In 2022, the toll-free line handled more than 2,300 health care complaints for New Yorkers.
New York Attorney General Letitia James Today published a report Details the work of the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Health Care Bureau’s Helpline, a free service that has processed more than 2,300 consumer complaints and recovered more than $1.5 million in compensation for New Yorkers in 2022 and savings. The helpline is also available to provide New Yorkers with information and to ensure that they have access to necessary medical care or prescription drugs that have been unfairly denied.
“Access to health care is a fundamental right of every New Yorker,” he said attorney general james“Through the vital work of our Helpline, we saved New Yorkers over $1.5 million last year while helping to ensure that people can get the health care they need. We encourage anyone who feels they have been wrongly billed or denied health benefits Contact my office for support.”
this Health Care Authority Annual Report 2022, Real Solutions for Real New Yorkers, detailing the work done to assist New Yorkers over the past year. The report highlights actions helpline advocates are taking to resolve consumer complaints, discusses significant cases handled by the bureau, and details health care issues facing New Yorkers, including those related to COVID-19. New Yorkers can call the toll-free helpline at 1-800-428-9071 to report and resolve healthcare complaints and concerns ranging from simple payment processing errors to complex fraudulent business practices.Consumers can also use OAG’s Online complaint form to file a complaint.
In 2022, Helpline staff handled 2,309 consumer complaints and provided information or referred an additional 1,722 consumers to the appropriate agency for help. Complaints resolved through the Helpline include:
Six consumers contacted OAG after receiving unexpected bills of $300 to $400 for COVID-19-related office visits in 2020-2021 when their COVID-19 tests were supposed to be free. After the OAG intervention, the patient’s balance was adjusted to zero.
A consumer’s baby was born prematurely with multiple complications and required a higher level of care than could be provided at a children’s hospital. Their transfer request was initially denied by the health plan, but was granted after OAG asked their health plan to review medical necessity.
One consumer received a bill for in-network services at a hospital that was almost double the original written estimate. After OAG stepped in, the hospital issued a zero balance statement, saving consumers approximately $1,000.
A consumer hurts his foot and makes an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon who needs an MRI to determine the best course of treatment. Her health plan denied the initial request for coverage and the appeal. After OAG intervened, the health plan approved MRI coverage.
After receiving complaints about the illegal billing practices of Orange County Ambulance company Mobile Life, OAG investigated and found that Mobile Life was illegally billing patients for the difference between what their insurance plans paid and what the company charged.Following these revelations, Attorney General James get a settlement This requires Mobile Life to pay compensation to affected patients, update its billing methods, and pay a $100,000 penalty.
In addition to highlighting the challenges facing health care consumers in New York, the complaints handled by the helpline are an important means of identifying systemic problems in the state’s health care system. While not all complaints and inquiries are resolved smoothly, the Helpline is a great source of reliable and objective information for New Yorkers. Helpline advocates also work to ensure that any negative impact of improper medical bills or insurance claims is removed from credit reports.
Any consumer who believes they may have been treated unfairly by a healthcare provider, health maintenance organization (HMO), insurance plan, or health-related business should contact OAG Online Healthcare Helpline Or call 1-800-428-9071.
The OAG Health Care Bureau’s helpline is part of Attorney General James’ ongoing efforts to protect New York consumers and ensure access to health care is protected. last month, Attorney General James issues consumer alert warning New Yorkers of new health insurance renewal scam And provides great tips for protecting them. December 2022, Attorney General James Warns New Yorkers Potential price gouging of children’s drugs. May 2022 Attorney General James Helps Secure $13.6M Payments to Consumers The people were illegally denied coverage under her landmark settlement with UnitedHealthCare, the largest U.S. health insurer. February 2022, Attorney General James Gets Refunds for New Yorkers Who Was Wrongly Charged Administrative Fees for COVID-19 Vaccines at Two NYC Pharmacies.
The Health Care Agency is headed by Director Darsana Srinivasan and is part of the Social Justice Division, which is headed by Chief Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux and supervised by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.