Covering the Land of Lincoln

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Her Bill for a Prenatal Test Felt Like a ‘Bait-and-Switch’ Scheme

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Can a health care company make enough people mad about its billing practices that its business is hurt? For one genetic testing company, maybe. 

An “Arm and a Leg” listener got a test that has become routine in early pregnancy: noninvasive prenatal testing. It was supposed to be $99. But then — after she took the test — that turned into $250. And when she asked questions, she was told it could go up to $800 if she didn’t pay up quickly. The patient looked up the testing company and found that lots of people had experienced what she called “the genetic testing bait-and-switch.”

And importantly — she’s not the only one who noticed. When some guys on Wall Street, plus a New York Times reporter, started hearing about those bills, the company found itself in hot water. 

“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production of KHN and Public Road Productions.

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KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

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