There are a handful of other issues that you may encounter specifc to elective surgery, escalating disputes to higher authorities, and unique situations with physicians as opposed to facilities.

You may get pushback on the fnancial aid front if your treatment was considered an “elective” service. Elective is a way of saying that you could have planned ahead to have the treatment done or that it was not done in an emergency situation. Conversely, non-elective means that you did not “elect” to have the treatment done because it was done in an emergency situation. A federal statute called EMTALA dictates that healthcare providers have to provide non-elective, emergency services, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. However, they can still legally refuse to perform elective procedures if there is evidence that payment will not occur.

I walk somewhat of a fne line here, because I am personally in the business of elective, outpatient surgery. This is a gray area anyway, so I’m going to do a bit of a philosophical analysis for you and then present my personal opinion.

I’m going to use the most common types of elective procedures as examples: cataract surgery, colonoscopies, and orthopedic joint arthroscopies.