Quick Takes

Bill to get home blood test kits covered by Medicaid passes Kentucky House 

By: - January 29, 2024 5:10 pm

Rep. Deanna Frazier Gordon, R-Richmond, the primary sponsor of House Bill 31, smiles as a motion is made to approve her bill during the House Health Services Committee meeting, Jan. 25. (LRC Public Information)

FRANKORT — A bill that would require Kentucky Medicaid to cover at-home blood test kits passed the House 93-0 Monday.

House Bill 31 can now advance to the Senate.

HB31 would make life easier for Medicaid patients who take blood thinners for their mechanical heart valves. Some patients need the blood thinners after drug use with an infected needle caused fungal growth on their heart valves.

Medicaid would cover at-home INR tests under proposed law

Getting a mechanical valve replacement means a person must be on blood thinners like coumadin for the rest of their life, meaning they also must get their blood tested on a weekly basis.

This bill would make sure Medicaid patients could get International Normalized Ratio (INR) kits for at-home finger prick testing rather than needing to travel to a medical facility for the blood draw.

Sponsor Rep. Deanna Frazier Gordon, R-Richmond, said on the House floor Monday that this at-home testing “is the preferred method of testing by doctors and surgeons.”

“Dosage adjustments can be made quickly by the health care provider,” she added. “It decreases risk of stroke or bleeding events and it allows the patient to see the results immediately.”

Approximately 3,000 Kentuckians would benefit if the bill becomes law, the Lantern previously reported.

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Sarah Ladd
Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd is a Louisville-based journalist from West Kentucky who's covered everything from crime to higher education. She spent nearly two years on the metro breaking news desk at The Courier Journal. In 2020, she started reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and has covered health ever since. As the Kentucky Lantern's health reporter, she focuses on mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, children's welfare, COVID-19 and more.