Payback time: CareCube to refund scammed New Yorkers
New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that her office has secured $300,000 from CareCube, a New York City-based health clinic, after a series of complaints surfaced about the company wrongfully charging patients for COVID-19 tests.
The settlement requires CareCube to issue full refunds, including interest, to all patients who were improperly billed from March 2020 to July 2023.
The probe into CareCube’s billing practices began in 2021 when the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) was alerted to a myriad of complaints about the clinic charging for tests that should have been covered by patients’ insurance plans. The settlement not only concludes the investigation but also necessitates that CareCube contract an independent auditor to identify and refund all patients who fell prey to the unjust billing practices.
“CareCube created unnecessary financial burdens for many New Yorkers who were trying to stay safe and healthy at the height of the pandemic,” said Attorney General James. “This predatory behavior was unjust and illegal, and I am pleased that New Yorkers who were wrongfully charged will get their money back. I thank my colleagues in government for their partnership in protecting consumers and holding CareCube accountable.”
The health clinic, which had more than 20 COVID-19 testing sites across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx at the peak of the pandemic, was found to have wrongfully charged patients for tests that should have been free, including $125 fees for tests for children under 18. The investigation also revealed that the clinic provided misleading information about billing to asymptomatic patients, who should also have been eligible for free testing.
The settlement with CareCube serves as a warning to other health care providers and businesses. New York officials have made it clear that deceptive practices, especially during a time of crisis, will not be tolerated. The agreement ensures that those affected by the unscrupulous billing practices of CareCube will receive justice in the form of full refunds with 9% interest.
“CareCube exploited vulnerable New Yorkers seeking essential services during a time of crisis,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander. “This type of deception erodes people’s trust in our medical facilities, which is why I am pleased to see the Attorney General’s commitment to providing full refunds to those who were deceitfully charged by CareCube for COVID-19 tests. This sends a strong message to companies that health care fraud in New York will not be tolerated and ensures that the affected individuals get the justice they deserve.”
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