If you are a specialist and a doctor sends you a patient, you have to determine whether it's a referral or a consult. That is what the OP was asking about, how to tell the difference. The specialist receiving the patient is going to bill that patient for the service, no matter which one it turns out to be. By saying that a referral doesn't result in a charge to the patient is just plain wrong.
A discussion of the differences between a referral and a consult has nothing whatsoever to do with which one generates a charge. they BOTH generate a charge.
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