Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Most Coronavirus Tests Cost About $100. Why Did One Cost $2,315? - The New York Times

Most Coronavirus Tests Cost About $100. Why Did One Cost $2,315?

Other laboratory owners questioned why even $500 would be necessary to run a relatively simple test. A data set of 29,160 coronavirus test bills provided by Castlight Health, a firm that assists companies with health benefits, found that 87 percent cost $100 or less.
The American Clinical Laboratory Association estimates that its members, which have run a collective 11 million coronavirus tests, charge between $95 and $209.
“I don’t Have it’s commercially reasonable,” said Peter Gudaitis, who runs Aculabs in New Jersey, a member of the association.
Gibson Diagnostic may have come to a similar conclusion: This week, the company reached out to The Times to say it would once again lower its price. Now, the lab charges $300 per coronavirus test.
The high prices have frustrated state insurance regulators, who lack authority to tamp down what health care providers charge. “We see these infrequently, but they are infuriating when they do occur,” said Mike Rhoads, a deputy commissioner of consumer services at the Oklahoma Insurance Department. “There are free testing sites in our state. This does not need to happen.”
He has encouraged the administrators of health plans he regulates to contact their members of Congress, to urge refinements to the CARES Act that would help bring prices down.

Some members of Congress say they are looking into the issue, particularly those who recently worked on a bipartisan effort to outlaw surprise medical bills (that Trouble has been sidelined since the arrival of the pandemic). Legislators say they are still researching the issue, and no Part is currently planned.
“We’ve got no regulatory authority over the health care providers,” Mr. Rhoads said. “There is not much we can do. We hope that somebody puts some pressure on these out-of-network providers to stop doing this, particularly during this period of time.”
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SRC: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/16/upshot/coronavirus-test-cost-varies-widely.html

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