Biden administration launches pilot program for COVID-19 telehealth care

The Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH) on Thursday introduced the launch of a pilot program that may enable folks to obtain free testing, session and therapy for COVID-19 from their houses.

The NIH estimated as much as 8,000 eligible people will take part within the pilot program, known as the House Check to Deal with program, which shall be led by native and state officers in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

“At-home testing for COVID-19 is now extensively accessible in the USA, as are antiviral remedies, and this program combines straightforward house entry to each,” mentioned Bruce Stromberg, director of the Nationwide Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering on the NIH.

“The House Check to Deal with program permits those that are sick an alternative choice to venturing out for testing or therapy, probably lowering the unfold of COVID-19 in the neighborhood,” he mentioned.

Different communities across the nation shall be chosen to take part on this program based mostly on want, socioeconomic issue and entry to healthcare, in accordance with the NIH. The company mentioned it’s aiming to supply this service to as much as 100,000 folks within the U.S. over the following yr.

The telehealth providers for the pilot program shall be offered by eMed, which may also host the House Check to Deal with program web site. Information collected from this pilot may also be analyzed by researchers on the UMass Chan Medical Faculty to find out this system’s influence.

Main pharmacy chains together with CVS and Walgreens already supply telehealth providers that may assist facilitate remedies for COVID-19, and a few major care physicians additionally present this feature for his or her sufferers. Walgreens partnered with corporations together with DoorDash and Uber to supply free deliveries of COVID-19 antivirals final yr.

The Biden administration launched the Check to Deal with program in 2022 to assist folks entry antiviral COVID-19 remedies rapidly, because the remedy have to be taken inside 5 days of symptom onset to be efficient.

This system, nevertheless, has run into some hiccups since its begin. Not all pharmacy areas have employees on web site who’re in a position to prescribe Paxlovid, resulting in sufferers delaying therapy till they’re able to purchase a prescription.

Some who take a look at optimistic for COVID-19 may additionally lack the power to succeed in a pharmacy and choose up their remedy simply. Whereas Paxlovid remedies have been sponsored by the federal authorities up to now — a scenario anticipated to finish early this yr with out additional funding from Congress — uninsured people have additionally run into roadblocks when attempting to accumulate a prescription, with clinic visits typically being financially prohibitive.