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Health Law Could Act As Safety Net For Millions, But Marketing Has Been So Severely Cut They Might Not Know It

First Pandemic Since Health Law Was Instituted Will Put It Through The Wringer

‘You’ve Been Served’: Wisconsin Hospitals Sued Patients Even During Pandemic

When her doorbell rang Sunday night, Blanche Jordan was just starting a new Game of Thrones puzzle on her living room floor.

Jordan, 39, is a breast-cancer survivor who is taking social distancing seriously, so she put on a mask before opening the door. A woman handed Jordan a paper and said: “You’ve been served.”

The paper was a court summons that said Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Inc. was suing Jordan for $7,150. Just three weeks before, Jordan had paid off a different $5,000-plus Froedtert debt linked to a hysterectomy that her insurance did not cover.

A lawsuit was the last thing Jordan expected during a viral pandemic.

“This lady came to my door. She didn’t have a mask on. She didn’t have gloves. And she looked at me like I’m crazy because I had a mask across my face,” said Jordan, who lives in Milwaukee and works as a caregiver at an assisted living facility outside of the city. “I’m high-risk,” she said.

Life in Wisconsin, as in the rest of the country, has been transformed by COVID-19 in the past three weeks. Wisconsin declared a public health emergency on March 12, yet firms representing health systems in the state continued to sue patients over medical debt.

Jordan is one of at least 46 people sued by Froedtert in small claims court since March 12. Those cases are among at least 104 similar suits filed statewide by health systems over the same period, according to an analysis of small claims cases by Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Watch.

Steve Schooff, a spokesman for the hospital, said Tuesday that Froedtert “suspended filing small claims suits” as of March 18 in response to COVID-19.

“In addition, we continue to work with patients related to financial counseling and are allowing patients with financial hardship who are on a payment plan to defer payments while financial assistance is discussed with them,” he said.

Yet court records at the time showed at least 18 lawsuits filed on the hospital’s behalf since then, including 15 filed on March 31 alone. (The suit against Jordan was filed on March 17; she was served on March 29.) Schooff did not explain the discrepancy. All 18 of those cases have since been dismissed.

‘Really? In The Middle Of All This?’

Court records show that at least six additional health systems have also sued patients during the pandemic.

UW Health in Madison has filed 19 lawsuits since March 12. Marshfield Clinic, which covers northern, central and western Wisconsin, has filed at least 14 since that date, followed by Bellin Health, based in Green Bay (11); La Crosse-based Gundersen Health System (10); and Aspirus Grand View Health System, which serves parts of northern Wisconsin (3). Froedtert South, which serves southeastern Wisconsin, also filed one suit.

Bellin chief operating officer and chief financial officer Jim Dietsche said Thursday the health system ceased legal actions on debt collection on March 18, and that the nine suits filed since then were “an error and we apologize for that.”

The five other systems contacted for this story said they have since paused certain legal actions, which court records support.

Tom Russell, a UW Health spokesman, said the health system instructed its legal agencies on March 26 “to cease pursuit of any legal activity.”

“These should be stopped for now,” he said.

Tom Duncan, vice president and chief operating officer for Froedtert South, said his system has generally “suspended filing small claim suits” during the pandemic. “However, in rare circumstances, certain small claim suits may be filed to preserve Froedtert South rights. For example: If a medical debt has been in existence for six years, and the statute of limitations is about to end.”

One Madison resident described being “mortified” when a process server knocked on her family’s door on March 28 to serve papers for a UW Health lawsuit over $1,135.90 in medical debt. UW Health filed that lawsuit before March 26. In a phone interview, the resident asked not to be named in this story because she was embarrassed by the debt related to her husband’s heart condition.

“I couldn’t believe someone would do that,” she said about receiving legal papers during a pandemic. “They’re our bills, but really? In the middle of all of this?”

The woman said her husband offered the process server sympathy, apologizing that the man had to serve papers during a public health emergency.

The woman, who works for a Madison-based nonprofit, saw things differently. “That’s a choice, too. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.”

Medical Debts And State Response

Some hospitals have stopped the practice of suing patients in recent months following investigative reporting by Kaiser Health News, MLK50, ProPublica and other outlets.

Jessica Roulette, an attorney with Legal Action of Wisconsin, which provides free legal services to low-income people, said medical bills often fall below things like rent, utilities and food in the “hierarchy of bills and obligations.” Most people facing hospital lawsuits are working and “underinsured,” with plans that leave them on the hook for thousands of dollars in health bills, Roulette said.

Bobby Peterson, executive director of ABC for Health, a nonprofit public-interest law firm in Madison, called it stressful under normal circumstances to face a medical debt lawsuit.

“Today it’s a whole new ballgame,” he said, referring to workers who have lost their jobs and possibly health insurance during the pandemic.

Peterson saw a possible disconnect between some hospitals’ recent decisions to stop suing and the law firms they’ve retained.

“Are the hospitals communicating their own policies internally? And are they communicating with their hired guns out there, making sure that they back off?” Peterson asked.

Paycheck To Paycheck

The state of Wisconsin considers Blanche Jordan, the Milwaukee caregiver, an “essential” worker during the pandemic, meaning her job is not subject to the “Safer At Home” order. She works five days each week at an assisted living facility from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., alternating work on the weekends. The pay — $15.75 per hour — barely covers her expenses.

Rent, health insurance, utilities and the nearly $300 in garnishments by Froedtert that recently ended, left Jordan with little of her $1,300 biweekly paycheck to spend on other necessities. She filed for bankruptcy in 2016 when, despite being insured, she said she could no longer afford to pay off her debts from treating her aggressive breast cancer.

That journey briefly left her homeless following an eviction, but she generally manages to pay her current landlord on time, Jordan said.

“I’m blessed to have a landlord that’s understanding because his wife died of breast cancer,” she said.

Jordan said her most recent medical debt stemmed from a hysterectomy that was separate from but related to her cancer treatment. She chose Froedtert to perform the procedure, considering it “the best hospital that we have in Wisconsin.”

What she did not realize, she said: Froedtert did not accept her insurance, which she purchased on a federal exchange created by the Affordable Care Act. Hospital administrators accepted and ran her insurance card, Jordan said, but never mentioned that her insurer would not cover the procedure.

In 2019, a judge in the Milwaukee County Small Claims Commissioner Court awarded Froedtert a judgment against Jordan for about $5,300, including court fees, which the hospital claimed by garnishment of her wages. She finished paying that debt during the first week of March — only to be served papers for the alleged $7,150 debt three weeks later.

Jordan assumes this covers the remainder of the bill for her hysterectomy, which she remembers totaling around $12,000. Wisconsin caps small claims at $10,000.

She will eventually see her day in court, although it’s not clear when. The coronavirus postponed her court date to May 28, assuming court proceedings resume by then.

Until then, Jordan will continue to take care of people at the assisted living facility, and she will otherwise stay isolated at home, she said, likely playing Scrabble or Uno with her family.

This story is part of a partnership that includes Wisconsin WatchWisconsin Public RadioNPR and Kaiser Health News.

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As Coronavirus Spreads, Workers Could Lean On ACA Coverage Protection

Concerns about health care during the coronavirus pandemic are raising the profile of the federal Affordable Care Act, which can help those who have lost their jobs with an option to get insurance.

Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News’ chief Washington correspondent, talked to WBUR’s “Here & Now” host Jeremy Hobson on Friday about efforts to get the federal government to let people have a special enrollment period for coverage plans sold on the ACA marketplaces, as well as the effect massive job layoffs will have on Medicaid.

Rovner pointed out that workers whose insurance was cut off because they lost their jobs are eligible to buy a new plan through the ACA but that consumer advocates are pressing for the marketplaces to reopen to give others who didn’t sign up for coverage last fall an opportunity to reconsider.

Rovner also recently spoke with Lauren Gilger and Steve Goldstein at KJZZ in Phoenix about Gov. Doug Ducey’s unsuccessful request to the federal government to reopen the insurance marketplace in Arizona.

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Advocates Say There Must Be Investment In Medicaid Which Will Likely Become Default Insurance Plan For Many

Analysis: He Got Tested For Coronavirus. Then Came The Flood Of Medical Bills.

By March 5, Andrew Cencini, a computer science professor at Vermont’s Bennington College, had been having bouts of fever, malaise and a bit of difficulty breathing for a couple of weeks. Just before falling ill, he had traveled to New York City, helped with computers at a local prison and gone out on multiple calls as a volunteer firefighter.

So with COVID-19 cases rising across the country, he called his doctor for direction. He was advised to come to the doctor’s group practice, where staff took swabs for flu and other viruses as he sat in his truck. The results came back negative.

In an isolation room, the doctors put Andrew Cencini on an IV drip, did a chest X-ray and took the swabs.(Courtesy of Andrew Cencini)

By March 9, he reported to his doctor that he was feeling better but still had some cough and a low-grade fever. Within minutes, he got a call from the heads of a hospital emergency room and infectious-disease department where he lives in upstate New York: He should come right away to the ER for newly available coronavirus testing. Though they offered to send an ambulance, he felt fine and drove the hourlong trip.

In an isolation room, the doctors put him on an IV drip, did a chest X-ray and took the swabs.

Now back at work remotely, he faces a mounting array of bills. His patient responsibility, according to his insurer, is close to $2,000, and he fears there may be more bills to come.

“I was under the assumption that all that would be covered,” said Cencini, who makes $54,000 a year. “I could have chosen not to do all this, and put countless others at risk. But I was trying to do the right thing.”

The new $2 trillion coronavirus aid package allocates well over $100 billion to what Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York called “a Marshall Plan” for hospitals and medical needs.

But no one is doing much to similarly rescue patients from the related financial stress. And they desperately need protection from the kind of bills patients like Cencini are likely to incur in a system that freely charges for every bit of care it dispenses.

On March 18, President Donald Trump signed a law intended to ensure that Americans could be tested for the coronavirus free, whether they have insurance or not. (He had also announced that health insurers have agreed to waive patient copayments for treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.) But their published policies vary widely and leave countless ways for patients to get stuck.

Although insurers had indeed agreed to cover the full cost of diagnostic coronavirus tests, that may well prove illusory: Cencini’s test was free, but his visit to the ER to get it was not.

As might be expected in a country where the price of a knee X-ray can vary by a factor of well over 10, labs so far are charging between about $51 (the Medicare reimbursement rate) and more than $100 for the test. How much will insurers cover?

Those testing laboratories want to be paid — and now. Last week, the American Clinical Laboratory Association, an industry group, complained that they were being overlooked in the coronavirus package.

“Collectively, these labs have completed over 234,000 tests to date, and nearly quadrupled our daily test capacity over the past week,” Julie Khani, president of the ACLA, said in a statement. “They are still waiting for reimbursement for tests performed. In many cases, labs are receiving specimens with incomplete or no insurance information, and are burdened with absorbing the cost.”

There are few provisions in the relief packages to ensure that patients will be protected from large medical bills related to testing, evaluation or treatment — especially since so much of it is taking place in a financial high-risk setting for patients: the emergency room.

In a study last year, about 1 in 6 visits to an emergency room or stays in a hospital had at least one out-of-network charge, increasing the risk of patients’ receiving surprise medical bills, many demanding payment from patients.

That is in large part because many in-network emergency rooms are staffed by doctors who work for private companies, which are not in the same networks. In a Texas study, more than 30% of ER physician services were out-of-network — and most of those services were delivered at in-network hospitals.

The doctor who saw Cencini works with Emergency Care Services of New York, which provides physicians on contract to hospitals and works with some but not all insurers. It is affiliated with TeamHealth, a medical staffing business owned by the private equity firm Blackstone that has come under fire for generating surprise bills.

Some senators had wanted to put a provision in legislation passed in response to the coronavirus to protect patients from surprise out-of-network billing — either a broad clause or one specifically related to coronavirus care. Lobbyists for hospitals, physician staffing firms and air ambulances apparently helped ensure it stayed out of the final version. They played what a person familiar with the negotiations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, called “the COVID card”: “How could you possibly ask us to deal with surprise billing when we’re trying to battle this pandemic?”

Even without an ER visit, there are perilous billing risks. Not all hospitals and labs are capable of performing the test. And what if my in-network doctor sends my coronavirus test to an out-of-network lab? Before the pandemic, the Kaiser Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” project produced a feature about Alexa Kasdan, a New Yorker with a head cold, whose throat swab was sent to an out-of-network lab that billed more than $28,000 for testing.

Even patients who do not contract the coronavirus are at a higher risk of incurring a surprise medical bill during the current crisis, when an unrelated health emergency could land you in an unfamiliar, out-of-network hospital because your hospital is too full of COVID-19 patients.

The coronavirus bills passed so far — and those on the table — offer inadequate protection from a system primed to bill patients for all kinds of costs. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, passed last month, says the test and its related charges will be covered with no patient charge only to the extent that they are related to administering the test or evaluating whether a patient needs it.

That leaves hospital billers and coders wide berth. Cencini went to the ER to get a test, as he was instructed to do. When he called to protest his $1,622.52 bill for hospital charges (his insurer’s discounted rate from over $2,500 in the hospital’s billed charges), a patient representative confirmed that the ER visit and other services performed would be “eligible for cost-sharing” (in his case, all of it, since he had not met his deductible).

This weekend he was notified that the physician charge from Emergency Care Services of New York was $1,166. Though “covered” by his insurance, he owes another $321 for that, bringing his out-of-pocket costs to nearly $2,000.

By the way, his test came back negative.

When he got off the phone with his insurer, his blood was “at the boiling point,” he told us. “My retirement account is tanking and I’m expected to pay for this?”

The coronavirus aid package provides a stimulus payment of $1,200 per person for most adults. Thanks to the billing proclivities of the American health care system, that will not fully offset Cencini’s medical bills.

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: All Coronavirus All The Time


Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud.


The medical and economic needs laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic are forcing some immediate changes to the U.S. health system. Congress, in its latest relief bill, provided $100 billion in funding for the hospital industry alone. Meanwhile, the federal government has quickly removed previous barriers to telehealth and other sometimes controversial practices.

But big fights are still brewing, including whether the federal government will reopen the Affordable Care Act marketplaces it runs and whether states can use emergency powers to ban abortions as “elective medical procedures.”

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The ACA was passed on the heels of the Great Recession. The coronavirus outbreak has produced the first big economic downturn since then, and the law’s provisions to expand Medicaid and to provide an insurance option to those without jobs could provide a critical safety net during this crisis.
  • About a dozen states running their own ACA insurance marketplaces have opened up enrollment again to let people who did not enroll in the fall but are feeling the pinch from the coronavirus pandemic to reconsider. President Donald Trump said this week that he is mulling a similar move, but the messages from the administration on such action have been confusing.
  • People who had insurance through work and have lost their jobs don’t need a special enrollment period to sign up for an Obamacare plan. They are eligible because their job situation changed. However, the administration has not been publicizing that message.
  • Hospitals are eager to receive the $100 billion appropriated by Congress in response to the influx of patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. But the administration has not yet said how that money will be apportioned.
  • A handful of states have prohibited abortions during the coronavirus emergency because, officials say, they are seeking to preserve protective gear for hospital staff treating COVID-19 patients. But it’s not clear that the abortion procedures ― especially medication abortions — are interfering with efforts to safeguard protective clothing or masks needed by hospitals. And women who do not get abortions will consume far more medical care by remaining pregnant and giving birth.

Also, this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Liz Szabo, who reported the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about a patient who underwent a very expensive genetic test. If you have an outrageous medical bill you would like to share with us, you can do that here.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too:

Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “A Ventilator Stockpile With One Hitch: Thousands Do Not Work,” by David E. Sanger, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Nicholas Kulish

Joanne Kenen: The New Yorker’s “The Life and Death of Juan Sanabria, One of New York City’s First Cornavirus Victims,” by Jonathan Blitzer

Margot Sanger-Katz: Bloomberg News’ “Hospitals Tell Doctors They’ll Be Fired If They Speak Out About Lack of Gear,” by Olivia Carville, Emma Court and Kristen V. Brown

Alice Miranda Ollstein: The Washington Post’s “Trump Ban on Fetal Tissue Research Blocks Coronavirus Treatment Effort,” by Amy Goldstein


To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcherGoogle PlaySpotify, or Pocket Casts.

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Her Genetic Test Revealed A Microscopic Problem — And A Jumbo Price Tag

Michelle Kuppersmith, 32, feels great, works full time and exercises three to four times a week. So she was surprised when a routine blood test found that her body was making too many platelets, which help control bleeding. Kuppersmith’s doctor suspected she had a rare blood disorder called essential thrombocythemia, which can lead to blood clots, strokes and, in rare cases, leukemia.

Her doctor suggested a bone marrow biopsy, in which a large needle is used to suck out a sample of the spongy tissue at the center of the patient’s hip bone. Doctors examine the bone marrow under a microscope and analyze the DNA. The procedure allows doctors to judge a patient’s prognosis and select treatment, if needed. Kuppersmith had heard the procedure can be intensely painful, so she put it off for months.

The biopsy — performed by a provider in her insurance network, at a hospital in her network ― lasted only a few minutes, and Kuppersmith received relatively good news. While a genetic analysis of her bone marrow confirmed her doctor’s suspicions, it showed that the only treatment she needs, for now, is a daily, low-dose aspirin. She will check in with her doctor every three to four months to make sure the disease isn’t getting worse.

All in all, Kuppersmith felt relieved.

Then she got a notice saying her insurer refused to pay for the genetic analysis, leaving her responsible for a $2,400 payment.

The Patient: New York resident Michelle Kuppersmith, 32, who is insured by Maryland-based CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield. She works as director of special projects at a Washington-based, nonpartisan watchdog group. Because she was treated in New York, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield — which covers that region ― handled part of her claim.

Total Amount Owed: $2,400 for out-of-network genetic profiling

The Providers: Kuppersmith had her bone marrow removed at the Mount Sinai Ruttenberg Treatment Center in New York City, which sent her biopsy sample to a California lab, Genoptix, for testing.

Medical Services: Bone marrow biopsy and molecular profiling, which involves looking for genetic mutations

What Gives: The field of “molecular diagnostics,” which includes a variety of gene-based testing, is undergoing explosive growth, said Gillian Hooker, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and vice president of clinical development for Concert Genetics, a health IT company in Nashville, Tennessee.

A Concert Genetics report found there are more than 140,000 molecular diagnostic products on the market, with 10 to 15 added each day.

The field is growing so quickly that even doctors are struggling to develop a common vocabulary, Hooker said.

Kuppersmith underwent a type of testing known as molecular profiling, which looks for DNA biomarkers to predict whether patients will benefit from new, targeted therapies. These mutations aren’t inherited; they develop over the course of a patient’s life, Hooker said.

Medicare spending on molecular diagnostics more than doubled from 2016 to 2018, increasing from $493 million to $1.1 billion, according to Laboratory Economics, a lab industry newsletter.

Charges range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on how many genes are involved — and which billing codes insurers use, Hooker said.

Based on Medicare data, at least 1,500 independent labs perform molecular testing, along with more than 500 hospital-based labs, said Jondavid Klipp, the newsletter’s publisher.

In a fast-evolving field with lots of money at stake, tests that a doctor or lab may regard as state-of-the-art an insurer might view as experimental.

Worse still, many of the commercial labs that perform the novel tests are out-of-network, as was Genoptix.

After lining up an in-network provider at an in-network hospital, Kuppersmith pushed back when she got a $2,400 charge for an out-of-network lab. She appealed and won but says, “There are a lot of people who don’t have the time or wherewithal to do this kind of fighting.”(Shelby Knowles for KHN)

Stephanie Bywater, chief compliance officer at NeoGenomics Laboratories, which owns Genoptix, said that insurance policies governing approval have not kept up with the rapid pace of scientific advances. Kuppersmith’s doctor ordered a test that has been available since 2014 and was updated in 2017, Bywater said.

Although experts agree that molecular diagnostics is an essential part of care for patients like Kuppersmith, doctors and insurance companies may not agree on which specific test is best, said Dr. Gwen Nichols, chief medical officer of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Tests “can be performed a number of different ways by a number of different laboratories who charge different amounts,” Nichols said.

Insurance plans are much more likely to refuse to pay for molecular diagnostics than other lab tests. Laboratory Economics found Medicare contractors denied almost half of all molecular diagnostics claims over the past five years, compared with 5-10% of routine lab tests.

With so many insurance plans, so many new tests and so many new companies, it is difficult for a doctor to know which labs are in a patient’s network and which specific tests are covered, Nichols said.

“Different providers have contracts with different diagnostic companies,” which can affect a patient’s out-of-pocket costs, Nichols said. “It is incredibly complex and really difficult to determine the best, least expensive path.”

Kuppersmith said she has always been careful to check that her doctors accept her insurance. She made sure Mount Sinai was in her insurance network, too. But it never occurred to her that the biopsy would be sent to an outside lab ― or that it would undergo genetic analysis.

She added: “The looming threat of a $2,400 bill has caused me, in many ways, more anxiety than the illness ever has.”

Kuppersmith’s doctor recommended a bone marrow biopsy after suspecting she had a rare blood disorder. Though the biopsy was done by an in-network provider at an in-network hospital, Kuppersmith learned she was on the hook for $2,400 for out-of-network genetic profiling.(Shelby Knowles for KHN)

The Resolution: Despite making dozens of phone calls, Kuppersmith got nothing but confusing and contradictory answers when she tried to sort out the unexpected charge.

An agent for her insurer told her that her doctor hadn’t gotten preauthorization for the testing. But in an email to Kuppersmith, a Genoptix employee told her the insurance company had denied the claim because molecular profiling was viewed as experimental.

A spokesperson for New York-based Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, which handled part of Kuppersmith’s claim, said her health plan “covers medically necessary genetic testing.”

New York, one of 28 states with laws against surprise billing, requires hospitals to inform patients in writing if their care may include out-of-network providers, said attorney Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives at the Community Service Society, which provides free help with insurance problems.

A spokesperson for Mount Sinai said the hospital complies with that law, noting that Kuppersmith was given such a document in 2018 — nearly one year before her bone marrow biopsy ― and signed it.

Benjamin said that’s not OK, explaining: “I think a one-year-old, vague form like the one she signed would not comply with the state law — and certainly not the spirit of it.”

Instead of sending Kuppersmith a bill, Genoptix offered to help her appeal the denied coverage to CareFirst. At first, Genoptix asked Kuppersmith to designate the company as her personal health care representative. She was uncomfortable signing over what sounded like sweeping legal rights to strangers. Instead, she wrote an email granting the company permission to negotiate on her behalf. It was sufficient.

A few days after being contacted by KHN, Kuppersmith’s insurer said it would pay Genoptix at the in-network rate, covering $1,200 of the $2,400 charge. Genoptix said it has no plans to bill Kuppersmith for the other half of the charge.

The Takeaway: Kuppersmith is relieved her insurer changed its mind about her bill. But, she said: “I’m a relatively young, savvy person with a college degree. There are a lot of people who don’t have the time or wherewithal to do this kind of fighting.”

Patients should ask their health care providers if any outside contractors will be involved in their care, including pathologists, anesthesiologists, clinical labs or radiologists, experts said. And check if those involved are in-network.

“Try your best to ask in advance,” said Jack Hoadley, a research professor emeritus at Georgetown University. “Ask, ‘Do I have a choice about where [a blood or tissue sample] is sent?’”

Ask, too, if the sample will undergo molecular diagnostics. Since the testing is still relatively new — and expensive ― most insurers require patients to obtain “prior authorization,” or special permission, said Dr. Debra Regier, a medical geneticist at Children’s National Hospital in Washington and an associate with NORD, the National Organization of Rare Diseases. Getting this permission in advance can prevent many headaches.

Finally, be wary of signing blanket consent forms telling you that some components of your care may be out-of-network. Tell your provider that you want to be informed on a case-by-case basis when an out-of-network provider is involved and to consent to their participation.

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