Testing nursing homes for COVID-19 costs $440M

Testing all residents and staff at the nation’s nursing homes just once would collectively cost $440 million, according to data from the American Health Care Association and National Center of Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).

The findings underscore just how expensive COVID-19 testing can be, with nursing homes asking for more federal aid to respond. The total cost does not include testing for other long-term care facilities including assisted living.

The CDC recently recommended nursing homes to increase COVID-19 testing, but the cost of testing all residents and staff would come to more than $1 billion per month. According to AHCA/NCAL, the cost of testing is “unsustainable.”

“For months now, we have been advocating for expanded and priority testing in nursing homes to protect our residents and caregivers, but this is a significant undertaking and cost for nursing homes to shoulder on their own,” Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of American Health Care Association and National Center of Assisted Living, said in a statement. “That’s why we have asked HHS to grant our request for a $10 billion emergency relief to help fund expedited testing and the additional staffing needed to respond to this unprecedented health crisis.” 

Nursing homes are some of the most vulnerable facilities to COVID-19, which can cause serious illness and death in.

Broken down by state, California would see the highest cost of testing every resident and staff one time, coming it at $36,381,000, according to the report. The cost for New York is estimated at $33,955,950, while the cost for Texas would be $29,001,150. By comparison, testing all residents and staff would cost Wyoming just $658,350.