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Fee disputes can often lead to complaints of professional misconduct. The Office of the Professions does not negotiate or resolve fee disputes. Other claims of professional misconduct, however, may arise due to fee disputes. When investigated, these complaints are usually found to originate in disputes over fees, but the licensed behavior analyst (LBA) or certified behavior analyst assistant (CBAA), as well as the Department, will have had the burden of the investigation.
To avoid these complaints, LBAs and CBAAs could:
- Clarify the billing and payment conditions, including insurance, if applicable, at the outset of the evaluation and treatment, and specify the financial arrangements in terms that the patient/client and/or authorized caregiver can understand. It is useful to include an agreement for payment for cancelled appointments.
- Explain to the patient/client and/or authorized caregiver that he or she may be responsible for payments for appointments that the patient/client misses that do not fall within the cancellation agreement. It may be considered fraudulent for LBAs and CBAAs to bill insurers for appointments when the patient/client is not provided a service.
- Make the patient/client and/or authorized caregiver aware of the costs involved, so the patient/client and/or authorized caregiver can, therefore, make informed choices so as not to incur excessive debt.
- Avoid providing any personally identifiable information regarding the patient/client and/or authorized caregiver that reveals the professional nature of the relationship when attempting to collect fees. It is wise to determine beforehand if a collection agency will be providing information to third parties, e.g., employers or family members, who should not have access to such information.