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you may need to research what your state says. Every state could be different. but this is what i found out when researching this in Va.

Open Accounts for Medical Services

A number of states classify a patient=s relationship with a physician as an Open Account. Perhaps the most prominent is Louisiana that has statutorily defined an Open Account to "include debts incurred for professional services, including, but not limited to legal and medical services." Common law in Louisiana has further defined Open Accounts as existing in "a situation where there had been running or current dealings between the parties and the account had been kept open with the expectation of further dealings."

In determining whether a relationship may be classified as an Open Account, Louisiana courts consider whether:

- there are other business transactions between the parties;

- a line of credit was extended to one party;

- there are "running or current" dealings; and

- there are expectations of future dealings.

A decision by the Circuit Court of Richmond is illustrative of how Open Accounts may be established in the context of medical services in Virginia. In this case, Chippenham Hospital sought to recover for medical fees and hospital charges incurred by Mr. Shelton when he remained in the hospital for ten days past the twenty-one day period covered by Medicaid.

In finding for the hospital, the Richmond Circuit Court stated that by presenting himself to the emergency room at the Hospital, Mr. Shelton Aimpliedly agreed that if medical treatment was rendered, he would pay for it.@ Using this reasoning, the court found an implied contract.

Therefore, as to Mr. Shelton, the patient, we have a contract to pay for medical treatment on an open account, and , of course, the three-year statute of limitations applies to him.

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