SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Update for Health Plans (17 March)

Tuesday 17 March 2020, 4:20 PM | Sonic Healthcare USA

As part of our commitment to provide high-quality services and optimal access to your members, Sonic Healthcare USA and its affiliated laboratories will continue to provide updates regarding testing for SARS-Cov-2/COVID-19.

 

Testing Access and Test Performing Locations:

  • Patients from all service areas can access the test through their local healthcare providers currently serviced by Sonic’s Clinical Laboratories, as well as Anatomic Pathology Practices in 34 states.
  • Six Sonic Healthcare USA laboratories currently perform SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing: Sonic Reference Laboratory (Austin, TX), American Esoteric Laboratories (Memphis, TN), Clinical Pathology Laboratories (Austin, TX), Sunrise Medical Laboratories (Hicksville, NY), WestPac Labs (Los Angeles, CA) and Clinical Labs of Hawaii (Honolulu, HI, March 23).
  • We are coordinating among our affiliated laboratories to distribute testing capacity in real time to mitigate high demands from endemic regions and hot spots.
  • Testing is performed seven days a week, 24 hours per day.

Turnaround Time (TAT):

  • Expected TAT is published at 1-3 days. In markets local to our testing sites, TAT may be shorter. TAT may vary with changes in capacity and clinical demands.
  • As of today, Our TAT have been under 48 hours at 100%. This unmatched performance is critical to care delivery for the most vulnerable populations in distress.

Testing Capacity:

  • Sonic uses four different platforms and methodologies for SARS-Cov-2/COVID-19 testing, including the current gold standard CDC/IDT assay, as well as the leading high throughput Roche COBAS 8600/8800 assay (FDA EUA approval on March 13). The purposes for our multi-platform strategy are:
    • To maintain critical turnaround time commitment.
    • To resolve indeterminate results or inconsistencies between test results and clinical presentation
    • To prevent service interruptions due to platform-specific supply chain issues.

Pricing and CPT Code Information:

  • Pricing: $70 per test, same for all CPT codes
  • CPT Codes: 87635, U0001, U0002


In response to this national health crisis and to ensure optimal access for patients, we are offering a single price for all payors, clients and patients. Any future adjustment due to changes in supply chain commitment and availability will apply to all payor agreements.

The goal of our pricing approach is to ensure affordable patient access and protect our testing capacity to avoid service interruptions. Our price is established to support the turnaround time, indeterminate result resolution and the four different platforms and methodologies, including the current gold standard CDC/IDT assay.

We are working diligently with all the suppliers and our clinical laboratory colleagues to optimize support for our communities. Dr. Hussong, CEO of Sonic Healthcare USA, was one of the elite physician laboratory executives who attended the emergency meeting at the White House on March 4 with Vice President Pence, HHS Secretary Azar, FDA Commissioner Hahn and other officials to address the national laboratory testing response. We, along with our industry colleagues, pledged to work closely with the government and our suppliers to ensure optimal and sustainable access to our patients. We understand price is an important component of ensuring affordable patient access.

We believe we share the same goals of patient access and affordability with you, our Health Plan partners, and look forward to working with you closely on patient access, case management and reporting, and appropriate pricing support.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Maggie.

Thank you.

Maggie Sadler
Senior Vice President, Managed Care, Sonic Healthcare USA
512-531-2152, msadler@sonichealthcareusa.com

Philip Chen, MD, PhD
Chief Strategy Officer and Head of COVID-19 Task Force, Sonic Healthcare USA
512-439-1653, pchen@sonichealthcareusa.com