“Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan advertised its “Covid-19 Testing” on a large blue and white banner outside its Greenwich Village division’s emergency room. The banner said nothing about cost.
But cost turned out to be the testing’s most noteworthy feature. Lenox Hill, one of the city’s oldest and best-known hospitals, repeatedly billed patients more than $3,000 for the routine nasal swab test, about 30 times the test’s typical cost.
“It was shocking to see a number like that, when I’ve gotten tested before for about $135,” said Ana Roa, who was billed $3,358 for a test at Lenox Hill last month.
Ms. Roa’s coronavirus test bill is among 16 that The New York Times reviewed from the site. They show that Lenox Hill arrives at its unusually high prices by charging a large fee for the test itself — about six times the typical charge — and by billing the encounter as a “moderately complex” emergency room visit.” . . .
David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Horrible, terrible and upsetting. Thank you Sarah Kliff for disturbing my “wa,” or inner peace. You wrote, “Doctors and hospitals that bill higher prices for testing can rely on new federal protections to ensure they are paid. Congress passed a law last year that requires insurers to fully cover coronavirus testing costs and not apply any patient co-payments or other fees to the service.” Please write soon about what can we do about this Augean stable of greed. Would it be, in the short term, as simple as rewriting the law mentioned above, with strict parameters that empowers the insurance companies to respond with reasonable reimbursement rates? Is life ever as easy as I think it should be?
David Lindsay Jr is the author of the Tay Son Rebellion about 18th century Vietnam, and blogs at InconvenientNews.Net. He is currently writing a book about climate change and the sixth extinction, but he probably should be writing a book called, What the heck is wrong with Connecticut.