Health Advice

/

Health

Is the COVID-19 Test-to-Treat program testing your patience?

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

The news is good, bad and downright stupid when it comes to the COVID-19 Test-to-Treat Program that was launched in March.

Good: antiviral medications. Pfizer's Paxlovid and Merck's Lagevrio, when taken within five days of developing your first COVID-19 symptoms, can prevent severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths, especially among chronically ill (diabetes, heart disease, etc.), disabled and older Americans.

Good: All qualified heath care providers (that's your doc) can prescribe these antivirals. And now, the Department of Health and Human Services is distributing oral antiviral pills directly to participating Test-to-Treat pharmacy-based clinics and long-term care pharmacies. You can get tested and prescribed antivirals all in one visit. An online national map shows locations that are offering the service: https://covid-19-test-to-treat-locator-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com.

Bad -- and stupid: According to a survey of the Test-to-Treat system by Kaiser Health News, many locales have no nearby clinics that can offer such services. Where there are clinics, there are online glitches, and for the non-tech savvy, things get especially tricky. In addition, some places charge up to $100 for in-person and telehealth Test-to-Treat visits. People without insurance, whose health plans don't cover visits to the clinics or who have high-deductible plans must shoulder the full costs.

Solutions: Talk to your primary care physician about Test-to-Treat at his/her office -- before you need it, so you're prepared. Order free at-home test kits ahead of time from www.covid.gov/tests. And Kaiser Health News says Truepill offers online COVID-19 assessments and meds through its website findcovidcare.com. Truepill, available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., costs $25 to $55.

 

========

Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@GreatAgeReboot.com.

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Comics

Cathy Macanudo Fowl Language RJ Matson Dinette Set Mike Luckovich