Humana Inc. announced a pilot home-testing program that will enable at-home COVID-19 test collection for members, making Humana the first insurer to offer LabCorp’s at-home test-collection kits. Humana also announced an innovative new collaboration with Walmart and Quest Diagnostics to help members more easily get tested – becoming the first health care company to offer its members drive-thru testing at hundreds of Walmart Neighborhood Market drive-thru pharmacy locations across the country.
Humana will continue to waive member costs related to COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
“Our members continue to be worried about COVID-19 – including the anxiety about possibly having it and not knowing it,” said Mona Siddiqui, Humana Senior Vice President of Clinical Strategy and Quality. “We want to help alleviate that stress. This is an additional step we can take to help address their concerns – whether testing from the safety of their own home or using the drive-thru option.”
Humana has developed a coronavirus risk-assessment tool based on CDC guidelines at Humana.com/coronavirus. Members who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection, or those without symptoms who may be been exposed to the virus qualify for testing, will be given the option to request an in-home test or drive-thru testing. This is part of Humana’s ongoing effort to meet members where they are and ensure that they have a wide range of options and choices for COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
Humana members with Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Medicaid, or Employer Group plans through Humana are eligible for the tests, with Humana waiving member costs for the tests.
Humana is making available LabCorp’s COVID-19 at-home collection test kit for members who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection and those without symptoms who may have been exposed to the virus. The test is available through LabCorp’s Pixel by LabCorp online platform. The test kit is physician-authorized and enables individuals to self-collect nasal swab specimens at home.
“Testing is a critical component in helping to control the spread of COVID-19 and LabCorp is proud to make our high-quality at-home collection kit even more accessible to Humana’s membership,” said Brian Caveney, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and President of LabCorp Diagnostics. “Our at-home collection kit, the first to receive emergency use authorization from the FDA, is another example of how we are making testing easier, faster and more readily available to people who need to be tested.”
Humana is teaming up with Walmart, Quest Diagnostics and PWNHealth. Walmart plans to offer the drive-thru testing option at hundreds of Neighborhood Markets, using the pharmacy drive-thru windows, and Humana members will be able to access these locations for pharmacist-observed testing. Several of these sites are already available for testing and additional sites will be added between now and August. Humana is currently exploring ways to provide transportation to drive-thru test locations for members who need a ride.
People being tested will receive a testing kit from the pharmacist through the drive-thru window tray. The pharmacist will observe as they swab themselves, then the individual will properly seal the swab in a container and plastic bag and drop their sample at a drop box as they pull out. Quest will pick up the samples for testing. Pharmacists will be behind the drive-thru window at all times while patients are collecting samples, and no testing samples will enter the pharmacy.
“Our goal has always been to help bring COVID-19 testing access to as many communities as we can during this unprecedented time,” said Thomas Van Gilder, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Walmart. “We’re pleased to work with Quest Diagnostics to bring testing access to Humana members and others at our Neighborhood Market pharmacy drive-thru windows, creating a convenient way for Humana members to be tested and protect themselves, their families and their communities.”
“We’re proud to team up with Humana and Walmart to make it convenient and easy for Humana members to get the critical COVID-19 testing services they need,” said Jay G. Wohlgemuth, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Quest Diagnostics. “Our lab insights will help foster safer and healthy environments as our nation begins to reopen our economy.”
The announcement is part of an ongoing program to support Humana members during this public health emergency, including:
· Eliminating out-of-pocket costs for office visits so that members can reconnect with their healthcare providers. Humana is waiving in-network primary care costs, not only for COVID-19 costs, but all primary care visits for the rest of 2020. In addition, the company is waiving member costs for non-facility-based outpatient behavioral health visits through the end of year. Behavioral health issues, like depression, may be exacerbated because of the pandemic and are important to flag and treat.
· Waiving consumer costs for treatment and diagnostic testing related to COVID-19-covered services, including inpatient hospital admissions for enrollees of Medicare Advantage plans, fully insured commercial members, Medicare Supplement and Medicaid.
· Extending telehealth cost share waivers for all telehealth visits – primary care and specialty, including behavioral health, for in-network providers through 2020. By eliminating these costs, Humana is supporting members to re-engage with their physician for pressing primary care and behavioral health needs whether in-person or virtually, depending on their personal situation.
· Providing safety kits to support visits to healthcare providers. For members who need to access the healthcare system or other essential services in the community, Humana wants them to be as safe as possible. To assist in this effort, the company has been proactively sending safety kits to members’ homes, including masks and health-advice information, to support their ability to seek care.
· Engaging more than 2,000 Humana nurses and other staff members who are making daily outreach calls to members, coordinating care for their clinical and behavioral health needs and screening for social determinants of health. They are connecting members with food, including prepared meals, offering a friendly voice on the phone to combat loneliness, helping to secure prescription refills, and solving routine medical issues to help avoid an unnecessary trip to the doctor or ER.