KENNETT SQUARE, PA — Genesis HealthCare, (OTC PINK: GENN), a national post-acute care provider, announced this week that it completed its millionth point-of-care (POC) COVID-19 test on April 19, 2021. The million lab tests were conducted across more than 300 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities across the country.
In July 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would send POC testing devices to every nursing home in the country. These POC tests are antigen tests that are different from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, although both tests look for the virus. The important advantage of POC tests is that they provide results within an hour of sampling, compared to PCR tests that require samples to be sent out to a lab with turnaround times of 48 hours or more.
“The ability for nursing homes to test patients, residents and staff on a real-time basis was the turning point in the fight against this virus,” states Dr. Richard Feifer, Chief Medical Officer of Genesis. “The ability to have easy access to instant results allowed us to more effectively fight COVID-19 by providing rapid results for testing new patients upon admission and during initial observation periods, as well as residents who exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Screening tests could also be conducted, based on transmission risk in the community, with quick results allowing facilities to take immediate actions to limit viral spread. Obtaining real-time COVID-19 results within minutes rather than days provides for the most effective and safest care possible.”
In total, Genesis created more than 300 clinically approved center laboratories across 22 states to conduct real-time COVID-19 tests. Traditionally, skilled nursing facilities would not have onsite labs. The Company used Becton Dickinson Veritor Plus, Quidel Sofia 2, Abbott BinaxNOW and Access Bio, Inc. devices and spent millions of dollars to purchase the test kits. Each facility also added or designated nurses for specimen collection, nurses trained to run the tests and staff to document and report results for regulatory compliance.
All labs continue to remain in operation today as they are one of the key methods used to ensure resident, staff and visitor safety as centers have reopened to family visitation.
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