Howard cuts through hospital red tape

Makeda Laundry of Queens had a procedure at Northwell Health’s hospital in Forest Hills last year and, while the medical treatment was fine, there was a major problem when it came to the billing.

Makeda says that somehow two accounts were opened for her. She wound up overpaying by $945. The hospital’s billing office agreed with her and promised a refund, first by credit card and, when that didn’t happen, by check.

“The check will get to you in six weeks. I waited. Six weeks passed, and I still hadn’t heard from them.”

Complicating things was the fact that during this time, Makeda changed her address and her credit card.

So, Makeda contacted us. I went over to the billing office with her. What an ordeal! We were there for at least an hour. Those poor people said they didn’t have the number to get in touch with the outside company that actually handles their billing. Huh?

Anyway, the following week we got in touch with a contact at Northwell. And this person cared about fixing the problem. We were assured it would be taken care of. And within a couple of days, Makeda had her refund FedEx’d to her.

The check was only for about $818 because the hospital says she owed the rest on a procedure she had done this year.

In a statement to us, Northwell said, ““LIJ (Long Island Jewish Hospital) Forest Hills strives to provide the best healthcare experience for our patients. Occasionally, there will be situations that arise and we look at them as opportunities to learn and improve. In this case, we should have expedited the check to the patient on July 25 (when we visited the hospital with Makeda) and not burdened her with waiting the additional weeks.”

In any case, Makeda’s happy that the wait is over and she has the money. And we thank Northwell for being straight up and resolving this quickly after we got in touch with the people there who could help make it happen.