New Jersey hospital's error left patient with $1,980 bill

A woman received an $1,980 bill after a New Jersey hospital omitted a COVID-19 test from her bill, according to The New York Times

Debbie Krebs went to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., in March with a cough and lung pain. A physician at the hospital ran several tests to rule out other diseases and then swabbed her nose to test for COVID-19. A week after her visit, the laboratory called Ms. Krebs and told her the COVID-19 test was negative, according to the report. 

The hospital did not include the COVID-19 test on the bill for Ms. Krebs' emergency room visit, which resulted in a big price increase. Though insurers are barred from charging patients for medical visits to diagnose COVID-19, Ms. Krebs owed $1,980 because she did not qualify for that protection due to the test being left off of her bill, according to the report. 

Ms. Krebs reached out to Sarah Kliff from The New York Times, who helped her track down a record of the test and then contacted the hospital. After Ms. Kliff's inquiry, the hospital resubmitted the bill with the test included, and Aetna reprocessed the bill and said she will not be charged. 

"We were trying to come up with extraordinary processes quickly to react to the many changes placed on all of us, including payer requirements of coverage," a hospital spokesperson wrote in an email to Ms. Krebs, according to The New York Times. "We apologize that your lab Covid test was not on your original claim, but happy to report we tracked down the issue."

Read the full article from The New York Times here

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