STAT+: A glaring gap in Congress’ surprise billing law leaves patients on the hook for pricey, out-of-network lab tests

Even though the lab was down the hall from his in-network doctor, it was still out-of-network. And Congress’s new law against surprise medical bills doesn’t fix the issue.

For Soung Luy, it seemed easy: His primary care doctor told him he needed blood work, and that he could get it done in the same office building in Marina del Rey, Calif., which was owned by the Cedars-Sinai health system. The doctor even assured Luy, when he asked, that the lab accepted his insurance and was in-network.

But even though it was down the hall from Luy’s in-network physician, and even though he asked, the lab was not in his insurance network. His bill came: $686.70 for a handful of blood tests.

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