Novant Health bills man thousands for another patient's hospital visits

A Charlotte man was charged thousands of dollars by Novant Health for care he never received.

The man, who asked us to withhold his name, says a routine visit to the hospital for a prescription refill turned into a confusing mess. 

“So I go there-- it's like clockwork-- every three months, I go, I get my prescription, I’m out. It's like a business transaction. It really is,” he said. 

This time, though, he says the nurse started asking him strange questions.

“She says ‘you've gained a lot of weight since you've last been here.’ I said, 'no I haven't.'

He says the nurse told him he weighed in at 164 pounds two months ago, and the day of his visit he was at 205 pounds. 

“I said ‘164? You have the wrong person.’”

“Are you still using heroin?” he says the nurse proceeded to ask. 

“I looked at her, I stood up and I said "get the f*** out of here."

He later found out he somehow had four profiles in Novant Health's system.

“So she showed me, and you know what it said in all caps in the system as me? "Suicidal, overdose on heroin. Proceed with caution." That's what it said as me. So I thought it was a funny story. I got out of there. I'm like ‘alright, they'll take care of it,’ and then all these bills started coming in.”

One for $4,000. Another for $500. All were addressed to this man, but the patient name didn't make sense: They read “zzz test z chart correction,” and “rho rho 98.”

The bills weren't his, but he couldn't get anyone to believe him.

“I felt like I had two choices. It was either get a lawyer or go to the news.”

FOX 46 brought the issue to Novant's attention, asking if they'd look into the issue. What we got back was a generic statement saying they take patient concerns over billing seriously.

So we contacted an Information Technology specialist to see what he could make of it.

“If you're doing a programming and you're testing code out, you'd actually put the name of what you're doing: ‘zzz test’ and you'd say ‘z chart correction,’ so you know what kind of tests you're running on the program themselves,” 

He says in his experience it appears someone at the hospital was running a system test.

“And they forgot to clean up their work after.” 

As a result, this man was getting billed.

“I don't care about getting money like that. That's not what I want. I just want my profile to be me and my medical records to be me.” 

The man says after FOX 46 got involved, he got a call from someone at Novant Health to make sure the issue was resolved Now, he says hasn't received another random bill in months.