply call her with the test results and was told with quite a lot of attitude "no, it'll be recorded as test administered not read and you'll have to come back for another full appointment if you want to know the results." Fine, they want to withhold her test results unless they can bill her insurance for a full exam appointment, whatever.

My question is this- how does medical billing typically work when a patient leaves before the office visit has reached its natural conclusion? I'm guessing it would be insurance fraud for them to bill our insurance for an exam they did not provide, but does this allow the practice to turn around and bill us separately for the services they couldn't charge for because they didn't have their shit together?

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submitted by /u/DUNGAROO
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