Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

How one elite New York medical provider got its patients coronavirus tests

Stock Markets Mar 20, 2020 01:10AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters.
 
ENZ
+0.00%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 

By Anna Irrera and Koh Gui Qing

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As U.S. authorities scrambled to ramp up the nation's capacity to test for coronavirus last week, at least 100 executives and other New Yorkers of means had easy access to testing, according to two sources familiar with the activities of a little-known medical service catering to the affluent.

These people paid a $5,000-a-year membership fee for a medical concierge service in New York City called Sollis Health, which worked with Enzo Clinical Labs Inc to test its members for COVID-19, according to the sources.

The arrangement gave members, which include people in finance, entertainment, advertising and media industries, access to the tests at home at a time New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state had the capacity to test just a few hundred patients a day. The two sources declined to provide the identities of the people the company tested for coronavirus and Reuters could not establish them.

The demand for the coronavirus testing services provided by Sollis underscores the lack of preparedness of public health institutions. The access it provided its members is the latest example of how well-to-do people got coronavirus tests at a time of scarcity.

Sollis is part of a lucrative cottage industry, where membership costs can run into tens of thousands of dollars a year for services such as special access to doctors and private emergency rooms. These companies have found a niche in wealthy cities like New York and San Francisco as the rich seek access to better healthcare. Reuters was unable to ascertain if other medical concierge services also were offering coronavirus tests.

The company triaged requests and only tested patients who showed symptoms that warranted further inquiry, in line with New York health department guidelines, one source said.

In the past few days questions have swirled on Twitter about how some celebrities, sports teams and bankers managed to get the tests when they were hard to come by.

"Clearly there is access beyond what most Americans are seeing is available," said Dr. Jake Deutsch, a clinical director of New York-based Cure Urgent Care, commenting on the broader lack of testing. "Hopefully we will get mass testing soon, it shouldn't be based on your class or any other factor other than symptoms."

Deutsch’s New York-based practice started testing patients on Saturday and offers walk-ins for people of different socioeconomic backgrounds, including individuals with Medicare, he said.

One of those tested by Deutsch's practice was social media influencer Arielle Charnas, who posted about her results on Instagram. Deutsch said Charnas, a friend, was sick and did not get special treatment. Charnas did not respond to a request for a comment.

So far, at least 10,990 cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in the United States and 95 people have died from the COVID-19 disease, according to a Reuters tally of state and local government websites on Tuesday afternoon.

For a graphic, click https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T

HEALTHCARE FOR THE ELITE

Sollis Health has locations in the Upper East Side and Tribeca neighborhoods of Manhattan. "At the ER, you'll wait 5 hours. Our doctors can handle most medical issues immediately," it says on its website. "It can take weeks to see the best specialists. We get you in right away."

The company started to get inquiries about testing for coronavirus around the end of February, as cases began to spread in Italy, the person familiar with the matter said. Some of its members had traveled to areas affected and wanted to get tested, the person said.

Its physicians contacted the New York Department of Health for coronavirus tests. They were able to perform several, but found the availability of tests was limited, the person said. They also used swabs to run tests for other types of respiratory diseases, which if diagnosed, could help reduce the likelihood of the member also having COVID-19, this person said.

The New York health department did not respond to a request for comment on its dealings with Sollis.

On March 6, Enzo Biochem Inc (N:ENZ) said it will begin accepting specimens for COVID-19 testing at its lab from the following week. Enzo, which already does work for Sollis Health, told the company it could do the tests for its members, the source said.

How one elite New York medical provider got its patients coronavirus tests
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (5)
Dutch East
Dutch East Mar 20, 2020 4:12AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I thought the USA was suppose to capitalist and democratic. So why are many state and city governments in the USA talking as if they were the leaders of North Korea? weren't we taught that the USA is Land of the "free" and home of the brave?..... "of the people for the people by the people"? Why do the people of USA so quickly surrender and trample on the rights they were given. This is every power hungry politicians damp dream....mass media scare mongers work hand to control us by deception and sleight of hand.
Daniel Sky
DanielSKY Mar 20, 2020 2:02AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
If no effective action taken, New York may become Little Italy soon.
Chuck Anderson
Chuck Anderson Mar 20, 2020 1:41AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
It's called "limousine liberals". Major hypocrites who claim they care about the poor people but the truth is that they only care about themselves.  Never vote for democrats!
TYRONE MORGAN
TYRONE MORGAN Mar 20, 2020 1:41AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I bet those Republicans that turned up positive didn't stand in line or go through a drive-in testing place.
Mike Hu
Mike Hu Mar 20, 2020 1:41AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
No point to blame those who have money. The health care system proved to be epic failure: it's probably the most expensive per capita in the USA, but cannot even handle virus that already has known remedies (malaria drug from decades ago along with some antibiotic in all cases resulted in 100% cure rate in 6 days). Not only known cure isn't used in the USA, but there are no tests available. I just flew to a 3rd world country this week, to my surprise everyone was measured temperature twice (once in airplane itself, and second time before passing through customs). All those with elevated body temperature were tested right there in the airport (I don't know how what they did there, but it seems that medical personnel were handling them). The health care failure system that's in place in the USA costs lives. If it will continue on its failed path to the point where death count in the USA will be 10x of what China had, will you still blame rich people, or the failed health care system?
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Mar 20, 2020 1:19AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Lock down dont make u safe because u dont know if all in your family r corona free. one has it, then all will get it. Testing all is the answer.
Happy Trader
Happy Trader Mar 20, 2020 1:18AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Money talks
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Mar 20, 2020 1:18AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Ih i had money, i would test all my family members before we lock down. If one has it, lock down is family s^side.
TYRONE MORGAN
TYRONE MORGAN Mar 20, 2020 1:18AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Kaveh Sun  Who wouldn't right?
Jennifer Pam
Jennifer Pam Mar 20, 2020 1:18AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
was thinking the test is free
Jae Jung
Eqtrend Mar 20, 2020 1:18AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Jennifer Pam  Well test is free, but getting one in US is different story, especially if you don't exhibit symptoms.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email