As JUCM News has reported recently, the dynamics of the federal test-to-treat program designed to ensure efficiency in helping patients newly diagnosed with COVID-19 have proved difficult to decipher. Though as first described it seemed to leave urgent care out of the running to participate, the Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) clarified that urgent care centers who meet the relevant criteria may qualify to participate after all. And, in fact, Newark Urgent Care recently had the distinction of becoming the first site in Delaware to offer test-to-treat. An article published by Kaiser Health News maintains that the program strongly favors retail pharmacies, however—especially CVS MinuteClinics, which account for more than half of official test-to-treat locations in the United States as of the article’s publication. Per the KHN piece, 91% of sites able to take part in test-or-treat are chain drugstores, federally qualified health partners, or military and Indian Health Service clinics. Federal pharmacy partners account for roughly one quarter of the total supply of antivirals set aside for the program. A fact sheet created by ASPR on the test-or-treat program is available here.
Update: Mystified by the ‘Test to Treat’ COVID Program? You’re Not Alone