Charges for COVID-19 tests range from a penny to $14K

COVID-19 diagnostic test charges range from 1 cent to $14,750, according to a study published Sept. 15 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. 

The study reviewed a sample of 182,149 diagnostic testing claims from 764 providers in 46 states and the District of Columbia. All claims were submitted between March 19 and July 19. 

Six takeaways from the study: 

1. Independent laboratories were the most common facility type for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, followed by hospital outpatient settings. 

2. Charges for COVID-19 tests performed at independent laboratories ranged from 1 cent to $14,750.

3. Charges for COVID-19 tests performed in hospital outpatient settings ranged  from 1 cent to $2,436. 

4. The average COVID-19 diagnostic testing charge ranged from $64.98 in Utah to $505.65 in the District of Columbia. For COVID-19 antibody testing, average charges ranged from $45.85 in New York to $195.41 in New Mexico. 

5. “No statistically significant association was found between testing charges and state-level testing ratings, infection rates or mortality rates,” according to the study. 

6. The authors of the study said the results, based on a proportion of testing claims in the U.S., may underestimate the national variation of COVID-19 testing charges.

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