A doctor in the Hamptons is asking as much as $500 for a single COVID test — and well-heeled hypochondriacs are shelling out the exorbitant sum, sources told On The Money.
Dr. Seth Gordon, a pediatrician by training, is happy to test adults and kids alike under a rate schedule that charges $500 for a PCR test and north of $400 for a rapid COVID test, according to patients who’ve seen him.
Dr. Gordon, who lists his offices in Manhattan but who sources say has lately been borrowing other doctors’ offices as he shuttles between tony enclaves such as Wainscott and East Hampton to meet demand, didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment this week.
Nevertheless, Dr. Gordon has been lining up rich and famous clients including Scarlett Johansson, who took her kids in to get one of the coveted tests, according to sources.
Reps for Johansson also didn’t respond to requests for comment.
“It’s the Hamptons … what do you expect?” one local told On The Money. “People are schmucky enough to pay anything.”
That said, locals gripe that getting hold of a test anywhere in the East End without paying through the nose is almost impossible. At White’s Apothecary in East Hampton, 300 home tests sold out in less than an hour. Even making an appointment at a testing center doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a test, another person told On The Money.
“I had an appointment at a drive-through testing center at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s Parrish Memorial Hall — but there were still over 250 cars in front of me,” one local lamented. “People were waiting up to 8, 10, 12 hours.”
Apparently, Dr. Gordon didn’t build his niche in the Hamptons overnight. In August 2020, the New York Times reported that he was the go-to COVID tester for the staff at the popular Surf Lodge hotel and bar in Montauk.
“He has his own Sofia 2 machine by Quidel so he can do the test” — an antigen test — “and get the results very quickly, in 15 minutes,” said Jayma Cardoso, one of the hotel’s owners.
Dr. Gordon didn’t comment for that story, either.
Dr. Gordon’s current rates make clinics in Manhattan sound like a bargain, sources sniffed. NY Forward, which allows patients to schedule ahead instead of waiting in line, charges $39 for a rapid test or $85 for a PCR test.
At the relatively posh Bloom Labs, a rapid test can cost $75 and a PCR test can cost $149 — or even $299 to get results within a few hours. At home-services such as those provided by Sameday Health were recently charging $225 for a rapid test and $275 for a PCR test.