Barton mistakenly bills some for vaccination fees, apologizes


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A small number of people who have received vaccine through Barton Health have mistakenly been charged administrative fees for their shots.

The Tribune received a few frustrated emails and phone calls from residents claiming they were hit with bills that ranged anywhere from $28 to $40 after being vaccinated.

According to Barton, those charges are mistakes and anyone receiving a bill should contact the hospital.

“Similar to other hospitals, Barton Health may bill a nominal fee for the administration of the vaccine as permitted by insurance companies who have agreed to pay for its patients receiving the COVID-19 vaccination,” said Barton Health Chief Financial Officer Kelly Neiger. “We became aware that a small number of patients (4%) were inadvertently billed directly for this fee. Barton has reversed the charges, and is contacting each of these patients to let them know they should not pay this bill.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccination providers cannot charge people for the vaccine, copays, administration fees, office visits and also can’t require additional services in order to be vaccinated.

Providers may, however, seek reimbursement from the recipient’s plan or program for an administrative fee, which Barton accidentally billed patients.

“Barton does not want any community member to have the cost to administer the vaccine be a barrier to receiving care, and therefore, is not charging patients directly,” Neiger said. “If any patient mistakenly receives a bill for their COVID-19 vaccination, please call customer service so it can be addressed. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our patients.”

The customer service phone number is 530-543-5930.

More Like This, Tap A Topic

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.