Showing: 133 - 138 of 149 RESULTS

LabCorp receives approval for the industry’s first over-the-counter home COVID-19 test

LabCorp said on Wednesday that it has received Emergency Use Authorization for an over-the-counter version of its COVID-19 home test.

With the EUA, LabCorp is able to sell the test kit directly to consumers without requiring a prescription. The kit is the first over-the-counter at-home collection kit for SARS-CoV-2 to receive EUA.

Users can self-collect nasal swab samples and send them in for processing at LabCorp, which will run the samples on its COVID-19 PCR test. Healthcare providers will deliver positive or invalid results to patients, while negative results will be delivered by email or online portal.

“This is the first kit for consumers to self-collect a nasal sample for COVID-19 in their home that does not require a prescription,” Jeff Shuren, director of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement. “While many home collection kits can be prescribed with a simple online questionnaire, this newly

Read More

Only half in US want shots as vaccine nears

As states frantically prepare to begin months of vaccinations that could end the pandemic, a new poll finds only about half of Americans are ready to roll up their sleeves when their turn comes.

The survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows about a quarter of U.S. adults aren’t sure if they want to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Roughly another quarter say they won’t.

Many on the fence have safety concerns and want to watch how the initial rollout fares — skepticism that could hinder the campaign against the scourge that has killed nearly 290,000 Americans. Experts estimate at least 70% of the U.S. population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, or the point at which enough people are protected that the virus can be held in check.

“Trepidation is a good word. I have a little bit of trepidation towards it,” said

Read More

OIG Continues Crackdown on Genetic Testing Fraud as Medicare Spending Spikes

In step with growing Medicare spending on genetic testing, the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General is also tracking increases in fraudulent billing practices. 

The OIG reported in August that spending by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on laboratory testing increased 6 percent in 2018 to $7.6 billion compared to $7.1 billion in 2017, despite rate reductions stipulated under the Protecting Access to Medicare Act. While payment rates decreased for 75 percent of lab tests from 2017 to 2018, spending on genetic tests doubled year over year to approximately $1 billion. Although 2018 had the largest lab test spending increase for CMS since the passage of PAMA in 2014, some of the spending increases were the result of changes in test volumes and the move to a national fee schedule, OIG said.

Meanwhile, OIG attributed spending increases for genetic tests – which comprised

Read More

Years of research laid groundwork for speedy COVID-19 shots

How could scientists race out COVID-19 vaccines so fast without cutting corners? A head start helped — over a decade of behind-the-scenes research that had new vaccine technology poised for a challenge just as the coronavirus erupted.

“The speed is a reflection of years of work that went before,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press. “That’s what the public has to understand.”

Creating vaccines and having results from rigorous studies less than a year after the world discovered a never-before-seen disease is incredible, cutting years off normal development. But the two U.S. frontrunners are made in a way that promises speedier development may become the norm — especially if they prove to work long-term as well as early testing suggests.

“Abject giddiness,” is how Dr. C. Buddy Creech, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert, described scientists’ reactions when separate studies showed the two candidates

Read More

Biden picks Xavier Becerra for HHS secretary, Rochelle Walensky for CDC head

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his nominee for HHS secretary. Becerra has led the Democratic states’ court fight to protect the Affordable Care Act. Biden also picked Rochelle Walensky to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sources familiar with the matter told Politico on Sunday.

As California’s attorney general, Becerra has led the coalition of Democratic states defending “Obamacare” from the Trump administration’s latest effort to overturn it, a legal case awaiting a Supreme Court decision next year.

Becerra also led a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case involving 21 state attorneys general challenging the Trump administration’s criteria for handing out Title X funding. He also appealed a challenge to California’s right-to-die law.

In 2020, Becerra filed an antitrust case against Sutter Health, alleging that the not-for-profit healthcare giant was using its market dominance in Northern California to

Read More

Doylestown Hospital’s COVID battle documented in videos

A two-part documentary series chronicles how 239-bed Doylestown (Pa.) Hospital confronted the pandemic and changed its operations to best battle COVID.

Produced by the Doylestown Health Foundation, partly for a fundraising initiative for the stand-alone hospital, the videos tell a story that is unique to Doylestown, while echoing the experiences of many other systems. 

A patient featured in the first 30-minute installment of the series, “Leading Through a Crisis,” is Howard Brown, one of the first COVID patients treated at Doylestown. There for weeks, on and off a ventilator, Brown describes finally leaving. “I remember being wheeled down the hallway and the corridor was lined with doctors, nurses, technicians, administrative staff, and they were playing ‘Here Comes the Sun.’ There were tears in people’s eyes.” 

In all 375 COVID inpatients have been treated there so far, with 70 dying; 128 staffers tested positive, with no deaths. 

Several department heads

Read More