Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan was reportedly billing patients roughly 30 times the cost of a typical COVID test, as apparent in 16 different bills obtained by the Times. The hospital charges a test fee that’s six times the amount of that of a typical test and also bills the visit as a “moderately complex” trip to the emergency room, despite advertising testing with a large banner, which has since been removed, outside of its Greenwich Village division emergency room.
One family even said they accrued nearly $40,000 in charges after receiving 12 tests to meet requirements for work and school this past winter.
“It was shocking to see a number like that when I’ve gotten tested before for about $135,” patient Ana Roa said after seeing her bill for $3,358.
While those getting tested are typically protected due to federal legislation that mandates testing be free, insurance premiums are often increased due to extreme costs. Officials for Lennox Hill’s parent company, Northwell Health, claimed that those tested at the emergency room got more advanced care and that patients are notified of the emergency room fees.
“I don’t think of the emergency room as a testing site,” said Barbara Osborn, vice president for communications at Northwell.
The news of testing prices follows Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that New Yorkers over the age of 30 could begin to schedule appointments and get vaccinations Tuesday. He also announced that those over the age of 16 can do the same starting on April 6.