Shopping for a COVID-19 Testing Company can be a daunting task and one that exposes you to potentially hiring a firm that just popped up for no reason other than taking advantage of the financial opportunity this expensive service may provide.
Operating a legitimate COVID-19 testing or on-site health and wellness service is expensive. It takes years of experience and investment to not only do well but also legally and in compliance with the various laws and regulations governing real firms.
Below is a reference list of questions you should ask, but you may never need to get through the entire list when interviewing prospective testing companies because if they answer no to any of them I suggest you end the conversation and move on to the next.
A legitimate COVID-19 Testing Company in our industry will answer yes to all of these questions and be forthcoming with any requests for proof of documentation that is essential like a CLIA License, References and Proof of Liability insurance specific to this industry.
How long has your company been in business?
- Go with a company that has at least three years as an established business in healthcare, wellness or medical staffing. Any new company is less likely to be as prepared and professional as an experienced and established company.
Have you provided on-site services of this nature prior to this year?
- On-site services come with their own set of challenges and you are paying for what should be a premium or concierge-level service so hire a firm that knows how to manage and work through the logistical and responsive needs of on-site services.
What is your experience and history with providing on-site testing for employees and groups?
- On-site testing is unique and requires perfect management of participant movement, supplies and paperwork flow. An experienced firm will deliver on what’s promised and allow you to relax because they have control and the knowhow to give you confidence in their work.
Does your business have a CLIA Waiver or Clinical and Public Health Laboratory License?
- This is especially important because it is illegal to buy tests, administer tests and or collect samples for testing unless the firm you hire has a current, valid CLIA License or Waiver. Obtaining a CLIA License or Waiver is a months long process so it indicates that the company you hire is a professional firm that is experienced in this business. A business cannot have a CLIA License unless they have an MD and meet specific criteria that ensures safe handling of PHI and adherence to HIPAA regulations.
- Do not hire a firm that does not hold a CLIA License or Waiver. It is a risk to your company to work with a firm that lacks this very important document.
Are the healthcare workers you send employees of your company or contract labor?
- Companies that hire contract labor have no dominion over those workers. Companies that hire and have their own W2 employees are far more likely to send qualified and well trained people to serve your group.
Does your company use a Medical Waste Disposal service? What happens with any medical waste?
- It is not uncommon for new, opportunistic companies to dump their contaminated waste (PPE, collection kits, etc.) in regular trash bins and dumpsters because disposing of waste properly is expensive. Hire companies that do the right thing because how they treat these issues is likely the same as how they treat their customers and their HIPAA information.
Does your company have a Medical Director or doctors on staff?
- Companies that provide testing should have an MD on staff that is available to speak with any of your people should they test positive at no extra charge. Companies that have an MD on staff have invested in providing a higher level of service.
Can you provide at least three references from companies you have served providing this same service?
- Always ask for at least three references. Be sure to get contact information for them and reach out to speak with former clients about their experience.
What sort of professional liability insurance do you carry and will you provide copies of that policy?
- Holding on-site services comes with risk and legitimate companies in this industry have liability coverage for the exact type of work we perform. The policy should have minimum coverages of $1mm and $3mm from an AA rated insurer.
- It is normal for companies we work with to ask us to provide proof of a current professional policy and no good company would withhold that information.
What test are you using?
- Can the person you’re speaking with talk about the test they use- the brand and the lab- and also explain why they believe it’s the best test for you? Remember, you are paying a premium for this service so make sure you are working with experts and not someone that jumped into COVID-19 testing to make a fast buck.
Is the COVID-19 Testing lab you work with CAP Accredited?
CAP Accreditation indicates the lab has been inspected at the highest level to ensure they maintain accuracy of test results and ensure accurate patient diagnosis. CAP requirements commonly exceed the required standards from CLIA, FDA and OSHA, bolstering patient care and safety.