HHS uses Defense Production Act to ensure priority testing for nursing home patients

Aug. 24, 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has leveraged the Defense Production Act (DPA) to apply priority-rated orders for contracts with BD (Becton Dickinson, and Company) and Quidel Corporation through September, according to a press release from the HHS.

The department said the acquisitions, which were originally announced in July, fulfill a large-volume purchase of diagnostic systems and assays for COVID-19 testing and will expedite shipments of these systems and assays to every nursing home certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) with a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) Certificate of Waiver – approximately 14,000 nursing homes – in the United States. The tests can diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection in approximately 15 minutes.

CMS requires nursing homes in states with a 5 percent positivity rate or greater for COVID-19 to test all staff each week.

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