Kroger Health, the health care arm of The Kroger Co., is participating in the Biden administration’s “Test to Treat” initiative to expedite care for patients exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
Under the program, patients with a positive COVID reading from a Food and Drug Administration-authorized at-home test can receive a COVID antiviral prescription (including Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Molnupiravir) at any of the 225 The Little Clinic locations in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Virginia, Kroger Health said Friday. The prescriptions can be filled at a Kroger or other pharmacy. To access the service at The Little Clinic, patients schedule an appointment at kroger.com/health/clinic and select “COVID Viral Test (Test Active Infection)” as the reason for their visit.
Launched in March by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Test to Treat is designed to provide quick access to free treatment for COVID-19. Through this program, people can get tested and — if the results are positive and treatments are appropriate for them — receive a prescription from a health care provider and have their prescription filled, all at one location. HHS said these “One-Stop Test to Treat” sites are available at hundreds of locations nationwide, including pharmacy-based clinics, Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)-supported federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs) and long-term care facilities.
Cincinnati-based Kroger Health noted that Test to Treat also is available across all 50 U.S. states via The Little Clinic telehealth services, helping patients with transportation or other access barriers. Patients showing COVID symptoms or concerned with exposure to the virus may use any of the 13 FDA-authorized at-home tests available to participate in an observed self-test with a medical professional. After a positive test, The Little Clinic will provide an antiviral prescription or, if results are negative, the patient will be provided a treatment plan according to the diagnosis. Patients can schedule a telehealth appointment online at kroger.com/health/pharmacy/covid-19-treatment, where they select “COVID Virtual Visit” from the scheduler. Those making an appointment must acquire one of the authorized home test kits in advance. Kroger Health said most of the test kits available for online order and delivery.
COVID-19 therapeutics are available at all Kroger Co. pharmacies, according to Kroger Health, which noted that the antiviral treatments may reduce the severity of symptoms and risk of death from infection. Kroger said the U.S. COVID-19 Therapeutic Locator updates regularly when locations have product on site.
“We understand Americans are tired of this virus and its impact on our lives. We are all eager to move forward,” Dr. Marc Watkins, chief medical officer for Kroger, said in a statement. “However, we owe it to our families, friends and communities to get tested if symptomatic and seek treatment when appropriate. As always, receiving the manufacturer-recommended doses required for full vaccination and booster doses recommended by age and condition remain our most effective tools in controlling the spread of the disease.” Kroger reported that, to date, it has administered 11 million COVID vaccinations.