Quest Diagnostics says it is now a participating partner in the CDC’s Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) for COVID-19 program, which is designed to support free COVID lab testing for patients in underserved communities.

Through the program, Quest will expand access to no-cost out-of-pocket COVID testing to uninsured individuals who qualify at approximately 1,200 of the company’s 2,100 patient service centers. CDC chose Quest following a competitive bid. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Through this relationship with CDC, Quest will extend access to our COVID-19 diagnostic services in underserved communities, helping to close equity gaps in the nation’s pandemic response,” says Ruth Clements, VP and general manager, Infectious Disease and Immunology, Quest Diagnostics. “We commend CDC for harnessing the power of public-private collaboration to broaden access to critical COVID-19 laboratory testing for those most in need. By making high quality laboratory testing financially accessible, this CDC-brokered model may help contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and other contagions.”  

To qualify, individuals must complete a brief online screening questionnaire via QuestDirect, the consumer-initiated testing service from Quest Diagnostics. Both uninsured and insured individuals 2 years of age and older are eligible. After completing the questionnaire, the QuestDirect platform will direct an individual who is uninsured and qualifies to schedule an appointment at an ICATT-participating Quest Diagnostics patient service center. Qualifications include being symptomatic, recent exposure to someone with COVID, and/or other health risks.

Quest and CDC have collaborated on several public health testing and research initiatives, including in the areas of SARS-CoV-2 variant sequencing and serology testing. In addition, through its Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) initiative, Quest is bridging healthcare gaps to reduce health disparities in underserved communities, including those impacted by COVID-19.