The federal government has expanded the Home Test to Treat program, an entirely virtual community health program that offers free COVID-19 health services: at-home rapid tests, telehealth sessions, and at-home treatments, to eligible participants nationwide. 

Home Test to Treat, which is a collaboration among the National Institutes of Health, the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, launched as a pilot in select locations earlier this year. 

With its expansion, the Home Test to Treat program will now offer free testing, telehealth, and treatment for both COVID-19 and influenza (flu) A and B. It is the first public health program that includes home testing technology at such a scale for both COVID-19 and flu. The program initially will provide the Lucira by Pfizer COVID-19 & Flu Home Test, the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized test that can detect both viruses in a single test at home.

For those indicated, treatment must begin within a limited window from onset of symptoms, underscoring the importance of continuity of care, from diagnosis to treatment, according to the organization. In addition, providing these services virtually, while individuals remain at home, is intended to expedite the time to treatment and the convenience of accessing services virtually from home.

Any adult (18 years and older) with a current positive test for COVID-19 or flu can enroll to receive free telehealth care and, if prescribed, medication delivered to their home. Adults who do not have COVID-19 or flu may enroll and receive free tests if they are uninsured or are enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs health care system, or the Indian Health Services. If recipients test positive at a future time, they can receive free telehealth care and, if prescribed, treatment.

Home Test to Treat is operated under a NIH/NIBIB contract with VentureWell, with a subcontract to eMed.

Photo: Home Test to Treat