Patients Get Stranded Out of Network as Insurer-Hospital Contract Talks Fall Apart

In September, when Shelly Azzopardi went to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital with abdominal pain, she didn’t worry about her insurance. Doctors said she had a case of appendicitis. But she also tested positive at the hospital in Marietta, Georgia, for covid-19. Physicians decided not to do surgery and treated her with antibiotics and painkillers. Azzopardi, 47, went home after a couple of days in the hospital, feeling better. But in October, the appendix pain again flared. Her husband took her to the same hospital, where surgery was performed successfully. This time, though, she ran into a snag with her insurance. Azzopardi has UnitedHealthcare coverage, and as of Oc...

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