Indiana to close OptumServe’s COVID-19 testing sites at end of June

The Indiana Department of Health on Thursday said it will close COVID-19 testing sites across the state operated by OptumServe Health Services on June 30.

The large-scale testing partnership was launched in April 2020 to make it easier for Hoosiers to get tested for the coronavirus and provide the health department with meaningful pandemic data.

More than 541,000 free COVID-19 tests have been provided at an OptumServe site since May 6, 2020, the state said.

At its peak, OptumServe, a division of health care insurance giant UnitedHealth Group, provided testing in 53 counties. Currently, 30 counties have an OptumServe testing site.

The state said it felt comfortable closing the sites “now that a robust community-led testing network is in place, including pharmacies, providers, clinics and local health departments.”

Local health departments received state grants in fall 2020 to open nearly 100 testing sites, further reducing the need for OptumServe sites.

“We are grateful to OptumServe for its work to ensure that Hoosiers had COVID testing available to them while we worked to build more local capacity,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said in written comments. “Without their work, many Hoosiers who were exposed to COVID or showing symptoms might never have known their status. I have no doubt that having this resource available helped reduce the spread of COVID in our state.”

Box said even though demand for testing has decreased across the state, free testing will remain available at more than 250 sites after the Optum sites close.

Nearby testing sites can be found at www.coronavirus.in.gov.

The state did not say how much it paid to OptumServe in total for operating the sites.

The state’s initial contract was $17.9 million to open 50 testing sites statewide during May 2020. That grew to another $21 million in the second month. The state said it expected to cover most of the costs for the sites with federal grants.

The health department did not immediately respond Thursday afternoon to a request for further financial information.

At the peak of testing in December, Indiana was testing more than 20,000 unique individuals a day. On Thursday, the health department reported testing of just 3,794 individuals.

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