DALLAS, March 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Affinity Health Partners, a rural health system owner and operator today announced it is bringing a point of care COVID-19 test to its facilities and network partners facilities in April. The rapid antibody CE marked point of care test is currently being offered pursuant to the Policy for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disease Testing (the "Policy"), dated March 16, 2020, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"). The test is currently being utilized in Europe and China and was developed three years ago during another Corona based virus epidemic.
The announcement follows weeks of research and verification activities to ensure that this "Rapid Chromatographic Immunoassay" meets the requirements of a large and growing public health need for coronavirus screening. This screening test is designed as a simple to use, easily deployable inexpensive test that does not require any laboratory intervention. Using a spot of capillary blood from a finger stick (Uses a small amount (10 μL)), the screener receives a result in about 10 minutes. The result identifies if the patient is positive or negative for primary and secondary SARS-CoV-2 infection and qualitative detection of lgG and IgM antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.
"We are concerned that as this virus spreads to the rural sectors of the country that the lack of education or misinformation will cause people not to seek help or testing," said Frank Avignone, CEO of Affinity Health Partners. Mr. Avignone went on to say, "We have to be good partners to our tertiary care centers in the region. We should serve as a pressure relief valve taking patients into our hospital(s) that are lower acuity freeing up beds in the larger health systems, which can then support patients who require ventilators we expect to see similar to other countries like Italy. Additionally, we are concerned that the isolation (Shelter in Place) of all community members will only further the spread of the virus after isolation protocols are lifted. We have to change our focus to screening and identifying those with the virus earlier and test two to three times to ensure we cover all incubation periods of the virus. We believe that this test and our Rural Health Network Strategy will help our surrounding urban hospital partners and avoid the rebound effect of the virus after the isolation periods are lifted." Mr. Avignone went on to conclude: "If we do not change our focus to using a simple, inexpensive test that provides immediate screening results to identify the sick and isolate them, identify their circle of contacts and isolate them we will only increase the devastating impact of this virus on our country."
About Affinity Health Partners: Affinity Health Partners' mission is to improve the rural health systems' performance with the highest value services customized to each of our owned and operating health facilities' unique needs. Considering the complexity of the problems facing rural healthcare, we believe that our communities' trust in engaging us requires leadership by deeply experienced individuals. As leaders in the healthcare industry, we understand how critical it is first to appreciate our rural health systems and their challenges and then to execute the rural health network strategy in a way that helps our facilities become more integrated and not isolated with our larger urban health system partners. For more information, please call our main number (800) 264-0846 or visit our website www.affinity-hp.net or email [email protected].
SOURCE Affinity Health Partners