News / Utah / Health

Get Gephardt: Surgeon no-shows for pre-paid procedure


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Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

HERRIMAN — Katie Jolles beat breast cancer two decades ago, but doctors have found another lump.

It turned out to be benign, but her doctor still recommended a breast reduction to prevent further issues.

Because the new lump is not cancer, insurance won't pay. Jolles made her own appointment, paying $8,500 to a local plastic surgery clinic.

When she showed up for a pre-op appointment, the doctor wasn't there.

"They were surprised to see me," Jolles recalls. "They thought somebody should have called me."

After weeks of trying to reschedule, Jolles said she finally just asked for her money back. The clinic told Jolles that her doctor had the money, she'd need to talk to him.

Jolles showed Get Gephardt that she had been trying but the doctor didn't respond.

"I can't go get another surgery unless I have that money," she said.

The plastic surgery clinic and the doctor apparently did not part on good terms. Court documents show the clinic is suing the doctor for unpaid "operating expenses."

As for Jolles' money, Get Gephardt reached out to both the doctor and the plastic surgery clinic on her behalf, and that seemed to do the trick.

Shortly thereafter, Jolles said she finally heard back from her doctor and the full $8,500 was wired back to her account. It is money Jolles said she will now use to schedule the surgery with a doctor that, this time, hopefully follows through.

Doctors get their licenses through the state. We checked and didn't find that Jolles' doctor has had any official action taken against him by the state for this type of behavior.

It is a violation of the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act for a company to take money for a product or service and then not provide it without refunding the money.

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Matt Gephardt
Matt Gephardt has worked in television news for more than 20 years, and as a reporter since 2010. He is now a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. You can find Matt on Twitter at @KSLmatt or email him at matt@ksl.com.

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