Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves Covid-19 testing and lots of money.
The office of New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, said that it had recovered more than $400,000 for consumers who were charged by laboratories for premium services like same-day delivery of coronavirus test results, but did not get their results until much later.
The refunds were issued by ClearMD Health, and Sameday Health. The NY AG’s the companies advertised expedited testing but repeatedly misrepresented turnaround times for results. ClearMD Health was ordered to pay more than $182,000 to 1,198 consumers, and Sameday Health was ordered to pay more than $230,000 to 3,110 consumers.
According to the AG’s office; The companies were also ordered to change their advertising, and train employees to provide accurate information about turnaround times. “It’s simple: Testing sites and labs must follow the law and accurately advertise when consumers can expect their results, otherwise they can expect to hear from my office,” AG Letitia James said.
Investigators began looking into the issues after consumers reported that the wait times for test results at one of the sites, which were supposed to be no longer than 72 hours, sometimes reached as long as 11 days. Some people said that they had paid ClearMD Health as much as $498 to receive test results within two hours but had to wait much longer. At the time, the Omicron variant was surging in New York, causing an uptick in coronavirus testing unlike anything seen since the early days of the pandemic. Supplies ran short, lines at testing sites stretched for hours and pharmacies sold out of at-home tests.
To keep up with demand, NYC and federal authorities opened up additional testing sites and arrange for the distribution of home testing kits. City officials said that at-home kits would be handed out at 14 cultural sites and 27 public libraries throughout the city.
A representative for Sameday Health said in a statement on Tuesday that “We thank the attorney general for addressing this matter quickly and fairly, and nothing we could add to her statement this week on the issue from last year would be of any benefit.”