SHIC Diagnostic Fee Assistance Program Demonstrates its Value

Farmscape for March 29, 2021

Full Interview 8:33 Listen

The Swine Health Information Center reports its Diagnostic Fee Assistance program has started to demonstrate its value in helping to identify previously unidentified diseases in pigs. The Swine Health Information Center Diagnostic Fee Assistance program was developed to provide funding to cover additional diagnostic fees after typical diagnostics have failed to identify the cause of a condition or in cases where it appears more information is needed. Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg explains this program was created to ensure that, if something is emerging or is out of the ordinary, that it can be uncovered quickly and that nothing is allowed to fall through the gaps.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
The diagnostician of a case initiates the protocol, initiates the paperwork and the process in consultation with the producer and with the veterinarian. Then we have a group pf diagnosticians, a panel, that reviews that information about the case. One thing that we want to make sure that we do is cover additional diagnostic fees outside of the ordinary. We want to make sure that the initial diagnostics and the initial diagnostics fees are covered by the producer and the veterinarian. From that point on, if there’s a dead-end, we don’t want something to fall by the wayside so we go through the process of having it reviewed, the diagnostician panel says “yes, this is unique, yes, they’ve done all the initial diagnostics on it and yes, we recommend that we do some more work to try to find out what’s going on on the farm. There’s a process so we make sure that we evaluate every case on a case by case basis and also fairly.

Dr. Sundberg notes we have found some new etiologies out there. For example, he says, the Diagnostic Fee Assistance program facilitated the discovery of Porcine sapovirus that was causing chronic diarrhea in piglets, the first time it was identified as the primary cause or primary ideology of chronic diarrhea in piglets.

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