Friday, April 24, 2020

Breaking News: NYT Study Disses Antibody Tests; Health Affairs Reports on National COVID Hospital Costs

Two new stories on April 24, 2020.

COVID Antibody Tests

New York Times - here, Mandavilli - reports a preprint study of 14 different COVID antibody tests.  See the preprint Whitman et al. online here.   See the webpage "COVID Testing Project" here.

Researchers assert that only 3 of 14 COVID antibody tests were workably accurate.  Assert further that some test kits had as much as 16% false positive rate, making them "useless" for clinical and public health purposes. 

Meanwhile, the WHO issues a report that's very conservative on serology use and value so far (WHO here, NPR here).  And see an April 24 story on COVID and (our underdeveloped system of) enterprise risk management here

Politico piles on, April 27,  here.  While Genomeweb's Madeleine Johnson writes about the challenges of developing and validating serology tests (subscription; here.)

COVID Medical Costs - Individual and National

Healthcare Dive reports on a new online study at Health Affairs looking at patient and society medical costs for COVID.   Mensik at Healthcare Dive here.  Bartsch et al. at Health Affairs here.

Inpatient costs for an individual tallied $14,400, roughly triple the costs of a conventional influenza hospitalization. 

Meanwhile, Henry Ford health system in Detroit announced massive financial losses and laid off 2,800 (10%) of employees (here).

Per Bartsch et al., national costs could mount to between $160B and $650B over two years (from 20% to 80% national infection rate).

Mayo said it lost $3B in 1Q2020 - here.

See also a JAMA article on costs by Wadhera et al. here.