USA Health, Alabama Department of Public Health and HHS partner to expand access to monoclonal antibody therapy to COVID-19 patients
This new treatment has been shown to help prevent progression of the disease that might otherwise require hospitalization.
USA Health, in partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced today that it has expanded access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies and will begin administering treatment at the Mobile Civic Center. For people who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness and have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, this mAb treatment has been shown to help prevent progression of the disease that might otherwise require hospitalization.
With the rapid spread of the Delta variant and a major surge in COVID-19 case rates, USA Health will expand access to the mAb infusion for eligible patients with a new 10-chair unit located in the Civic Center at 401 Civic Center Drive, Mobile, AL 36602. With the launch of the new infusion site, USA Health will be able to treat up to 70 patients per day. To confirm eligibility for the treatment and book an appointment, patients should contact 1-833-TREAT-COVID (1-833-873-2826) or visit the web page.
If administered within a few days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, the one-time therapy is highly effective in neutralizing the virus and preventing symptoms from worsening. The treatment is administered through infusion therapy.
“Our mission at USA Health is to help people lead longer, better lives. This new partnership serves as a catalyst for better care for residents during this pandemic, and ultimately, it is helping us save lives,” said Owen Bailey, MHA, FACHE, chief executive officer of USA Health.
“As we continue to see positive COVID-19 cases in our area, we are excited to be able to provide the underserved members of our community with this life-saving treatment,” he continued.
"Monoclonal antibody therapy available through this new treatment site, along with the federal funding that supports it, will help ensure more high-risk Alabamians receive the care they need to recover more quickly and may prevent them from being hospitalized," State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama Department of Public Health, said. "Low vaccination rates and the Delta variant continue to be obstacles in our fight against COVID-19. The additional access provided by USA Health and HHS to this life-saving treatment with the launch of this antibody therapy center is crucial in helping halt disease progression in these vulnerable patients."
On March 17, 2021, HHS announced it was investing $150 million to increase access to mAb therapy for high-risk patients in underserved and disadvantaged communities across the country. With support from KPMG LLP, HHS is developing new prototype models for expanding access to mAb treatment and leveraging an existing network of health care partners to provide the therapy for underserved and disadvantaged populations.
USA Health is one of the first provider organizations in Alabama to join this national initiative. It joins a growing list of mAbs therapy providers supported by KPMG and sponsored by HHS as part of the federal effort to help end COVID-19 and improve health equity in underserved communities across the country. In addition to the Civic Center location, more than 60 infusion sites have now been established or expanded with the following provider organizations: FirstCall Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System, Family Health Centers of San Diego, Cape Cod Healthcare, Houston Methodist, Beckley Appalachian Regional Healthcare, UMass Memorial Health, Spectrum Health, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, McLeod Health, North Mississippi Health Services, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, Hattiesburg Clinic, Atrium Health, Ochsner Lafayette General, DCH Health, and Community of Hope.
The mAb therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use. A Phase 3 clinical trial showed that the antibody therapy reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by up to 70% in patients who received the drug intravenously compared to those who received a placebo.
The FDA emergency use authorization provides information on eligibility for mAb treatment. The infusion treatment takes less than an hour, with an observation time afterward. Treatment is offered regardless of immigration status, health insurance coverage, or ability to pay.