Attorney General James Issues Warning to ClearMD Health to Stop Misrepresenting Turnaround Times for COVID-19 Test Results, Demands Refunds for Consumers Who Paid for Expedited Results
ClearMD Health Has Been Charging Consumers for Expedited COVID-19
Test Results, But Has Failed to Meet Promised Turnaround Times
ClearMD Health Letter Follows Similar Letters to
LabQ, Labworq, and Sameday Health Last Week
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today issued a warning letter to ClearMD Health — a private lab with a number of locations throughout Manhattan and one in Queens that advertises coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing — for not meeting promised turnaround times for test results. Numerous consumers have now passed the timeframe in which they were promised test results, even those who paid for expedited testing. Today’s letter notifies ClearMD Health that New York law prohibits false advertising and instructs the company to immediately update the company’s website and any signage at test sites to accurately reflect how long individuals can expect to wait before receiving COVID-19 test results. Attorney General James also demands refunds for all consumers who paid for expedited test results but did not receive them in the timeframe initially promised.
“What we’re seeing more and more are private labs and collection centers making false promises about turnaround times for COVID-19 test results when there is no way for them to keep up with the demand. What’s worse is that a number of these companies are charging New Yorkers for a ‘quick’ test result that is anything but that,” said Attorney General James. “ClearMD Health has been charging New Yorkers hundreds of dollars for expedited test results but has repeatedly failed to deliver on that promise. With COVID-19 positivity rates skyrocketing due to Omicron and New Yorkers gathering with loved ones for the holidays, companies need to stay true to their word and provide COVID-19 test results in the timeframes they are promising. ClearMD Health must immediately update its website and its signage and notify patients of the realistic timeline in which they will receive results, as well as provide refunds to every patient who paid for expedited test results but never received them in the proper timeframe. All New Yorkers who continue to see misrepresentations about COVID-19 test turnaround times are encouraged to file a complaint on my website right away.”
ClearMD Health offers free or low cost COVID-19 tests for those with insurance, as well as for CARES Act patients, and charges high fees for premium services, such as $498 for those seeking a two-hour result. The website promises “the fastest [test] turnaround time in New York – less than 24 hours,” with no mention of any fee. Additionally, ClearMD Health’s website guarantees “PCR results in as quick as 12-24 hours” and claims they can provide “COVID testing quick enough to keep up with the busiest of New Yorkers.” But the Office of the Attorney General has become aware of consumers who paid for expedited test results but did not receive their results in those guaranteed timeframes.
In addition to warning ClearMD Health to update its website and signage and to instruct its employees to provide accurate information concerning turnaround times, the letter issued by Attorney General James requests that ClearMD Health contact all of its customers who are currently awaiting COVID-19 test results to let them know when they can realistically expect to receive those results. Attorney General James also demands refunds for any consumer who paid for expedited test results but did not receive them in the timeframe originally promised.
Today’s letter follows three separate letters Attorney General James sent last week to LabQ, Labworq, and Sameday Health demanding that the companies take similar steps to update their websites and their signage, and to inform consumers about realistic wait times for COVID-19 test results.
Attorney General James asks any consumer who believes a lab or other testing facility is making misleading statements about their turnaround time for COVID-19 test results to file a complaint online with the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau or call the office at 1-800-771-7755.