The Town of Darien is aware of the allegations made by the New York Times against Murphy Medical Associates relating to insurance billing practices. Since the publication of the allegations, we have heard from members of our community and we share their concerns. Members of Town Staff, our Town Attorney, the Health Director and the First Selectman met with Dr. Murphy on November 10th to discuss the allegations and express our concerns for our residents who have utilized Murphy Medical for COVID-19 testing. This is a very unfortunate situation as Dr. Murphy and his team filled a critical void for our community early in the pandemic. There were few testing services available at that time for small towns like ours and labs had unacceptably long turnaround times to get results.
The insurance billing allegations are separate and distinct from the quality or timeliness of the service provided which, from community feedback received, has been consistently positive.
Town leadership and staff understand and respect that the relationship between patient and doctor is private and confidential. We have learned that Dr. Murphy uses the Biofire Respiratory panel of tests (21 in all) and not a simple COVID-only test, which is at the heart of the cost issue. While information about testing services and associated prices is likely available through Dr. Murphy’s office, it isn’t prominent when registering to be tested. A greater level of transparency is essential in building patient/physician trust. Dr. Murphy has been made aware of his obligation to disclose all information relating to the services he is providing.
Given the significant concerns that have arisen from the New York Times’ allegations, the Town of Darien is exploring alternate testing options as we recognize the importance of this service to our community. We expect to make an announcement very soon.
Jayme J. Stevenson David Knauf, REHS, MS, MPH
First Selectman, Town of Darien Director of Health