Texas lab supports ASCs amid COVID-19 testing obstacles — 6 insights

As the founder of Austin, Texas-based Water Leaf Surgery Center and Genotox Laboratories, Matt McCarty, MD, believes testing patients and employees for COVID-19 is "central" to maintaining safety and business viability.

Dr. McCarty shared six insights with Becker's ASC Review:

1. "Screening has taken a back seat to diagnostic testing" as COVID-19 testing surges, Dr. McCarty said. As a result, Texas ASCs are struggling with insufficient "supply of high-quality 95 percent sensitivity/95 percent specificity [testing]."

2. Lengthy turnaround times are a key issue. Many labs using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing don't deliver results for five to six days, according to Dr. McCarty.

3. Using a nasopharyngeal swab collection system with RT-PCR testing, Genotox Labs provides ASCs an alternative to faulty rapid COVID-19 tests with high false-negative rates, Dr. McCarty said.

4. Genotox delivers results within 42 hours of receiving overnight delivery of patient samples. ASC patients are tested three days before their scheduled surgery and are required to self-isolate while awaiting results.

5. Genotox is looking to dedicate its entire lab volume of 2,000 samples per day to ASCs that want to clear patients for procedures.

6. As a healthcare entrepreneur, Dr. McCarty said he is "acutely aware of the need to protect my patients and employees — including our physicians — by maintaining the highest safety and chance for business viability."

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