Federal COVID-19 Telehealth Program Includes Senior Living Residents

The entirely virtual community health intervention will provide free COVID-19 health services — at-home rapid tests, telehealth sessions and at-home treatments.

By HFT Staff
January 10, 2023

The National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently launched the Home Test to Treat program. The entirely virtual community health intervention will provide free COVID-19 health services — at-home rapid tests, telehealth sessions and at-home treatments — in selected communities, including senior living and affordable senior housing residents.  

Local and state officials in Berks County, Pennsylvania, will be the first to pilot the Home Test to Treat program. Up to 8,000 eligible residents are anticipated to participate. 

Program organizers will gather information from participants to identify best practices and make improvements to the Home Test to Treat model that can be used to implement the program on a larger scale. More communities across the country will be selected to participate based on level of community need, access to healthcare treatment, expected COVID-19 infection rates and socio-economic factors. Through collaborations with local health departments, Home Test to Treat aims to offer services to approximately 100,000 people across the United States in the coming year. 

Telehealth services provider eMed will implement the Home Test to Treat program. Having administered millions of verified at-home telehealth sessions during the pandemic, eMed will host the user-friendly Home Test to Treat website, where participants can sign up for the program, report symptoms, receive telehealth and antiviral treatment delivery, and coordinate telehealth enabled test kits. 

HHS, through ASPR, has led a national COVID-19 Test to Treat initiative since March 2022, that includes thousands of treatment access points nationwide. These include CDC’s Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program, composed of federally funded health centers, long-term care facilities and community-based sites. 

Participants in the Home Test to Treat program can be tested at local centers. The Test to Treat initiative has evolved to include more mobile and telehealth-based models that reduce barriers to access for the highest-risk individuals. NIH’s Home Test to treat program will provide an important additional pathway to rapidly access lifesaving treatments for COVID-19 in vulnerable communities. 

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