Woman battles Charlotte medical provider over $1,300 bill

Woman battles medical billing error

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte woman has been battling a local medical provider over a $1,300 bill that should have been covered by her insurance. After getting no resolution, she contacted WBTV for help.

It’s been an ongoing battle for Vanessa Westley-Bourdeau.

First, she was hit with the unexpected bill, then she was turned over to a collection agency for non-payment.

“And I just feel like someone dropped the ball somewhere, and I don’t feel it’s fair for me to pay for their mixup,” said Westley-Bourdeau.

Westley-Bourdeau’s son went to OrthoCarolina Spine Center in May of 2019 for an MRI.

“They said the MRI would have to be approved and they would call me when it would be approved," Westley-Bourdeau said.

The MRI was scheduled for May 15.

However, Westley-Bourdeau said that when they arrived for her son’s procedure, the center staff advised her the MRI still had not been approved.

“So we were to wait in the parking lot until it was approved," Westley-Bourdeau said. "We waited. We got the phone call that it was approved, we went inside to go ahead and get the MRI done for his back, and I thought that was the end of it.”

However, it was only the beginning of her problems. One year later, in March of this year, Westley-Bourdeau was notified of the MRI bill for $1,346.

“When I questioned them to ask them why was I paying when I had insurance, they said it was denied," she said.

It turns out that, Westley-Bourdeau is insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield State. However, when WBTV contacted BCBS, we were told the claim was never submitted.

Next, WBTV contacted OrthoCarolina who indicated in this response to WBTV Investigates:

“At the initial appointment, no insurance cards were presented. We were told the patient had NC Medicaid and we were able to verify that he has active coverage.”

They admit, “A billing error was made, and the thoracic MRI code 72146 was billed twice rather than the Lumbar code 72148 . . . This led to the denial of the second billing of 72146 for exceeding the number of units billable in one day for this code.”

Westley-Bourdeau said OrthoCarolina told her the bill would be zeroed out and the collection agency will be notified.

“I think you guys helped a lot because I had been working on this for over 30 days, which I didn’t get anywhere with it . . . but it was well worth it," Westley-Bourdeau said.

As a reminder, always have your insurance cards ready to present and check paperwork to make sure the billing went through.

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