There is a new trend that many Florida treatment centers are practicing that are disrupting the insurance process of covering treatment. Last week, Cigna, one of the largest insurance companies participating in the Florida healthcare exchange pulled out and will no longer be offering individual plans. That equates to 30,000 people tasked with finding a new insurance company for 2016.
What is happening is some treatment centers are using urine analysis screens to line their pockets. What happens is someone goes to treatment or a sober living house and the facilities themselves are having their clients submit to drug testing. Sometimes they require three drug tests per week. They submit those screens to laboratories and in turn bill the insurance company.
Why would this be wrong? Patients of treatment centers and sober living environments should have clean drug screens. There are a few problems with this practice. First off, there is no need to drug test people three times per week. The majority of the narcotics that are tested stay in the body for at least three days. The second problem is the cost associated with what these labs charge. When you go into any drug store these days you can buy a urine analysis test for $50 roughly. Cigna has said that some of the labs that they are paying are billing upwards of $5000 per test. In particular there was one sober living facility that was billing $36 thousand per month for one patient. That totals over $400 thousand a year per person and if you have six people in the facility the final reimbursement is over $2 million.