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Physicians individually and collectively should promote access to care for individual patients, in part through being prudent stewards of resources. Thus physicians have a responsibility to balance patients’ needs and expectations with responsible business practices.

With respect to fees for nonclinical or administrative services provided in conjunction with patient care, physicians should: 

  1. Clearly notify patients in advance of fees charged by the practice (if any) for nonclinical or administrative services. 
  2. Base fees (if any) on reasonable costs to the practice for:
    1. providing special documentation on patient request for such purposes as insurance reimbursement to the patient, certification of immunization or fitness, or similar nonclinical services;
    2. missed appointments or appointments not cancelled in advance in keeping with the published policy of the practice; 
    3. acquisition or processing charges in relation to diagnostic, laboratory, or clinical services, copies of medical records, or similar nonclinical services.
AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: II, VI
Read the Principles