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3News Investigates: He went to the hospital for a COVID-19 test. He left with a $2,000 medical bill.

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He was in & out of the ER in 20 minutes. Two days later, he received a adverse check end result & reunited with household. All was merry & vivid till the payments arrived.

CLEVELAND — We have now a observe as much as a 3News Investigation about medical payments associated to COVID-19 sufferers.

After our first story aired, extra viewers got here ahead, together with one man who was charged $2,000 for a 20-minute emergency room go to.

As the vacations had been approaching, Stephen Lee confronted a dilemma many people can relate to – wanting to go to his household, however afraid he would possibly infect them.

“I wished to make sure that I used to be gonna be secure. My mother and father are older,” stated Lee.

So he determined he’d fly residence early and get examined earlier than seeing his household.

“I received myself a referral for a COVID check and I went searching for one,” stated Lee.

But it surely wasn’t as simple as simply strolling right into a drug retailer.

Whereas Lee was born within the U.S. and his household lives in Orange, he at the moment lives in Finland and isn’t a U.S. resident.

So when Lee’s flight landed, he had few choices.

“The one place that I may discover was to go to an emergency room. And I referred to as them and stated I’m in your car parking zone, maybe I can get a check? And so they stated certain, come on in,” stated Lee.

That was on November 13th at College Hospitals Ahuja campus in Beachwood.

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Lee was out and in in 20 minutes. Two days later, he received a adverse check end result and was lastly reunited together with his household.

All was merry and vivid, till just a few weeks later.

“A invoice got here within the mail for $1,126 {dollars} and I used to be such as you’ve received to be kidding me,” stated Lee. “After which, a pair days later, one other invoice got here for a further $996 {dollars}. So mainly over $2000 price of expenses for 20 minutes time within the emergency room.”

The shock despatched Lee looking for assist and that’s when he discovered Rachel’s 3News investigation about shock medical payments.

Lee emailed Rachel these photographs of his payments: $1,126 from College Hospitals and $996 from Alteon Well being.

First, Rachel referred to as UH, who stated they “will attain out to him to debate and assist resolve the matter.”

A number of days later, UH agreed to cut back the invoice. Lee has not but obtained that refund.

“I believe that’s solely because of the reality you referred to as. The one motive I’m getting $400 again is that you just referred to as them,” stated Lee.

Then, Rachel referred to as Alteon well being, who billed for the ER physician. A number of days after Rachel spoke with a rep, Lee’s invoice was paid off by his journey insurance coverage.

“We shouldn’t need to threaten individuals with the media in an effort to get equity,” stated Lee.

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Whereas Lee is grateful he saved cash, he says he is nonetheless pissed off with this clearly damaged system – and he’d wish to see extra transparency.

“I need prices of medical care to go down for everybody and I believe it’s fallacious for them to cost these quantities,” stated Lee. “I believe it is fallacious to cost $2000 for medical care and never inform individuals up entrance.”

The excellent news – a measure to finish shock medical billing handed Congress on the finish of 2020 and is ready to take impact in 2022.

RELATED: What’s within the new $900 billion COVID-19 aid invoice?

When the regulation goes into impact, shoppers will not get stability payments after they search emergency care, when they’re transported by an air ambulance, or after they obtain non-emergency care at an in-network hospital however are unknowingly handled by an out-of-network doctor or laboratory.

Sufferers can pay solely the deductibles and co-payment quantities that they’d beneath the in-network phrases of their insurance coverage. Medical suppliers will not be allowed to carry sufferers answerable for the distinction between these quantities and the upper charges they could wish to cost.

For the uninsured, for whom every part is out of community, the invoice requires the secretary of the Division of Well being and Human Companies to create a provider-patient invoice dispute decision course of.

RELATED: 3News Investigates: Sufferers hit with shock medical payments associated to COVID-19

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