The Covid vaccine: Rates drop at our van, despite the new variant of Covid

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

The Covid vaccine: Rates drop at our van, despite the new variant of Covid

Vaccinations have dropped sharply among people visiting our Covid vaccine van in Queens — and we find ourselves both surprised and not surprised in light of the new BA.2 variant of the Covid virus. We have been tracking the surge in the new Covid variant in Queens Village in New York City by various measures […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and testing: Our vaccine van takes a primary role as a test provider

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and testing: Our vaccine van takes a primary role as a test provider

Looking back over the last year, our Covid work has taught us some really important and interesting things, culminating in our five months helping distribute vaccines an undervaccinated neighborhood in New York City. We started the year in a flurry of reporting on why people were having a hard time getting access to the new […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and testing: Omicron and holidays have made the market crazy

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and testing: Omicron and holidays have made the market crazy

The combination of the surge in the new Omicron Covid variant, people’s decisions to travel for the holidays and the shutdown of some public testing sites has driven a sudden overnight change in the Covid testing landscape. Many people who had settled on a testing place in their neighborhood have now found that place has […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and testing: No, you shouldn’t have to pay for a test. So why were they charged?

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and testing: No, you shouldn’t have to pay for a test. So why were they charged?

Covid testing, which had long been fairly predictable, is becoming unpredictable and pricey, people are finding — making it more important to shop around and be sure of what you’re getting. This is a $716 issue for A.S., of Pelham, N.Y., mom of children aged 7 and 11. Other Pelham women had trouble too: It […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and sewage: How does wastewater testing work?

Filed Under: Costs

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and sewage: How does wastewater testing work?

Could the answer to stopping coronavirus in its tracks be found in sewage? In August, the University of Arizona made headlines after it announced that it had used its sewer system to stop a coronavirus outbreak – and the school isn’t alone. Across the United States, wastewater testing programs have cropped up in cities, counties, universities […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the bills: They were charged for giving insurance information to the hospital

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the bills: They were charged for giving insurance information to the hospital

It sounds like the most awful healthcare joke of all: They went to the hospital for Covid testing, gave their insurance information, and were turned away with no treatment. And yet! They got billed! It happened to Rebecca Oliver and Dan Loncoa of Irondequoit, N.Y., at Rochester Regional Hospital. “I had traveled out of state […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) pool testing: While some NYC laboratories reduce turnaround time with pool testing, others remain sluggish

Filed Under: Providers

Coronavirus (Covid-19) pool testing: While some NYC laboratories reduce turnaround time with pool testing, others remain sluggish

In April, New York City was the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. Refrigerated trucks waited outside hospitals to receive bodies. Ambulances waited in line at overwhelmed emergency rooms. Now, with the curve crushed in New York, residents are waiting for their Covid-19 test results. Partly because resources for testing are being sent to new hotspots […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and surveillance testing: What makes a monitoring program effective, for schools, sports or the workplace?

Filed Under: Procedures

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and surveillance testing: What makes a monitoring program effective, for schools, sports or the workplace?

By BEN GLICKMAN and PHOEBE PINDER On the field, Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the first game of a modified and renewed Major League Baseball season on July 23. Off the field, the sports organization took one piece of advice from Dr. Fauci to heart: the importance of testing. In […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and testing: I tested positive for a fourth time

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and testing: I tested positive for a fourth time

I have now tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) antibodies four times, and negative twice. The most recent test is in a study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, “COVID in the Community: Sampling the Unsampled.” They sent out a test kit with a rapid antibody test to do at home, […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and testing: Why are some people being asked to pay?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and testing: Why are some people being asked to pay?

While it’s widely believed that coronavirus (Covid-19) testing is supposed to be covered with no patient out-of-pocket payments by federal law in many cases, we have learned increasingly that Insurers are declining to pay. While we haven’t seen a flood of such reports, there are plenty. We’ve investigated a few, and found that in several […]