A push for coronavirus testing at all nursing homes; cost break down for Missouri and Illinois

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Dr. Gabrielle Beger, left, prepares to take a nose-swab sample from Lawrence McGee as she works with a team of University of Washington medical providers conducting testing for the new coronavirus at Queen Anne Healthcare, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Seattle. Sending “drop teams” from University of Washington Medicine to conduct universal testing at skilled nursing facilities in collaboration with public health officials is one aspect of the region’s approach to controlling the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

ST. LOUIS – A new report estimates it would cost $440 million dollars nationwide to test every nursing home resident and staff member just once. The American Health Care Association (AHCA) says that amount would be for nearly 3 million tests.

The AHCA says the cost of ongoing COVID testing for nursing home residents and staff is unsustainable without additional funding and support from federal and state governments.

The association has asked the Health and Human Services Department to grant $10 billion in emergency relief to help fund testing and help with staffing needs.

The report breaks down the cost by state and looks at the number of facilities and residents per state. The figures are also determined with an estimated cost of a test at $150.

The association looked at census data and says Missouri has 522 facilities and estimates it would cost $12,390,300 to test the 38,202 nursing home residents and staff in the state.

The report also shows Illinois has 722 facilities and would need $21,441,150 to test the 142,941 residents and staff at the state’s facilities.

Illinois has increased its response to long-term facilities by sending more staff. There is a page dedicated to information about nursing home outbreaks on the state health department page. The Health and Human Services Secretary said the US has conducted more than 10 million coronavirus tests, and the federal government is deploying rapid tests to meatpacking facilities and nursing homes.

State# of Nursing Facilities1# of Nursing Home Residents1# of Nursing Home Staff2Total # of Tests2Total Cost3
NATIONWIDE15,4291,327,6781,603,8001,343,107$439,721,700
AK19682N/AN/AN/A
AL22822,96227,35023,190$7,546,800
AR22617,46522,38017,691$5,976,750
AZ14611,96516,18012,111$4,221,750
CA1,193103,480139,060104,673$36,381,000
CO22716,79620,33017,023$5,568,900
CT21522,15632,55022,371$8,205,900
DC182,3192,7202,337$755,850
DE464,1754,7604,221$1,340,250
FL70173,31295,39074,013$25,305,300
GA35833,38733,72033,745$10,066,050
HI443,6474,5503,691$1,229,550
IA43423,17028,44023,604$7,741,500
ID824,1785,2604,260$1,415,700
IL72266,08176,86066,803$21,441,150
IN53439,00447,77039,538$13,016,100
KS33117,02117,89017,352$5,236,650
KY28522,90227,29023,187$7,528,800
LA27826,13726,88026,415$7,952,550
MA37637,57749,86037,953$13,115,550
MD22623,86129,01024,087$7,930,650
ME935,8568,4105,949$2,139,900
MI44238,09944,10038,541$12,329,850
MN36824,06542,26024,433$9,948,750
MO52238,20244,40038,724$12,390,300
MS20415,91518,01016,119$5,088,750
MT713,9555,2704,026$1,383,750
NC42836,63044,84037,058$12,220,500
ND805,3419,5705,421$2,236,650
NE20111,02914,50011,230$3,829,350
NH746,4766,5906,550$1,959,900
NJ36343,31547,41043,678$13,608,750
NM715,6816,8605,752$1,881,150
NV665,8427,3605,908$1,980,300
NY619104,383121,990105,002$33,955,950
OH95772,11594,22073,072$24,950,250
OK29818,26820,41018,566$5,801,700
OR1307,35211,9507,482$2,895,300
PA69575,84772,35076,542$22,229,550
RI807,7219,9207,801$2,646,150
SC19117,05319,20017,244$5,437,950
SD1055,6467,1705,751$1,922,400
TN31627,16433,76027,480$9,138,600
TX1,21993,56199,78094,780$29,001,150
UT995,7239,3605,822$2,262,450
VA28728,20529,79028,492$8,699,250
VT362,4483,7202,484$925,200
WA20615,62821,29015,834$5,537,700
WI35922,04329,42022,402$7,719,450
WV1239,5199,3509,642$2,830,350
WY372,3192,0702,356$658,350
1Census Data
2Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment – Nursing Facilities (May 2019)
3Estimated cost of $150 per test

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