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. Under the emergency agreement struck last year, the state is billed $87 to $120.99 per test, depending on whether the sample came from a free community walk-up site or the statewide mail-order testing program.
Source/more: Minneapolis Star-Tribune