When resolved medical bills keep popping up

There’s no national data to indicate how often patients or their families receive medical bills that were previously paid or forgiven, but hospital billing experts say they frequently see it happen. Patients receive bills for claims their insurers already paid. A reminder statement arrives even after a patient submitted payment.

Travel during Covid: Getting home is hard

On the day my wife and I were to fly home from London after a brief visit, we took a covid-19 test, as required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to travel to the U.S. The United States will not allow anyone to fly into the country who has tested positive for covid, and it…

A $489,000 air ambulance ride

The total bill was $489,000, most of which was for the flight from Denver, with approximately $70,000 for the ground ambulance service to and from the Denver and Raleigh-Durham airports.

How to avoid surprise bills — and new law’s pitfalls

Patients are no longer required to pay for out-of-network care given without their consent when they receive treatment at hospitals covered by their health insurance since a federal law took effect at the start of this year. But the law’s protections against the infuriating, expensive scourge of surprise medical bills may be only as good as…

Pandemic innovations leave behind people with disabilities

Telemedicine, teleworking, rapid tests, virtual school, and vaccine drive-thrus have become part of Americans’ routines as they enter Year 3 of life amid covid-19. But as innovators have raced to make living in a pandemic world safer, some people with disabilities have been left behind.

More employers moving retirees to Medicare Advantage plans

Experts say this arrangement often saves the employer money because the federal payment reduces the employer’s share of the cost of coverage. But retirees’ health care may be disrupted if the plan no longer includes their doctors and hospitals or the insurer has new requirements or charges new fees to access benefits.

$80,000 tab shows loophole in new law on surprise billing

The Bulls’ ordeal points up a loophole in coverage for emergency care — even under the No Surprises Act, which took effect Jan. 1 and outlaws many kinds of surprise medical bills. Patients who need prompt, lifesaving treatment often don’t have time to find an in-network hospital.

As Covid slogs on, seniors find malaise growing

Despite recent signals that Covid’s grip on the country may be easing, many older adults are struggling with persistent malaise, heightened by the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant. Even those who adapted well initially are saying their fortitude is waning or wearing thin.

Covid causes ‘extensive’ damage to placenta

Women who become infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy face higher risks of still birth and death of a child within 28 days of birth, research has shown. And now, a new study shows how. Unlike many disease-causing pathogens that kill the fetus by infecting it directly, the coronavirus causes “widespread and severe” destruction of the placenta that deprives the fetus of…

Shortages of home care workers leave patients stranded

Frail older adults are finding it harder than ever to get paid help amid acute staff shortages at home health agencies. Several trends are fueling the shortages: Hospitals and other employers are hiring away home health workers with better pay and benefits. Many aides have fallen ill or been exposed to Covid-19 during the recent surge…