CVS Health Group Corp. spoke about the delays in receiving results on COVID-19. However, they also assured that the waiting time is decreasing, despite previously untreated tests, which, by the way, could interfere with the containment of the coronavirus pandemic.
The largest pharmacy retailer that has conducted COVID-19 tests in the United States said it has reduced the number of new tests it is currently conducting, but has connected several additional laboratories. CVS has not announced a decrease in latency.
CEO Larry Merlo, said in an interview on Wednesday that the waiting time for results has decreased significantly despite the fact that one in four laboratories with which CVS has contracted to process results is still experiencing delays. He declined to name it, but said that within a week or so, all test results from CVS should be available within three to four days.
Long waiting times for test results can slow down the search and isolation of people with whom an infected person has come into contact.
“We want to make sure that any increase in production does not negate the progress we made during the renovation,” said Mr Merlo.
It was also said that the company has increased the number of samples under the guidance of health officials.
Testing Scaling Up
As it works to scale up testing, the company is increasing the country’s diagnostic capacity to meet recommendations from health experts to contain the spread of the virus. CVS conducts about 40,000 tests per day, or 1.2 million per month of the approximately 17 million tests that are conducted daily in the United States, said Mr Merlo.
As it works to further increase the number of tests for COVID, CVS is gearing up for higher demand this season than in the past for the flu vaccine. Flu vaccination will be more important, as flu and COVID share similar symptoms, Merlo said.
CVS also released its financial results for the last quarter on Wednesday, saying that insurance business profits increased as Americans refrained from unnecessary procedures and regular medical care amid the pandemic.
Reaping the savings from missing planned procedures, reduced visits to clinics and emergency departments, it joined other insurers and CVS Health, the owner of the insurance giant Aetna. These savings significantly surpassed payments by insurers for coronavirus treatment.
The company said customers are now returning to a more familiar health care regimen and expect more people to be treated with insurance in the second half of the year.
CVS Health Forecast
Pharmacy Chain expects earnings of $5.59 to $5.72 per share, or $7.14 to $7.27 per share, as adjusted. Prior to that, the company had expected earnings of $5.47 to $5.60 per share, or $7.04 to $7.17 per share, as adjusted.
CVS reported profit for the second quarter of this year was $2.98 billion, or $2.26 per share, up from $1.94 billion, or $1.49 per share, in the same period last year. Adjusted earnings were $2.64 per share, higher than analysts polled by FactSet forecast of $1.91 per share.
The Woonsocket, R. I.-based company reported sales of $65.34 billion.
Sales in the company’s medical services segment, which includes Aetna, rose 6.1% to $18.47 billion. He said that the medical loss ratio, or the share of premiums paid by the insurer on claims, is 70.3%.
Sales in the company’s prescription and general-use segment rose 1% to $21.66 billion. Sales in the pharmaceutical services segment rose marginally to $34.89 billion, partially offset by lower shipments during the quarter.