Ascension hospitals launch mobile labs, bring testing to patients

St. Louis-based Ascension is sending mobile COVID-19 testing labs to patients' homes in Texas, according to The Stephenville Empire-Tribune.

As physicians are resuming nonemergency surgeries and requiring pre-surgery COVID-19 testing, Texas Ascension hospitals are sending out vans that provide patients with testing that can be done on their front porch. 

Ascension Seton launched the first mobile lab May 6. Mobile labs are expected to be implemented soon for Ascension's Round Rock, Georgetown, Waco and Austin hospitals.

Ascension plans to combine its mobile labs with telemedicine and add technicians for blood work, X-rays, ultrasounds and electrocardiograms so physicians can send a van to patients' homes for diagnostic tests instead of calling them into hospitals and risking viral contraction.

Care provided in the mobile labs is already approved by Medicare, and no price difference is expected between mobile and in-hospital care.

"This will last long after COVID because virtual care is something that is going to stay in patients' lives," James Callas, MD, CMO for Ascension Medical Group Temple, told The Stephenville-Empire Tribune.

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