The company the state has contracted with to test Hoosiers for COVID-19 is not meeting one of its obligations in its contract, but the state has still re-upped with the firm for another month of service.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said during Friday’s press briefing that OptumServe, a subsidiary of United Health Group, has not been providing test results within a 48-hour window, as the contract requires.
Box said part of the problem occurs when the company sends tests to out-of-state labs, which have a longer turnaround time.
Even the tests that run through local labs have been taking about 55 hours—which is longer than the state’s 48-hour window. Still, Box said the state is working with OptumServe to increase the number of tests being sent to local labs.
“I think that will help that timing,” Box said.
Box did not have data on the number of tests OptumServe has been doing, but she said it’s probably an average of 1,700-2,600 per day.
She said the state has conducted about 36,000 tests through OptumServe sites. “Not near as many as we’re capable of doing,” Box said.
The company is supposed to have a weekly testing capacity of 30,000 individuals.
She said the state is working to relocate some of the 50 sites that OptumServe runs to what they hope will be more effective locations that will increase the amount of testing taking place.
Despite not meeting the 48-hour turnaround, the state has renewed its contract with OptumServe for another month. The contract now runs through the end of June and is expected to cost the state an additional $21 million on top of the initial $17.9 million.