AdventHealth terminates contract with COVID-19 testing lab due to unreliable results

Posted at 1:38 PM, May 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 19:44:50-04

TAMPA, Fla. — AdventHealth has terminated its contract with a COVID-19 testing lab due to unacceptable delays and unreliable test results.

The system said they rely on nationally accredited third-party labs to assist them in COVID-19 testing. However, one of the labs processing a significant number of public tests has been unable to fulfill its obligation.

The issue impacts more than 8,000 people throughout the AdventHealth West Florida Division, and more than 25,000 people throughout the AdventHealth Central Florida Division.

The situation has created delays and AdventHealth said they do not have the confidence in the reliability of tests.

"We are working diligently to notify and appropriately accommodate those who are impacted. They will be receiving a letter from us and may also receive a phone call," they said.

Orlando resident Tanya Rezak got tested at an AdventHealth test site on May 5th. She said after calling AdventHealth several times to try and track down her results, she finally decided to tweet the company.

“AdventHealth got in touch with me via Twitter and said 'our third-party lab is unable to process your results,'“ said Rezak.

In a press release from AdventHealth they said they share in the disappointment and frustration the situation has created.

AdventHealth also said they use many other labs across multiple states to provide COVID-19 tests for their communities.

ABC Action News is working to learn which test sites are affected by this, and what time frame these tests occurred during.

Individuals who were impacted fall into two categories:

  • Those whose samples were processed, and whose results provided by the lab are not deemed reliable.
  1. Individuals who had unreliable positive results will require retesting.
  2. Individuals with unreliable negative results who are symptomatic need to seek care and may require retesting.
  3. Individuals with unreliable negative results who are asymptomatic but request to be retested will be offered testing pending availability.
  • Those whose samples are at the lab in question and are part of the backlog will not be tested; therefore, no result will be available.
  1. These patients may require retesting if they are symptomatic.
  2. We have directed the lab to destroy these samples in accordance with the law.
  3. If someone is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms they should seek care immediately.

“It has been a privilege to serve our community during these unprecedented times, and we remain committed to our promise to keep you safe and provide the best care possible,” said Mike Schultz, President and CEO of AdventHealth West Florida Division. “We are taking ownership of these issues and are reaching out to the thousands of those who were impacted to help make it easy for them to understand the next step in their care.”

The Florida Division of Emergency Managment released a statement on the damaged tests:

"Today, the Florida Division of Emergency Management was made aware that of the more than 90,000 tests administered at drive-thru and walk-up test sites so far in May, 1,702 were damaged in transit, and these individuals will need to be retested. Any person whose sample was damaged will be contacted as soon as possible. These individuals will be prioritized for retesting at the site where they were originally tested."

AdventHealth West Florida Division includes:

  • AdventHealth Carrollwood
  • AdventHealth Connerton
  • AdventHealth Dade City
  • AdventHealth Lake Placid
  • AdventHealth North Pinellas
  • AdventHealth Ocala
  • AdventHealth Sebring
  • AdventHealth Tampa
  • AdventHealth Wauchula
  • AdventHealth Wesley Chapel
  • AdventHealth Zephyrhills
  • AdventHealth Brandon ER
  • AdventHealth Central Pasco ER
  • AdventHealth Palm Harbor ER
  • AdventHealth TimberRidge ER
  • AdventHealth Westchase ER