AdventHealth Claims More Than 25,000 Coronavirus Test Results Are Unreliable


Image via Shutterstock

By Giselle Balido

May 21, 2020

The system’s claim is due to “unacceptable delays” and a lack of confidence in the reliability of the tests processed by a third-party lab.

The results of more than 25,000 COVID-19 tests performed by AdventHealth in Central Florida are unreliable, the health system announced on Saturday. AdventHealth, which offered drive-through testing in five locations in Central Florida, performed more than 18,000 COVID-19 tests. The health system’s claim is due to “unacceptable delays” and lack of confidence in the reliability of the tests processed by a third-party lab not named by AdventHealth reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Lab Defends Its Testing

But on Monday, the CEO of the laboratory at the center of the AdventHealth testing problems defended his company’s test results. According to Rick Martin, CEO of MicroGenDX — the Orlando based company with a laboratory in Lubbock, Texas — even though the processing of the tests fell behind, the test results are reliable.

RELATED: COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Shows Promise and Moves to Phase 2

“We work with top institutions from Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Duke and Rush, and that’s why it’s really disheartening for them to say that the test is not reliable,” said Martin, who added that MicroGen has performed more than 60,000 tests for AdventHealth in Florida.

According to Martin, the delays in the testing were due to the fact that his lab didn’t receive two important pieces of equipment needed for testing that he ordered: a machine that extracts the genetic material of coronavirus out of patient samples and the disposable pieces that are used to run the samples in the machine. 

Martin said this happened because the Defense Production Act directed private companies to give priority to orders from the federal government. At the same time, the samples from AdventHealth kept coming, overwhelming his lab’s capacity and causing it to fall behind.   

AdventHealth Stands by Their Statement, Reaches Out to Affected Individuals

But following MicroGenDX’s defense of its tests’ accuracy, on Monday AdventHealth said they stand by their initial statement and have notified the appropriate regulatory agencies of the issues they experienced with this lab.

RELATED: Some Miami Tests to Determine COVID-19 Exposure Are Inaccurate

“Our complete focus is on notifying and accommodating every consumer who has been impacted by this situation,” stated the agency, which has performed more than 41,000 COVID-19 tests in Florida, 4% of which have been positive, according to the Florida Department of Health’s (FDH) coronavirus report.

Accordingly, the health system is providing affected individuals with the following directions:

·         If you received a positive result, you will need to be retested.

·         If you received a negative result and have symptoms, you will need to seek care and may have to be retested.

·         If you received a negative result and have no symptoms but want to be retested, you will be offered testing pending availability.

·         If you were tested but the test hasn’t yet been processed at the lab, you will be notified that you won’t get any results, as AdventHealth has requested that the company destroy the unprocessed samples.

AdventHealth will provide testing to these individuals at no charge.

Other Testing Concerns

In order to expand testing options during the pandemic, in February the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed some companies to offer diagnostic testing without the agency’s review. 

This has caused concern among public health officials about the accuracy of the results, including those of the rapid COVID-19 test used by the White House, which health officials say could miss infections up to 50% of the time.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, this has left many individuals wondering which, among all the different tests, is the best for them.

“You need the right test, at the right time, for the right person, for the right result, for the right action,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, an internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology and a leading voice during the COVID-19 pandemic, told health reporters.


CATEGORIES: Coronavirus | Florida | Health | Local | Safety


Local News

Related Stories