Medical Technology

Reimbursement for COVID Tests at-home Beginning Next Week

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According to The New York Times, Americans who are trying to get tested for COVID-19 can now be reimbursed for the cost of quick tests at home.

In upcoming weeks, people are expected to be able order free tests online, White House officials said.

“We know this remains frustrating for people getting tested in many parts of the country,” Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator spoke at a briefing for reporters on Wednesday. “So we’re working to do all we can.”

Two weeks ago President Joe Biden announced that his administration would purchase 500 million rapid tests to distribute to the general public. Additionally, insurance companies would reimburse people for tests they purchased on their own. At the time, Biden said the new initiatives would begin “in the next few weeks.”

The Biden administration has not yet announced details about how to order the free online tests. With the huge increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant the demand for home tests has outpaced supply, and the majority of retailers have run out of stocks.

Zients said Wednesday that test makers will begin delivering rapid tests to the federal government next week . He also said that Americans will start receiving free tests “in the coming weeks.” The Biden administration will set up an “free and simple system including a website” that allows people to order tests, he added.

New federal testing sites will open this week in Philadelphia, DC, Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said to reporters on Wednesday. Zients stated that other testing sites will be opened in Delaware, Maine and Maryland, Nevada and Texas, as well as Washington. Mobile testing sites are also available in New York City, New Jersey, and Texas.

The CDC removed a requirement for testing from its new guidelines for isolation last week. This cut down the time for isolation from 10 to 5 days. Health experts have been critical of the decision, saying that individuals must pass a negative test before they are allowed to end their isolation.

The CDC updated its guidelines on Tuesday. It said that anyone who would like to end isolation after 5 days may take a test , if they are available. If the test result is positive, they should stay at home for the next 5 days. If the test results are negative, and they show no symptoms, they may be placed in isolation and should wear masks for five more days.

Rochelle Walensky MD Director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky MD CDC director, has stated that the FDA doesn’t authorize rapid tests to determine whether a person is infected. The CDC removed the testing requirement. Instead tests are authorized to detect infection and are intended to be repeated back-to-back like in schools to confirm that people continue to test negative, she said.

However, the CDC amended its guidance this week because “it was evident that people were interested in using rapid tests,” Walensky said, and she wanted to “provide guidance on how they should be used.”

SOURCES:

The New York Times: “Reimbursement for rapid tests at-home will begin next week an official from the White House official says.”

C-SPAN C-SPAN: Jan. 5, 2022 “White House COVID-19 Response team Briefing.”

CDC: “COVID-19: Quarantine and Isolation Updated Jan. 4 2022.”

Content Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/966176?src=rss

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