Trans doctor forced to spend life savings to keep clinic open and treat patients

Photo of Dr Tiffany Najberg wearing a black suit jacket over a pink top as she sits on a chair

A trans doctor, Tiffany Najberg, has been forced to spend thousands of her own money in order to continue treating her patients, after being left high and dry by insurance companies after she legally changed her name in April 2021.

Despite updating insurance records with her new information, Najberg told NBC News that companies Aetna, Cigna and Humana rejected her claims for reimbursement for the care she was providing to patients.

This has forced the doctor to spend her own money to continue vital treatment at the UrgentEMS clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The insurance companies have now agreed to pay Dr Najberg, although she says she has still not received the funds. According to Najberg, the companies only agreed to reimburse her after she created a petition which has gained 12,000 signatures.

Her previous claims for reimbursement were reportedly rejected due to her previous name being on the systems.

‘I am literally in survival mode right now’

Telling NBC she was living off GoFundMe income for about eight months, Doctor Najberg was forced to spend her life savings in order to keep her clinic open to provide urgent and primary care.

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“They were flagging each claim and rejecting it because of a name incompatibility with their internal database. They did not change my dead name,” Najberg explained.

“I don’t have three to seven years for a court fight. I’ve got to make a living now. I have hundreds of patients, and most of them are in vulnerable populations. I want to keep taking care of them. I’ve run through every dime I’ve ever had.”

Najberg told NBC she has had to cut expenses – including her own health insurance. She went on to explain she could lose her home and business if payment isn’t sent.

Najberg’s patients include about 100 trans people.

A Cigna spokesperson told NBC that name changes “have no impact on our payments to doctors or health care providers, and we are committed to fair and prompt payment for both in-and-out-of-network clinicians”.

Humana published its own response, stating: “We are glad to have Dr Tiffany Najberg as a provider in Humana’s network, and we look forward to continuing to partner with her and her office.”

A spokesperson for Aetna said: “We value our relationship with our providers and strive to resolve any issues they may experience as quickly as possible.” 

Najberg took to Instagram to say that an investor has agreed to help her clinic, relieving her of the worry of becoming homeless.