As people across the country are unable to test for COVID-19, Santa Monica's pediatrician emailed his patients' parents an expensive but enticing offer.

Dr Jay Gordon wrote that for $ 250, they could buy a blush test to use the virus at home. Parents can purchase these tests even if the patient is asymptomatic or has no other reason to worry about being infected. He wrote that insurance is likely to fail to pay.

Because he only got 100 kits, he asked that the test be limited to family members and "family employees."

Gordon said he sold out almost immediately and ordered hundreds of sets.

"People really want them," he said.

Although California is stepping up testing, the ongoing shortage means many people with symptoms are still eager to get tested.

However, some doctors and "concierge" doctors are providing patients with expensive tests. It's hard to know how popular this sport is, but celebrities and professional athletes who have no symptoms have been tested, while others with poorer conditions are waiting, which has caused anger.

Gordon acknowledges that his proposal highlights inequality in the healthcare system.

"It's absolutely impossible," Gordon said. "This represents a huge failure of the federal government, the healthcare system."

Gordon said he is selling the tests to customers because he has a responsibility to provide them with the best medical care. "I think it is in the best interest of my patients," he said.

Gordon has been criticized for defending the rights of parents who want to delay or refuse to vaccinate their children. He said he believes the lack of detection will "make the situation worse".

Some doctors have expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the tests provided and criticized doctors for charging customers who want to take the test and have the money to pay. FDA Friday Public warning No home test has been authorized for COVID-19, a disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

"I think it's terrible," said Dr. Stanley Perlman, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Iowa, who has studied coronavirus and its treatment. "You don't want people with money to be able to test what everyone is worried about. It seems to make the rich rich people resting. I can't do anything about it."

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Pediatrician, State Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who has strongly criticized Gordon and other doctors' positions on vaccination, said he believes this practice is not widespread, but he condemns the high price of testing Sell ​​to capable people. The California Medical Board should conduct investigations that are unprofessional.

He said doctors should follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention Prioritize testing for patients with COVID-19 symptoms who have been hospitalized; a compromised immune system or other factors that put them at high risk; or recently visited a country with a severe epidemic or a country with close links to people infected with the virus.

"So in a crisis, this is how we handle it? Do we auction these tests? Is this how we want our society to operate?" Pan asked. "Our response should not be based on auctioning scarce resources to the highest bidders."

Primary care doctor David Nazarian said in Beverly Hills that he has been answering calls since the coronavirus outbreak hit the United States.

However, because he has concierge medical services, which means he limits his customers to "influential people, celebrities, celebrities, and CEOs" in exchange for personalized care, so he has been limited to existing customers Provide tests.

Nazarian's annual membership fees start at $ 5,500 and can go up to $ 10,000.

About a month ago, when COVID-19 cases still occurred mainly overseas, Nazarian began looking for additional nasopharyngeal swabs and virus transport media-the materials needed to test for coronavirus. As a result, he had about 50 patients available during the outpatient visit of a nurse wearing protective gear.

Because of the "significant shortage" of test suites, Nazarian decided to order a quick test suite, which he said has been used in China and South Korea, and results can be reached in minutes instead of days.

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Nazarian said he hopes that this rapid test involving blood sample collection will arrive in China this weekend, when he hopes to provide a universal testing option for anyone willing to pay about $ 500 or $ 600.

"We have a lot of new patients contacting us and money is not a factor in money; they are willing to pay whatever they need," he said. "But we're not thinking about how to make money by doing the tests?" Who can we charge more for the tests? "Actually, it's actually Taking care of the patients we already have. Then figure out how we can increase testing and work for the benefit of the community. "

Andrew Pekosz, a biologist at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, said in recent weeks a number of foreign companies have emerged eager to develop new coronavirus blood tests. He said he would not participate in such tests because of concerns about reliability.

Pecos said blood antibody tests can only indicate whether a person has the virus, while a CDC-approved nasal swab test can detect a current infection. He said that if patients don't understand this key difference, they could lead them to seek other treatments.

"What hospitals need most now is healthy people, saying they need medical care," Pecos said.

The CDC recommends nasal swabs for coronavirus testing, and says swabs have a lower priority and should only be collected if nasal testing is not possible. Pecos said oral swabs put people at risk of coughing or exposing testers to the virus.

Some doctors who serve celebrities and wealthy people say they follow CDC testing guidelines.

Beverly Hills physician Gary Cohan said he had to reject many patients seeking a test.

"Now I have to take care of the sickest people who could die," Cohen said.

Cohen said that about every 30 minutes, he would check with his nurse ("she has friends everywhere") and ask when to provide other testing supplies to his office. He said: "She rolled her eyes and said Quest (Diagnostics) and LabCorp told her,‘ One day now. ’

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He said he doubted the reliability of certain tests provided to patients and said doctors should not charge them extra. Federal legislation This month has passed Access to the public free COVID-19 test will be expanded.

Gordon, a paediatrician in Santa Monica, says he only charges his clients $ 50 per exam over what he charges from the lab.

He said he has tried for a while, but most of them have not been successful, and some of his patients have been tested for the virus.

But then one of his patient's parents told him that a laboratory in San Dimas, KorvaLabs, was selling the COVID-19 test. Gordon said he reviewed the laboratory and tests and determined it was legal based on a group of studies, which he said showed that the results of the swab test were the same as those of the nasal samples.

The test can be administered at home. Gordon said he sold the tests to customers to see if they had symptoms, but asked them to wait until they suspected they might be sick before using them.

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner said he was a voluntary clinical consultant to KorvaLabs and said the tests met standards by federal regulations. KorvaLabs did not respond to a comment.

Klausner said the lab is part of a broader effort to "expand" US COVID-19 testing capabilities. He said that if more tests were available, the United States would "end this uninformed, misleading, misleading shutdown."

He also said that the notion of free testing was a "fantasy" and that Americans have been reluctant to fund a medical system that could prepare for the crisis.

"We need to rely on the free market for a healthy response," Klausner said. "That's the United States."