Albertsons Companies, the Boise, Idaho-based operator of more than 2,200 retail stores (including 1,726 pharmacies), announced on Wednesday that it has partnered with New York-based Phosphorus to begin offering at-home COVID-19 test kits in select market areas, with plans to expand the offering throughout September and October.
The saliva tests typically return results in 72 hours or less from the time the lab receives the test. Albertsons piloted the test kits in the Houston, Austin, and Boise markets and saw rapid adoption from patients.
“Customers appreciate the convenience and innovation of taking the test from their own home,” said Dan Salemi, group vice president, Albertsons Cos. Pharmacy. “The saliva test is easy to use and comfortable. Patients are never more than a phone call away from our pharmacy’s guidance and care. And the at-home model can help ease the burden on a stressed health care system.”
The process for obtaining a test is simple. From their home, patients complete a short online questionnaire at scheduletest.com that is reviewed by a local Albertsons pharmacist. The patient is then contacted by the pharmacy to schedule a pickup or delivery. Patients showing symptoms should not pick up their own test; they must send a representative or choose delivery.
The patient completes the saliva sample collection and sends it to the lab via the kit’s prepaid next-day shipping envelope. The results are delivered by email or text, typically within 72 hours or less from the time the lab receives the test.
Currently, the pharmacy cannot bill insurance directly for the test; all payment is out of pocket. Patients may be able to submit their receipt to insurance for reimbursement.
After the patient learns of the results, an Albertsons Companies pharmacist is available for questions regarding follow-up care.
“Phosphorus is excited to team up with Albertsons Cos. in this partnership,” said Alex Bisignano, co-founder and CEO of Phosphorus. “Easy, accessible testing is key to containing the spread of the virus, and Albertsons Cos. is leading the delivery of that.”
In October, Albertsons Cos. expects to have rolled out the offering to all the market areas it serves. The test has received Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA for the detection of COVID-19.
For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.