BLOG — Community Health Plans: Advancing Access to COVID-19 Testing

As some regions begin to relax stay at home orders, the country continues to grapple with the realities of COVID-19 and its impact. Public health officials agree that the only way to effectively slow and stop the spread of coronavirus is through significant widespread testing.

The nonprofit members of the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) are working closely with their provider partners to increase testing capabilities throughout their communities. For example:

  • The Baylor Scott & White Research Institute has activated five clinical trials to better understand the coronavirus
  • HealthPartners is increasing its laboratory capacity to more than 2,000 COVID-19 tests a day, a seven-fold increase since late April, and offering drive-up testing sites capable of testing 300-400 individuals per day
  • Intermountain Healthcare is offering testing to the homeless community via a mobile unit that travels to local area homeless resource centers
  • Intermountain Healthcare also performed a convalescent plasma transfusion as part of a new national protocol – the first Utah patient was discharged after just 13 days
  • Sanford Health, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, is deploying an aggressive approach to better understand the COVID-19 outbreak in southwest Minnesota, with a goal of slowing the spread of the illness through extensive testing. This includes three lanes of drive-thru testing for an area hotspot, with the capability to complete more than 2,000 tests in the coming days
  • UPMC will soon be offering antibody testing at all hospital locations, determining whether someone has produced and could be immune to the virus

The ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis will continue to require an increase in coordinated testing efforts—efforts that ACHP members and their providers are meeting head on to secure the health and safety of their communities.

Additional information on efforts of ACHP plans and their affiliated systems during this public health crisis is available here.