RiskManagers.us Unveils Self-Administered Chinese Flu Test

RiskManagers.us announced today the availability of a patent pending, exclusive and proprietary self-administered Chinese Flu test that decreases the burden on providers and extends hospital resources.

Our plan product is new, revolutionary, simple and safe” said company spokesperson Molly Mulbriar.

In line with what the FDA has stated ,these tests should not be administered at home but on-site. With that in mind RiskManagers.us members are issued cotton swap sticks in a clinical setting for self-insertion under medical supervision” Mulebriar explained. 

“What a better way to brand RiskManagers.us in today’s climate of fear and anxiety!” says Alan Farnsworth, M.D. “Now we hear United Health Group is doing the same…………………”

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UnitedHealth Group Unveils Self-Administered COVID-19 Test

Payers looking for ways to decrease the burden on providers and extend hospital resources may turn to self-administered COVID-19 tests as a solution.

By Kelsey Waddill

March 31, 2020 – UnitedHealth Group Research & Development and OptumCare clinicians have determined that self-administered COVID-19 tests are as effective as provider-administered tests and may extend resources and providers’ capacities.

Yuan-Po Tu, MD, the study’s lead, spearheaded the effort.

“While working on the front lines of our clinical care facilities in Washington state, Dr. Tu saw an opportunity to improve COVID-19 testing and rallied the expertise and resources of UnitedHealth Group to complete the study in less than one week,” said Ken Ehlert, chief scientific officer of UnitedHealth Group.

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“This is one of many ways we’re working across UnitedHealth Group, Optum and UnitedHealthcare to combat COVID-19 by providing the best care for patients, supporting the health care workforce, and enabling the health care system with new insights and solutions.”

Of the 500 OptumCare patients who self-administered the coronavirus test, 90 percent of patients with coronavirus correctly tested positive. This matches the rate for provider-administered tests.

However, high accuracy is only one of the self-administered coronavirus test’s benefits, the research indicated.

The self-testing process is easier and less invasive to administer than the provider-collected test.

“Nasal swabs are extremely easy for anyone to self-collect, in any setting, so it’s an excellent way to expand screening while reducing worker exposure,” said Gerard Cangelosi, a professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences.

Whereas the provider-collected test requires the provider to insert a swab deep into the patient’s nasal cavity, the self-administered coronavirus test draws its sample from the front and middle of the nostril.

It is important to note, however, that the FDA has stated that these tests should not be administered at home but on-site and only for patients exhibiting symptoms. The FDA still prefers samples from farther back in the nasal cavity.

“We know that broad, rapid and accurate testing is essential to addressing the COVID-19 crisis, yet the current clinician-administered process significantly limits testing capacity, puts frontline health care workers at risk of COVID-19 exposure, and is unpleasant for patients,” explained Tu.

According to the study’s lead researcher, the new approach to testing has three major benefits:

  • Allows more tests to be administered with greater efficiency
  • Prevents healthcare workers from further, excessive exposure to the coronavirus
  • Reduces the demand for personal protective equipment—masks, gowns, and gloves

Protecting providers is a major priority as the coronavirus spreads.

The US does not have strong statistics regarding how many providers and nurses have fallen ill to the coronavirus. However, for the sake of comparison, in China where the outbreak was first reported, the virus had infected 3,400 healthcare workers by March 4, 2020 and killed 13.

Over a month later, the US has far surpassed every other country in confirmed cases of coronavirus including China, which the US has exceeded by 1.7 times the number of cases that China has reported as of March 30.

The study itself took place in Washington state. Washington was a major epicenter for the initial outbreak in the US. It now ranks seventh for confirmed cases in the country and second for coronavirus-related deaths, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University on March 30.

With providers’ attention in such high demand, payers have taken measures to reduce providers’ duties elsewhere.

Many payers, for example, relaxed hospital transfer policies. They have also pledged to match Medicare waivers to enable population health management for seniors who are considered high risk.

Testing and trying to mitigate health complications related to the virus is all that payers and providers can do at the moment, as the pharmaceutical industry searches for a vaccine against the coronavirus.

In response to the high demand for testing, government payers and commercial payers have committed to cover testing for many patient populations. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which passed on March 18, requires private payers to cover testing with zero cost-sharing. Likewise, Medicaid now covers all testing through an injection of federal funding.

 

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