Complaints about Podiatrists’ Fees and Bills
The College’s Regulatory Authority
The College’s complaint authority under the Health Professions Act (HPA) does not extend to matters that are of a contractual or business nature, such as disputes about the amount of a podiatrist’s bill or whether a bill is payable. That type of authority falls to the civil courts. Thus we do not have the power to make findings that a podiatrist has breached a contract, or to order a practitioner to refund or reduce a bill.
However, the CPodSBC does have regulatory authority with respect to fees and bills where there is evidence of unethical conduct.
We may investigate and ultimately impose discipline on podiatrists for some types of bill-related wrongs. The College will investigate a complaint about a podiatrist’s bill where there is evidence of:
• charging for services that were not provided,
• failure to provide a patient with a reasonable estimate of the cost of recommended services,
• failure to obtain informed consent for the services rendered,
• misleading advertising with respect to the fees to be charged,
• charging unconscionably high fees, or
• failure to provide a patient with a fully itemized bill upon the patient’s request.
Fee Guides & Schedules
Please note also that the College does not impose a schedule of required fee levels.
Practitioners are free to charge what is necessary in order to fund their practice, with the caveat – as noted above – that the charges in the circumstances are not excessively high.
As opposed to the College, a professional association / support body such as the BC Podiatric Medical Association may issue publications like fee guides for the purpose of giving economic advice to its members.