Bill to get home blood test kits covered by Medicaid clears Senate committee

Republished from Kentucky Lantern


FRANKFORT — A House bill that would require Kentucky Medicaid to cover at-home blood test kits has passed a Senate committee and faces two more hurdles before becoming law. 

House Bill 31 would make life easier for Medicaid patients who take blood thinners for their mechanical heart valves, the Lantern previously reported. Some patients need the blood thinners after drug use with an infected needle caused fungal growth on their heart valves.

Being on blood thinners means those patients need to test their blood weekly to make sure it is appropriately thin. This bill would make sure Medicaid patients can get coverage for at-home International Normalized Ratio (INR) – finger prick devices – and not have to travel for testing. 

Sen. Karen Berg, a Louisville Democrat, thanked the sponsor, Rep. Deanna Frazier Gordon, R-Richmond, for her bill during the Wednesday Senate Health Services Committee. 

“This is actually a real problem for real patients,” said Berg, who is also a physician. “I ended up putting my mother in a nursing home because we anticoagulated her and there was no way to get her tested at home safely enough to keep her there.”  

The bill passed the a House committee and the House floor in late January unanimously. It can now go to the Senate floor, and then to Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk for a signature or veto. 

Kentucky Lantern is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kentucky Lantern maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jamie Lucke for questions: Follow Kentucky Lantern on Facebook and Twitter. Kentucky Lantern stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Donate to Kentucky Lantern here.