Did Your COVID-19 Test Include Additional Procedures?

2020-08-14 21:17:00

NOTICE: If you were tested for COVID-19 and received or were billed for additional or unnecessary tests, you may be a victim of fraud. Contact the Arnold Law Firm at (916) 777-7777 for a confidential evaluation.

additional and unnecessary covid-19 testingA new coronavirus fraud scheme has emerged that works like this:

You think you may have been exposed to or contracted COVID-19, so you contact your doctor and request a test. Your doctor tests you for the virus, but adds on unexpected procedures, such as a COVID-19 antibody test or an allergy panel test. Instead of being charged $100 to $150 for the COVID-19 virus test alone, you are billed around $500 or more for the bundle of tests.

Two Types of COVID-19 Tests

There are two types of COVID-19 tests: virus and antibody. The virus test uses swab samples from your respiratory system to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection to guide treatment options and determine whether you are potentially contagious.

The antibody test uses a blood sample and does not diagnose an active infection. Instead, it provides information about whether you have been infected with COVID-19 in the past.

Outrageous COVID-19 Test Billing Example

Two friends in Austin, Texas, were tested for COVID-19 at the same out-of-network provider for the same drive-through coronavirus swab test in July. Jimmy elected to pay $199 cash out-of-pocket for the sake of convenience. Pam decided to use her insurance.

A few weeks later, Pam got a claim letter for nearly $6,400 from her insurance company. The unexpected charges included “emergency services” and a variety of tests including an infectious blood culture and tests for herpes and Legionnaires’ disease.

While this is an extreme example, many patients are experiencing suspicious charges and additional tests that are medically unnecessary in association with COVID-19 tests.

Check Your Billing Statement

If you have been tested for COVID-19, check your billing statement for suspicious errors or additional charges, such as:

  • COVID-19 antibody test, if this was not specifically discussed as medically necessary with your doctor
  • Allergy panel tests
  • “Bundled” tests
  • Charges for more than $150 for a COVID-19 virus test

For additional information about fraudulent COVID-19 testing concerns, see Physicians Practice article, “COVID Testing: What’s appropriate and what’s not,” co-authored by Arnold Law Firm attorney, M. Anderson Berry.

If you have unexpected “surprise” charges, you may be a victim of fraud. Contact the Arnold Law Firm at (916) 777-7777 for a confidential evaluation.