VERTEX was retained to review invoicing associated with the reported elevated costs incurred at twelve (12) New Jersey hospitals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. VERTEX reviewed over 1,600 invoices submitted by the hospital (the insured party) related to disinfection conducted at multiple medical facilities related to increased patients as a result of the pandemic. VERTEX segregated costs associated with standard hospital operation and maintenance from the incremental costs that were incurred due increased disinfection completed by the hospitals. Additionally, VERTEX evaluated disinfection practices that were consistent with the Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19 disinfection to determine what disinfection practices were considered reasonable to mitigate against the COVID-19 virus.
As a result of VERTEX’s evaluation, costs for materials not directly related to COVID-19 disinfection, including preventative practices (hand sanitizer) and standard hospital operation costs (bedding and hospital gowns) were disputed. Additionally, VERTEX identified disinfection practices that were not consistent with those recommended by the CDC for COVID-19 disinfection, including ultraviolet light equipment. Of the approximately $13M in costs presented to date, approximately $7.5M has been disputed as they were identified as being not related to COVID-19 disinfection.
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