An Out-Of-Network Lab, An Elaborate Urine Test And Then A Surprise Bill


Source: NPR

Urine testing to diagnose illness or to detect the presence of drugs is generally routine. But a woman who gave her doctor a urine sample months after back surgery got socked with a huge bill. SPL/Science Source

After Elizabeth Moreno had back surgery in late 2015, her surgeon prescribed an opioid painkiller and a follow-up drug test that seemed routine — until the lab slapped her with a bill for $17,850.

A Houston lab had tested her urine sample for a constellation of legal and illicit drugs, many of which Moreno says she had never heard of, let alone taken.

“I was totally confused. I didn’t know how I was going to pay this,” said Moreno, 30, who is finishing a degree in education at Texas State University in


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