GS Labs files legal action to protect the public from Medica’s alleged refusal to pay for rapid COVID-19 tests

To date, Medica has not paid more than 30,000 outstanding insurance claims in full, with the insurer paying only approximately 8% of GS Labs’ current claims in full. This failure almost constitutes $ 10 million in unpaid debts. GS Labs has provided more than 20,000 patient visits to Medica policyholders, with more than 20 percent of Medica patients returning for further testing. GS Labs did not bill any Medica patients for their tests.

“Medica’s deliberate actions have not only harmed GS Labs, they have made testing more difficult for Minnesotans to obtain, as they continue to limit private sector efforts to provide testing to communities in need.” , said Kirk thompson, partner of GS Labs. “So far, our tests have identified more than 13,000 Minnesotans positive for COVID-19. That’s the equivalent of a city the size of Rogers, Minnesota receive essential and life-saving medical information to help prevent the spread of a virus that has killed more than 700,000 Americans. “

The entrepreneur-owners of GS Labs stepped up last year amid a nationwide health crisis, investing $ 100 million to build and staff a national testing company, including establishing test operations at more than 50 sites, hiring thousands of critical workers, and developing infrastructure to manage billing, communications and a line of business. telephone support for patients requiring information. GS Labs state-of-the-art technology platform enables each test site to serve up to 1,000 patients per day, seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., including places in Minneapolis, Eagan, Minnetonka, Blaine, Maple wood and the Mall of America.

As of September, GS Labs accounted for more than 22% of COVID-19 rapid tests performed in the state. The company’s “same time” testing service allows patients to book within 15 minutes of a proposed appointment and receive fast, accurate results in just 20 minutes. Considering the extremely high infection rate of COVID-19, this speed is essential and saves lives.

The CARES law clearly states that insurance companies must pay for COVID-19 testing for insured members. Section 3202 (a) states: “If the health care plan or issuer does not have a negotiated rate with that provider, that plan or that issuer shall reimburse the provider for an amount equal to the cash price. for that service as indicated by the provider on a public website, or that plan or issuer may negotiate a rate with that provider for a price lower than that spot price. “

“The law couldn’t be simpler,” Thompson said. “As anyone who has ever seen a rejected insurance claim will understand, this is a typical big insurance tactic. They want to force labs like ours to close, so they haven’t paid us anything while asking for mountains of information. Everything is delay, delay, delay, without any thought for people who need COVID-19 tests because they need to know their state of health. “

According to a study by the United States Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), 54% of off-grid labs like GS Labs charge between $ 185 over $ 400 per test. Other insurers in the country have agreed to pay GS Labs $ 380 posted spot price or lower negotiated rate for various COVID-19 tests. A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that about 20 percent of COVID-19 diagnostic tests have a cash price of more than $ 300.

“We have tested more than 750,000 Americans in multiple states, providing vital medical information to hundreds of thousands of families and millions of loved ones and colleagues,” Thompson said. “Rather than obeying federal law and paying us or negotiating a lower rate, some insurers have falsely accused us of price hikes. These accusations are intended to manipulate the public’s perception of the cost of providing this essential service. and ignore the fact that more than half of off-grid labs charge similar rates. “

GS Labs currently operates test sites in Minnesota, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon and Washington. The company continued to open new facilities in response to requests for additional testing and to help combat the deadly Delta variant, which has increased Minnesota and other states.

“Throughout the pandemic, our team has maintained its commitment to helping communities in crisis. We see GS Labs a lot as a public service, ”said Thompson. “Every COVID rapid test we perform provides an individual, family or business with vital medical information. Every sick person who quarantines makes everyone safer. Every person who tests negative has the ability to keep Minnesota economy in motion.

“This conduct of Medica is mystifying. They won $ 4.5 billion revenue last year, but Medica’s leadership appears determined to strangle testing labs. It hurts the policyholders of the company and all Minnesotans. “

CONTACT: David Leibowitz, 602.317.1414, [email protected]


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