Insurance won’t pay for trans doctor in Louisiana after name change

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A Louisiana medical clinic is facing closure after its owner says insurance companies are refusing to reimburse her for patient care.

dr Tiffany Najberg, known online simply as Dr. Tiffany, owns UrgentEMS in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Najberg, a transgender woman who legally changed her name, says insurance companies Cigna, Humana and CVS-owned Aetna refuse to pay out claims unless they’re filed under the doctor’s former name.

Najberg opened UrgentEMS on the ninth floor of American Tower in Shreveport in June 2021.

The clinic officially moved at the end of December of the same year after the summer the air conditioning in the office building went out for a long time, which resulted in some of the medical supplies melting away and Najberg being unable to accept patients due to the extreme temperatures.

The sudden move left the clinic in financial trouble, and on September 12, 2021, Najberg created a GoFundMe page where donors with varying amounts of donations can post things like shoutout videos on Najberg’s popular TikTok page, free Zoom call consultations, a plaque and the clinic named after you and more would get a room.

Long before the clinic opened, Najberg came out as transgender and went through the process of legally changing her first name to Tiffany. This change was accepted by:

  • Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
  • Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles
  • United States Social Security Administration
  • Drug Enforcement Agency
  • Louisiana State Board of Pharmacy
  • American Board of Emergency Medicine
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • Your residency program LSU New Orleans
  • Your medical school Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • National Plan & Provider Enumeration System (NPPES)
  • Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS)
  • National Provider Identifier (NPI)
  • CAHQ
  • blue cross
  • United Healthcare
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Najberg says the name change was legal by early 2021. “I immediately changed all of my job credentials by the end of June 2021, and that included not just things like my Social Security and driver’s license, but my medical license, my DEA number, my Louisiana State Board of Pharmacy number, insurance company databases Some of the insurance companies have decided that they will not recognize my name change and will only use my dead name, as I cannot practice medicine or medical care under my dead name, which is fraud and counterfeiting and a crime. They use that as an excuse to just not pay because they don’t think I’m a person.

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Since changing its name and moving, Dr. Najberg lost an estimated $150,000 in payments from these insurance companies, and UrgentEMS faces a possible closure next month, or possibly sooner.

“A name change in the medical field is a common thing,” continued Najberg. “Cis women get married all the time and some of them are even doctors and insurance companies can’t get away with saying, ‘We won’t pay for a year and a half,’ because you got married, right? This is clearly discriminatory in my case…”

On Saturday, January 7, Najberg created a petition on the Change.org website to call out these insurance companies, and at the time of publication it has received over 2,700 signatures.

In addition to the petition, Najberg has filed a complaint with the Louisiana State Insurance Commissioner’s Office, hiring a forensic accounting expert and an attorney.

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The Times asked Cigna, Humana and Aetna for comment. At the time of publication, Cigna and Aetna have said they are working on a statement, although one has not yet been issued. Humana did not respond to our request.

Meredith G. White is the Arts and Culture Reporter for the Shreveport Times. You can find her on Facebook as Meredith G. White, on Instagram and Twitter as @meredithgwhite and email her at [email protected].

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