New numbers show it could cost $7.5M to test all AL nursing home residents, staff once

The cost of testing in nursing homes

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re getting a closer look at just how much it would cost to test every resident and staff member at Alabama nursing homes.

The Trump administration recommended weekly testing to ease up on restrictions at nursing homes across the country.

So take a look at this data from the American Health Care Association.

The AHCA estimated it would cost close to $440 million to test every nursing home resident and staff nationwide just once.

And just in Alabama, it would cost over $7.5 million.

That's why the president and CEO of AHCA Mark Parkinson is asking for more federal and state funding to support weekly testing.

The Alabama Nursing Home Association says this is something that would need thorough planning before implementing: for example, how tests would be administered and how often.

"Are you going to do this once or are you going to do this on an ongoing basis? And it's important to realize that testing is not the fix. The testing certainly gives you data, but you've got to continue to work to treat people who are COVID positive, or isolate those who are positive with no symptoms," said John Matson, Alabama Nursing Home Association spokesperson.

One thing Matson did want to point out when it came to those numbers: the number of nursing home staff in each state came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment. That number could reflect employees who may not actually work inside facilities.

You can see the complete breakdown for each state by clicking here.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.