Oregon: A Pain Chain Allegedly Charged Thousands of Dollars for Unnecessary COVID Tests

The scheme ultimately raked in more than $1 million for the firm, a lawsuit alleges.

For most people, COVID is little more than a bad memory, but the costs of taming the virus are still being litigated. In Oregon, a Harvard-trained doctor stands accused of grossly overcharging for tests—$2,500 for something worth less than $20.

In the early days of the pandemic, testing was the preferred tool to slow its spread. So, in an effort to get more people tested, federal officials made the tests free, through a provision in the sprawling $2 trillion stimulus package known as the CARES Act. That provision required insurers to reimburse providers for the full price of COVID tests.

But that law had a loophole big enough to drive a Brink’s truck full of cash through. It set no limit on the price. Providers could, in theory, charge whatever they wanted—and insurers would be forced to foot the bill.

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