Humana said it will send 1 million test kits to its members to allow them to access preventive screenings at home. The insurer said it would send its Medicare Advantage members at-home colorectal cancer screenings and diabetic management test kits. Humana’s Medicaid members will also have access to the diabetic management test kits.

The effort is an attempt to offset delayed care due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In April, several health systems postponed all elective procedures to conserve protective equipment. While most offices have since begun scheduling appointments again, many patients might not feel comfortable going in just yet.

As a result, routine cancer screenings have plummeted during the pandemic. A report by EHR vendor Epic found that screening appointments in March were down between 86% to 94% compared to mean volumes. This, of course, could have long-term implications for patients if it leads to later cancer detection.

“Because of the pandemic, many of our members – who are primarily seniors – have not been comfortable leaving their homes for routine health care,” Humana CMO Dr. William Shrank said in a news release. “Many interactions with health care providers can be conducted virtually, and we encourage telehealth whenever possible. However, patients and doctors should work together to determine when in-person visits are needed, and we are taking every precaution to make sure those visits are safe and that our members have confidence to make the best decisions for their health. During these complex times, patients should not be distancing themselves from their doctors.”

Humana will offer the at-home screenings until September.

Photo credit: SetsukoN, Getty Images



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