TLDR: Home Test To Treat is a new program that provides telehealth and antiviral home delivery for people testing positive for Flu or Covid-19.
The U.S. The Test To Treat Program aimed to make it quicker and easier for people at risk for severe Covid-19 to get the antivirals they need. Not only were pharmacists granted the ability to dispense antivirals (like Paxlovid) without seeing a clinician, but many pharmacies paired this function with on-site testing for “one-stop” shopping. This program is still available, and participating pharmacies can be accessed here.
By mid May of last year, the neighborhoods that needed antivirals the most (highest numbers of death and severe disease from Covid-19 as well as low income) were using them the least, even though they had the highest number of local access points.
Why weren’t people using a treatment that in clinical trials showed an 88% reduction in hospitalization and death? Many reasons were floated, including unfounded concerns about “Paxlovid rebound”, side effects like “Paxlovid mouth”, and provider confusion over drug interactions. But the evidence is clear, the established benefits of Paxlovid outweigh the cons, particularly in high risk populations, such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.
A partnership of federal agencies and private partners launched “Home Test to Treat” in January. This was slowly expanded to additional pilot sites and is now being expanded nationally, at least until April of next year.
Home Test-to-Treat is technically an expansion, but it’s simpler to view it as a new program. Key facts:
🧪 Tests: If you have VA insurance, are uninsured, or have public insurance (Medicaid/Medicare) you can log on and get free Covid-19 and Flu tests, even if you are not currently sick.
🧑💻 Telehealth: If you test positive for Covid-19 or Influenza, you are eligible for a free telehealth appointment, regardless of insurance status. The clinician will ask you questions to see if you need an antiviral.
💊 Treatment: If you are prescribed an antiviral it will be delivered to your home free of charge.
Remember, both antivirals are best taken as soon as possible (< 5 days) after testing positive or beginning symptoms, so if you are high-risk, don’t wait to get the treatment you need!
Stay safe. Stay well.
Those Nerdy Girls