Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Questions surface over Minnesota's COVID-19 testing contract


April 19, 2021

Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

People took saliva COVID-19 tests at MSP Airport on Nov. 12, 2020. The Legislative Auditor's Office is looking into complaints about the rates billed to the state for COVID testing.

Minnesota public health officials talk with pride of the free statewide COVID-19 testing system they set up last year, but questions are mounting about the cost of the no-bid contract they negotiated and a key pricing amendment still in the works.

The Minnesota Legislative Auditor's Office confirmed Friday that it has received multiple complaints about the rates billed to the state for COVID testing and is conducting "preliminary inquiries" into the issue, said Joel Alter, director of special reviews for the office.

Minnesota's contract is with Vault Medical Services of New York, which runs community testing clinics and communicates the results of about 9,700 COVID-19 diagnostic tests daily to the state and its residents. The contract also includes Infinity Biologix (IBX) of New Jersey, which runs the lab in Oakdale where saliva specimens are processed.


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