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NIH home
Program now offers testing, telehealth and treatment for COVID-19 and flu. 

December 10, 2023 – 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 for 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. 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.

Visit Home Test to Treat (link is external) for more information. Home Test to Treat is operated under a NIH/ National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) contract with VentureWell, with a subcontract to eMed.

Home Test to Treat is a component of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx®) Tech program of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at NIH. NIBIB also leads the research component of Home Test to Treat, which aims to assess the benefits for patients and identify factors that are crucial to broad adoption of home test to treat services. The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Program is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

About the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx®) initiative: The RADx initiative was launched on April 29, 2020, to speed innovation in the development, commercialization, and implementation of technologies for COVID-19 testing. The initiative has four programs: RADx Tech, RADx Advanced Technology Platforms, RADx Underserved Populations and RADx Radical. It leverages the existing NIH Point-of-Care Technology Research Network. The RADx initiative partners with federal agencies, including the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, Department of Defense, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Learn more about the RADx initiative and its programs.  

About the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB): NIBIB’s mission is to improve health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. The Institute is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care. NIBIB supports emerging technology research and development within its internal laboratories and through grants, collaborations, and training. More information is available at the NIBIB website

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

Source: NIH