uBiome FTC complaints detail surprise billing, missing test results

Amid ongoing federal, state, private and internal investigations into genomic testing startup uBiome's billing practices, Federal Trade Commission records show that dozens of customers filed complaints about the company in recent months.

According to records obtained by Business Insider, of the 28 complaints about uBiome submitted to the FTC between July 2017 and March 2019, 22 were from customers who received unexpected bills or whose insurance was billed for tests they did not receive. Other complaints detailed instances in which test results never arrived.

In one record, a patient claimed that after their spouse was mistakenly billed for the patient's test, uBiome simply sent a bill to the patient without canceling the original $2,970 charge for their spouse's nonexistent test. Another claimed that, though they were led to believe by uBiome that a test was covered by insurance, they ended up having to pay more than $2,000 out of pocket.

Since the FBI and others launched investigations into uBiome's billing practices in late April, the company has placed its two co-founders on administrative leave and, earlier this week, suspended sales and processing of two of its microbiome tests.

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