Healthcare company One Medical charged an administration fee to some people who received COVID-19 vaccines in Washington, DC, according to accounts reviewed by The edgeThe company operates the COVID-19 vaccination site at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in DC. People vaccinated at this location were also asked to sign up for a trial account with One Medical to receive the shots.
A Medical told The edge in a statement that a bug in the billing system has resulted in charges, that patients are ‘notified’ and that they should ignore the bill. “We monitor daily to make sure no new invoices are sent,” said One Medical.
There is not intended to be an indictment associated with the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine providers can be reimbursed by insurance companies or federal programs for the cost of administering the vaccine, but the CDC’s FAQ page states that they cannot charge that administration fee directly to patients. The DC Department of Health did not respond by publication to a request for comment.
Chris Driver, who lives in Northeast DC, says he has been charged by One Medical for both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. He provided his insurance information when he signed up for the first dose, but was still billed for $ 56.94 – $ 16.94 for the first dose and $ 40 for the second dose. After receiving the bill for the first dose, Driver tweeted at One Medical on March 18 asking why he was being charged. The company replied that it would remove the charge. More than two weeks later, the first charge was still on his account and the second dose was added.
The allegations appear to be inconsistent. The driver’s wife was also vaccinated on One Medical’s site, but says she has not received a bill. But another person who got a first dose of the vaccine at One Medical’s site was charged $ 40 by One Medical, according to a bill reviewed by The edgeThat person – who wished to remain anonymous to discuss personal health information – did not provide their insurance information when they got the photo.
Health officials across the country are working to improve vaccine equality by removing barriers to filing, such as complex websites or the perception that there is an indictment in connection with the admission. It is a big problem in Washington, DC, where more affluent areas have much higher vaccination rates than poorer areas and colored communities.
“While I can afford a random $ 55 medical bill when it comes down to it, I know this isn’t always the case for a lot of people in the city,” Driver said in a Twitter post. Millions of people say they won’t get vaccinated because they are concerned about costs, one said US Census Survey – even though the vaccines are free. “The federal government provides the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of immigration or health insurance status,” the CDC’s website says
People who get shots in other states are also stuck with bills. A clinic in Houston, Texas people charged $ 30 for each dose of the vaccine, 13 Investigates found itThe Texas Department of State Health Services said 13 Investigates providers are not allowed to charge people for compensation.
One Medical, which was backed by Alphabet’s venture capital group, GV, provides primary care to a concierge in more than a dozen cities (including Washington, DC) for an annual fee of $ 199. A handful of states gave the company vaccine doses to administer. . A NPR Research in February found it gave shots to people who were ineligible in the state of California and Washington state. Those states stopped giving One Medical vaccines after receiving complaints.
Technical director Lucy Caldwell explains The edge she canceled her One Medical membership after a family member was charged for the COVID-19 vaccine at her Washington, DC location. In an email response to her complaint, a representative told her that bills ‘default’ went to patients if they had not provided insurance information. The representative said the charges will be removed if the company is notified and that “dozens” of people had that problem.
People vaccinated at One Medical’s site were also asked to sign up for a trial health service membership. “That beeped like a red flag to me because I couldn’t believe the city was asking people to sign up for a health care subscription to get the vaccine,” said Driver. “But I did it because I wanted to do the dang recording.” The free trial did not request billing information and it was said that the service would not renew automatically.
A Medical told The edge that it needed the information to create a patient record for people vaccinated at its location.
Privacy watchdog groups are concerned about private companies using the COVID-19 vaccine administration process to collect personal information about potential customers. Pharmacies such as Walgreens require people to create an online account in order to sign up for a vaccination appointment. Consumer rights organizations asked the attorneys general of the democratic state to investigate how businesses are doing using that data
“We don’t want people in their desire to be vaccinated – and frankly, protect themselves and their loved ones – to be abused in any way,” Andrew Crawford, an attorney at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told Politics