Low reimbursements have some physicians stopping COVID-19 testing

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Some physicians are seeing reimbursement rates so low that the cost of COVID-19 test supplies aren't covered, reports The New York Times.

The low fees have led some physicians to cut back on testing, or forgo it altogether. The issue seems most common among pediatricians using in-office rapid testing, according to the NYT.

"We are not doing COVID testing because we cannot afford to take the financial hit in the middle of the pandemic," Suzanne Berman, MD, a pediatrician in Crossville, Tenn, told the NYT.  

Several physicians said UnitedHealthcare and specific state Medicaid plans routinely pay test rates that don't cover the cost of supplies.

UnitedHealthcare was not underpaying for COVID-19 testing, and its rates were consistent with those of other health plans, Matthew Wiggin, a UnitedHealthcare spokesperson, told the NYT.

"We want to make sure every member has access to testing and encourage any provider with payment questions to contact us so we can resolve their concerns," Mr. Wiggin said.

 

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