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White House Wants Hospitals to Report Coronavirus Testing Data

This story was originally reported by 360Dx's sister publication Modern Healthcare. 

NEW YORK – The Trump administration on Sunday sent a letter to hospitals requesting that they report their COVID-19 testing data to the US Department of Health and Human Services on a daily basis.

"We understand you may be reporting to your state, but the data is needed at the federal level to support [Federal Emergency Management Agency] and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their efforts to support states and localities in addressing and responding to the virus," Vice President Mike Pence wrote.

The request primarily applies to hospitals with in-house labs. "Academic, university and hospital 'in-house' labs are performing thousands of COVID-19 tests each day, but unlike private laboratories, the full results are not shared with government agencies working to track and analyze the virus," Pence wrote.

Test results are due to HHS every day at 5:00 p.m. ET. Hospitals are already being asked to share their daily bed counts with the government.

The American Clinical Laboratory Association, which represents clinical and anatomic pathology laboratories, has been asking for federal support in the various stimulus packages to aid with the demand on their facilities.

"One month ago today, the US Food and Drug Administration cleared the regulatory barriers preventing commercial labs from performing COVID-19 testing," ACLA President Julie Khani said in a statement. "Since then, ACLA member laboratories have steadily increased COVID-19 testing capacity each week. In total, ACLA members have performed approximately 650,000 COVID-19 tests to date, including 84,000 tests completed just yesterday. We currently have six ACLA members testing for COVID-19, and other members are working to bring additional tests online."