Behind the story: COVID test leads to $4K bill

Larry Barker

A in-depth discussion about Larry Barker's recent investigation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In the first part of a two-part series on medical billing practices, KRQE News 13 Investigative Reporter Larry Barker highlights the story of an Albuquerque woman who was left with a more than $4,000 dollar bill after getting a COVID-19 test at a newer free-standing Albuquerque emergency room and hospital on the city’s westside. In total, that bill included a $450 charge for the test, a $2265.32 facility fee, and a $1316.28 charge for a chat with a doctor.

KRQE News 13 Digital Anchor Chris McKee recently discussed the investigation in an extended interview with Larry Barker. Watch the video above for the complete conversation.

Among the topics discussed: how Larry began investigating the story, how many other people this has happened to in the Albuquerque area, and what customers should do if facing a similar situation. Chris and Larry also discuss the growth of so-called “free-standing” emergency room hospital facilities and what’s behind the trend in charging large sums for routine medical care.

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