antibody tests
All Posts, COVID-19

No Upfront Out-of-Pocket Cost LabCorp Antibody Tests Now Available Nationwide

A leading global life sciences company announced that their antibody blood tests for the virus that causes COVID-19 are now offered throughout the United States with no upfront out-of-the-pocket costs.   

Laboratory Corporation of America or LabCorp added that their antibody tests can be availed of in nearly 2,000 LabCorp patient service centers including more than 100 LabCorp at Walgreens locations, and thousands of physicians’ offices

LabCorp President and Chief Executive Officer Adam Schechter stated that they are bringing the full force of LabCorp’s science and testing capabilities to serve individuals across the United States.. 

“Whether they had the virus or believe they have the virus. We stand with all Americans, healthcare workers, and those on the frontlines who are helping people in need,” Schechter maintains.

For his part, Walgreens President Richard Ashworth believes that COVID-19 response requires collaboration across industries and sectors.

“We’re pleased to further our relationship with LabCorp in order to improve access to COVID-19 and antibody testing in many of the communities we serve. By continuing to expand our testing efforts and resources, together we’ll play a critical role in helping to keep our communities healthy and enabling more Americans to return to work once they can do so safely,” Ashworth disclosed.

LabCorp’s antibody blood tests are administered across the U.S.  at no out-of-the-pocket cost to people who receive an order for a test through a doctor or healthcare provider, including telemedicine providers.

Results will be available to the ordering healthcare provider within 1-3 days after the date of specimen pick up.

LabCorp began antibody blood testing on a limited basis to high-priority healthcare workers in late-March and currently has capacity to perform over 50,000 antibody tests per day and expects to be able to perform 200,000 tests per day this month of May as more tests and testing platforms receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

The COVID-19 antibody blood tests detect the presence of antibodies to the virus and can help identify individuals who have been exposed to the virus but should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude infection as a patient’s results might simply be useful in the determination of important decisions, such as the ability for hospital staff to care for patients.

These tests have not been reviewed by the FDA but are being offered by LabCorp in accordance with the public health emergency guidance issued by the FDA on March 16.

LabCorp is a company that is deeply integrated in guiding patient care, providing comprehensive clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. With a mission to improve health and improve lives, LabCorp delivers world-class diagnostics solutions, brings innovative medicines to patients faster, and uses technology to improve the delivery of care. LabCorp reported revenue of more than $11.5 billion in 2019.

covid-19 testing
All Posts

More than 1.5 Million Diagnostic Tests Have Been Conducted Statewide

A significant increase in the testing capacity of California in recent weeks caused the surge in number of COVID-19 diagnostic test results to a total of 1,696,396 statewide, an increase of 52,294 tests since Sunday May 24, 2020 or a 3.2% increase.

This was the latest figure given by California Governor Gavin Newsom in his statement May 26, 2020 since daily testing has averaged more than 35,000 in the past few days. By contrast, there were only 11,000 tests conducted in March 20, 2020 when the pandemic was in its earlier stage.

“Ramping up our testing capacity is critical as we begin modifying our stay at home order,” announced Governor Newsom. “In addition to standing up more than 80 new testing sites across the state in under-served communities, soon Californians will be able to get tested when they pick up their prescriptions at some pharmacies across the state.”

In the state’s gradual efforts to modify the stay at home order, as laid out in the Resilience Roadmap, the state ensures that it has sufficient capacity to test for COVID-19 and ability to conduct contact tracing when outbreaks surface are key indicators

Increasing testing is one of the six critical indicators guiding California’s Resilience Roadmap. California’s six indicators for modifying the stay-at-home order are:

  • The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed;
  • The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19;
  • The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges;
  • The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand;
  • The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing; and
  • The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

The governor also stated that that pharmacists will now be allowed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs and State Board of Pharmacy to collect specimens for COVID-19 tests and order tests for consumers and that the specimens will be delivered to and processed at public health, university or commercial labs.

Also, Medi-Cal patients without a health plan (fee for service) and uninsured Californians can heave a sigh of relief as a new “Medi-Nurse” line was made available by the state for them simply by dialing 1-877-409-9052 which is available 24/7 for COVID-19 concerns or for general medical issues.

Those who have health insurance may visit covid19.ca.gov and use the telehealth zip code finder to access their health insurance plan’s telehealth and nurse help lines.

All Posts, COVID-19

Coronavirus: Our Skilled Nursing Facilities Are Crucial

Post By: Craig Cornett, President & CEO, of the California Association of Health Facilities, which represents 900 skilled nursing facilities and 450 intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities in the state.

As the coronavirus pandemic progresses, it’s become increasingly evident that its most pervasive threat is to vulnerable older adults with underlying health conditions. In California, across America and around the world, the virus’ toll has been most severe in places where that population is concentrated.

It is equally evident that our response must be targeted at keeping those individuals safe.

County and state assistance remain necessary to address staffing shortages resulting from worker exposure to COVID-19.

Skilled nursing facilities in California are facing unprecedented challenges. While they fight to keep the virus out of their buildings, or contain it if it is present, the daily struggle of nursing facilities remains the same — to protect the lives and well-being of sick and vulnerable individuals who are most susceptible to COVID-19.

These outbreaks are not the result of inattentiveness or lapses in nursing homes. It’s a combination of the vicious nature of the virus and its unique threat to the very people who are in our care.

We must deploy county, state and federal resources to the skilled nursing sector and we applaud Gov. Gavin Newsom for his recent announcement that skilled nursing is moving up on the state’s priorities.

There is a continuing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in many areas of the state. The lack of proper equipment puts employees and residents at risk and has been a contributing factor to outbreaks across the state.

We also need priority testing for all healthcare workers in long-term care settings to stop the spread of the virus.  Where tests are available, we have seen success in keeping COVID-19 out of buildings. In other cases, when the virus is identified early, testing has allowed patients and workers to be successfully isolated to prevent further spread. But even with the best infection prevention protocol in place, we can’t stop the infection from spreading without adequate PPE and testing.

We are indebted to every employee who selflessly continues to show up to work every day, sometimes at great personal risk, whether at a skilled nursing center or community-based home for the developmentally disabled. These workers are the only lifeline residents have to the outside world as they remain isolated from their families and loved ones.

County and state assistance remain necessary to address staffing shortages resulting from worker exposure to COVID-19.  Gov. Newsom’s initiative to retrain 600 nurses to support facility compliance with COVID-19 guidance and to assist facilities with positive cases is a good first step.

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of creating well-equipped, separate facilities or alternate sites to care for COVID-positive patients to keep the virus contained.

Early on, the California Association of Health Facilities opposed any requirement to transfer positive COVID-19 patients from the hospital to skilled nursing facilities. The result of state orders to nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients has played out in New York and New Jersey with devastating consequences.  We continue to work with our hospital partners and county and state agencies to address the critical need for alternate COVID-positive sites.

As many of our members shift from prevention to a containment strategy, they need assistance to provide the highest level of protection to their residents and staff.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have issued waivers to offer relief to health care providers, employees and residents during the pandemic.

In addition, the Governor’s Office has coordinated efforts to assist. Included are  no-cost or low-cost hotel rooms for workers who have had possible exposure to COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 and do not need to be hospitalized.

Skilled nursing administrators, long-term care nurses and critical care workers are doing everything possible, with the resources that are available, to slow the spread of the virus in our member facilities. We remain committed to do everything we can to support their heroic and dedicated efforts on behalf of the 400,000 residents we serve.

All Posts, COVID-19

PIN 20-17-ASC: Temporary Contracts to Increase Bed Capacity Due to Anticipated Surge In COVID-19

PIN_20-17-ASC announces an opportunity for Adult and Senior Care licensees to assist in providing additional beds by entering into contracts to temporarily house COVID-19 positive individuals.

Highlights include:

Preferred facilities are those that are currently empty, have a completely separate structure from any other residents, or contain solely COVID-19 positive residents. Current law does not allow the State to limit the ability of a licensee to include both COVID-19 positive and non-COVID-19 positive residents in the same facility. If the State is unable to locate contracted beds in facilities that would house solely COVID-19 positive residents, the State may contract with other adult and senior care facilities.

Services to be Provided

The contracted licensee will be responsible for providing appropriate housing, staffing, and the required services to meet the individual’s needs while placed in the licensee’s care. The duration of the individual’s stay is currently anticipated to be between 3-30 days. To be eligible for this agreement, if there are any existing residents who are not COVID19 positive in any other parts of the facility, the contracted licensee must physically segregate all individuals placed under this agreement, such as utilizing the entire facility, a separate building, separate floor, or separate wing of the facility. In all cases, the contracted licensee must provide staff that are solely dedicated to the provision of services to the individuals, and under no circumstances allow staff to provide services to, or otherwise interact with, other residents or staff at any facility.

The contractor shall follow and comply with guidance and instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and its local county health departments regarding COVID-19, including guidance related to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Prior to an individual being placed in, or exiting from, the care of the contracted facility, the needs of the individual will be assessed and coordinated with the individual’s home facility, individual and/or individual’s representative, Ombudsman, and the local health department. CDSS will provide technical assistance for placements. Technical assistance from CDSS will continue throughout the temporary stay and until the resident’s return to their home facility, or alternative arrangements are made. The home facility will hold the resident’s bed for the resident once clearance is obtained from the local health department or the resident’s healthcare provider.

Reimbursement Rate

CDSS will pay licensees who enter into these contracts (“Contractor”) to temporarily house COVID-19 positive individuals in the following manner:

  • For facilities licensed for six or fewer beds:
    • The Contractor will be paid a daily all-inclusive rate of $1,000 from the date the first resident is placed under a State contract, in recognition of the need to fully staff the facility.
    • The applicable daily rate will continue beyond the initial 15 days so long as residents continue to be placed and remain in the facility under the terms of the State contract.
  • For facilities licensed for more than six beds, please indicate your interest via the survey below and CDSS will contact you. These payment rates do not apply to Adult Residential Facilities for Persons with Special Health Care Needs (ARFPSHNs), Adult Residential Facilities (ARFs), or Adult Day Programs (ADPs), which contract with the California Department of Developmental Services. Those facilities should continue to follow guidelines set forth by the California Department of Developmental Services.

>> Download PIN_20-17-ASC

covid-19
All Posts, COVID-19

More than 500 die In California’s skilled nursing facilities to COVID-19

A substantial number of residents and staff members of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in California have become victims of coronavirus COVID-19

As of April 25, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) figures show from that more than 545 residents and less than 11 staff members have died at skilled nursing facilities across California of the more than 5,770 residents and employees have contracted COVID-19.

CDPH requires “all 1224 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to report COVID-19 positive residents, staff, and deaths associated with COVID-19 on a daily basis. The data is from SNFs that have reported in the last 24 hours and includes only the resident and staff fatalities that are known by the facility. As such, it is not a comprehensive count.”

There is no available figures yet from 6Beds assisted living facilities on residents and/or staff members affected by COVID-19 as of this time and reports will be given as soon as available, verified and reliable data comes in.

California State Governor Gavin Newsom pledged support for nursing home patients suffering from the coronavirus promising more testing of those showing symptoms as he expresses concern on the people who live or work in 94 board and care homes across the state who have tested positive for COVID-19

SWAT teams of infectious disease specialists would be sent to the homes where the virus is present and to some places Newsom called “hot spots” as the state is monitoring the nursing homes with outbreaks and that more than 600 nurses have been sent to help the facilities.

CDPH announces, “California is actively working with the White House, federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local governments, health facilities, and health care providers across the state to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19.”

They are also providing information, guidance documents, and technical support to local health departments, health care facilities, providers, schools, universities, colleges, and childcare facilities across California.

On the local front, the City of Hayward has announced that it will dispatch mobile teams of specially trained firefighter paramedics from the city’s COVID-19 testing center to provide coronavirus testing of nursing home residents and employees.

Hayward Fire Department firefighter-paramedics respond to 911 medical emergency calls at nursing homes—and securely share critical care information with relevant county authorities while maintaining the privacy of residents and staff In addition to providing COVID-19 testing,

Inquiries about COVID-19 infection rates in nursing homes should be directed to the California Department of Public Health, which is responsible for nursing home licensing and oversight.

Among the latest to report was Director Alisa Mallari Tu of Gordon Manor Assisted Living Facility in Redwood City confirmed that at least ten residents have succumbed to coronavirus COVID-19 or from complications related to it while ten other residents and seven staff members have also been tested positive in recent weeks.

The more known resident of Gordon Manor who died recently from the virus was Donald Kennedy former head of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during the term of then President Jimmy Carter and also was a former Stanford University President.

In a more detailed report of the California Department of Public Health (CPDH), 86% of SNFs have reported their data as of April 18, 2020. There are 1224 Skilled Nursing Facilities in California and 258 have reported having one or more COVID-19 case by either a resident or a health care worker (HCW).

The SNFs with the biggest number of residents with COVID-19 are Redwood Springs Health Care Center in Tulare County with 91, Brier Oak on Sunset in Los Angeles County with 80 and Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center with 69 residents.

Those with biggest number of HCWs with COVID-19 are Brier Oak on Sunset in Los Angeles County with 62 HCWs, Redwood Springs Health Care Center in Tulare County with 46 and Garden Crest Rehabilitation Center also in Los Angeles County with 35.

The SNFs with the more significant number of COVID-19 cases by county as of April 18, 2020 broken down into HCW and residents are:

Facility Name County HCWs confirmed  with COVID-19  Residents confirmed with COVID-19 
ALAMEDA CARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 26 20
BRIER OAK ON SUNSET LOS ANGELES 62 80
BRIGHTON CARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 20 43
CANYON SPRINGS POST-ACUTE SANTA CLARA 25 39
CEDAR CREST NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER SANTA CLARA 19 38
CEDAR MOUNTAIN POST ACUTE SAN BERNARDINO 18 62
CENTRAL GARDENS SAN FRANCISCO 26 36
COMMUNITY CARE AND REHABILITATION CENTER RIVERSIDE <11 25
COUNTRY VILLA PAVILION NURSING CENTER LOS ANGELES 17 45
COUNTRY VILLA SOUTH CONVALESCENT CENTER LOS ANGELES 15 58
EAST BAY POST-ACUTE ALAMEDA 23 25
EL RANCHO VISTA HEALTH CARE CENTER LOS ANGELES <11 22
EXTENDED CARE HOSPITAL OF RIVERSIDE RIVERSIDE 26 26
GARDEN CREST REHABILITATION CENTER LOS ANGELES 35 35
GARDENA CONVALESCENT CENTER LOS ANGELES 18 33
GATEWAY CARE & REHABILITATION CENTER ALAMEDA 33 69
GRAND PARK CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES 12 16
GREATER EL MONTE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL D/P SNF LOS ANGELES 16
HOLLYWOOD PREMIER HEALTHCARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 25 29
HUNTINGTON HEALTHCARE CENTER LOS ANGELES <11 19
KEI-AI SOUTH BAY HEALTHCARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 23
LYNWOOD HEALTHCARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 27 22
MANORCARE HEALTH SERVICES-HEMET RIVERSIDE <11 31
NEW VISTA NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER LOS ANGELES 15 18
ORINDA CARE CENTER LLC CONTRA COSTA 28 30
RECHE CANYON REGIONAL REHAB CENTER SAN BERNARDINO 29 22
​REDWOOD SPRINGS HEALTHCARE CENTER ​TULARE ​46 ​91
STOLLWOOD CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL YOLO 31 24
SUNRAY HEALTHCARE CENTER LOS ANGELES <11 20
THE EARLWOOD LOS ANGELES 17 24
THE GROVE POST-ACUTE CARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 11 20
THE REHABILITATION CENTER OF SANTA MONICA LOS ANGELES <11 14
TORRANCE CARE CENTER WEST INC LOS ANGELES 15 23
VALLEY HOUSE REHABILITATION CENTER SANTA CLARA 21 42
Grand Total 1290 1740

The figures on this list may change from time to time as available figures come in from different reliable sources including that submitted by the facilities.