GS Labs countersues Blue KC, alleging federal CARES Act violation

Posted at 3:42 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 16:42:29-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A medical testing lab with sites in Lee's Summit and Lenexa has countersued Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, claiming the health insurance company violated the federal CARES Act and “filed a meritless lawsuit” in contesting reimbursement costs for COVID-19 tests.

Blue KC alleged in a lawsuit that GS Labs billed $380 for rapid-antigen tests, which cost less than $20 wholesale, and called the prices inflated.

Blue KC, which is the largest health care insurance company in Kansas City, said that the lab is "intentionally engaging in an abusive scheme" to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. While GS Labs confirmed in its suit, which was filed Thursday in the Western District of Missouri, the cost, it also stated that the amount was published online “in accordance with the CARES Act.”

“Blue KC’s reference to alleged wholesale prices demonstrates its underlying contempt for the valuable services that GS Labs provided,” court documents state.

GS Labs also stated that Blue KC failed its members by “refusing to comply with federal laws” and pay for the COVID-19 testing, as the CARES Act “was intended to provide for necessary widespread testing.”

The CARES Act requires insurers to pay providers who are out-of-network at the publicly posted cost.

GS Labs said it also incurred $37 million in expenses to expand its testing capacity throughout the country, according to the countersuit.

“GS Labs is proud to have provided safe, accurate, and efficient COVID-19 rapid tests to over 12,000 members of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City and is prepared to do it again if that is what is needed based on the rapid spread of the delta Variant,” court documents state.