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Plunging demand for COVID-19 assessments might depart U.S. uncovered

Simply 5 weeks in the past, Los Angeles County was conducting greater than 350,000 weekly coronavirus assessments, together with at a large drive-thru web site at Dodger Stadium, as well being staff raced to comprise the worst COVID-19 hotspot within the U.S.

Now, county officers say testing has almost collapsed. Greater than 180 government-supported websites are working at solely a 3rd of their capability.

“It is surprising how shortly we have gone from shifting at 100 miles an hour to about 25,” stated Dr. Clemens Hong, who leads the county’s testing operation.

After a yr of struggling to spice up testing, communities throughout the nation are seeing plummeting demand, shuttering testing websites and even attempting to return provides.

The drop in screening comes at a major second within the outbreak: Consultants are cautiously optimistic that COVID-19 is receding after killing greater than 500,000 individuals within the U.S. however involved that

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Excessive MLRs encourage insurers to deal with high quality enhancements

Medicaid managed-care organizations face an rising variety of excessive risk-corridor bills from states as shoppers proceed to keep away from their medical doctors’ places of work, and a few are discovering potential high quality impovements that would enhance their medical loss ratios.

States enact risk-sharing corridors to make sure nearly all of what they pay well being plans to handle the care for his or her Medicaid members is spent on precise remedy. The quantity an insurer spent on a members’ care is measured by its medical loss ratio, or MLR.

In 2020, Molina Healthcare paid $565 million in risk-sharing bills. Anthem confronted $650 million in comparable funds. Centene Corp. paid $1 billion in risk-corridor requests. This 12 months, UnitedHealthcare is considering forward—the Minnetonka, Minn.-based insurer has factored risk-corridor bills as a part of the $2 billion it expects to spend on COVID-19.

In an effort to keep away from

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Walgreens to promote Labcorp COVID-19 PCR dwelling assortment kits over-the-counter

Walgreens stated on Wednesday that it has entered into an settlement with Laboratory Company of America to promote Pixel by Labcorp COVID-19 PCR Check House Assortment Kits over-the-counter in its shops.

Below the settlement, the pharmacy will make the kits out there in as much as 6,000 shops nationwide, with the aim of offering a testing possibility at shops that do not presently have on-site testing.

Clients will be capable of buy the equipment at Walgreen’s shops with out a prescription after which self-administer the check and mail it to Labcorp for processing. The check makes use of brief nasal swabs for pattern assortment.

“That is one more handy method for customers to study if they’re contaminated with COVID-19, which may also help communities proceed the battle in opposition to this world pandemic,” Brian Caveney, chief medical officer and president, Labcorp Diagnostics, stated in a press release.

 

This story first

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Healthcare construction primed to rebound faster than other sectors

While nonresidential construction is expected to continue to lag through much of 2021, healthcare is projected to fare better than other sectors like office and manufacturing, according to a new report.

Nonresidential building construction starts were down 24% in 2020 compared to 2019, which is expected to drag overall construction spending in 2021, according to a new report from commercial real estate firm JLL that projects a 5% to 8% spending dip this year. While many long-term healthcare capital projects were put on hold last year, JLL expects those to resume by the end of the year.

“We’re forecasting by the end of the year that healthcare companies will reopen their capital budgets for long-term plans rather than just the short-term triage plans we saw in 2020,” said Henry D’Esposito, a senior research analyst for JLL. “We’re ranking healthcare as one of the stronger sectors going into this year.”

How

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California inspectors find ‘deficiencies’ at virus test lab

Inspectors found “significant deficiencies” at California’s new coronavirus testing laboratory, problems that state officials on Monday partly blamed on the rapid ramp-up they required from the lab’s private operator under terms of a $1.4 billion contract.

A fraction of 1% of the more than 1.5 million tests processed at the Valencia Branch Laboratory had problems, the state said in a preliminary report, but Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said “one incorrect test result is one too many.”

The $25 million lab that opened in October north of Los Angeles was unable to test about 250 samples (0.017%) due to lab errors, the state said. It issued corrected reports for about 60 (0.0039%) samples.

“California takes these findings seriously” and continues working with the contractor “to ensure Californians have the accurate, timely, high-quality test results,” Ghaly said in a statement.

Massachusetts-based diagnostics company PerkinElmer, which operates the lab

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