Feds Launch Testing Strategy, but Price Gouging Continues

Testing for the novel coronavirus still has an important role to play in saving lives and ending the pandemic, but it will require significant investment and attention to become effective. As testing is scaled up by the Biden administration, in a notable pivot from the Trump administration’s hostility to testing, carriers and plan sponsors may have to foot the bill for higher volumes of a broader array of tests.

Through a Jan. 21 executive order, President Joe Biden launched the COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board, which will coordinate “a Government-wide, unified approach” with the goals of “establishing a national COVID-19 testing and public health workforce strategy; working to expand the supply of tests; working to bring test manufacturing to the United States, where possible; working to enhance laboratory testing capacity; working to expand the public health workforce; supporting screening testing for schools and priority populations; and ensuring a clarity of messaging about the use of tests and insurance coverage.” The membership of the board does not appear to have been announced as of press time.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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