Home COVID-19 tests kits are quickly growing in popularity as case numbers continue to rise throughout the U.S. At first, it seemed like home test kits would be a viable solution that could help combat long lines at overwhelmed testing centers. However, many employees have recently found that their employers will not give them PTO for positive results from home test kits. Many organizations will only accept results from healthcare providers or testing centers. To gain a deeper understanding of this issue, we spoke with The Society for Human Resources Management’s HR Knowledge Advisor Regan Gross.
"Employers should avoid forcing employees to choose between the income that supports their livelihood and possibly bringing COVID-19 to work," said Gross. "One thing employers should keep in mind is the OSHA ETS applying to private-sector employers with 100 or more employees, specifically says that at-home tests are permitted, " shared Gross.
She further explained that one good approach to maintaining a healthy workplace is to accept at-home results as a preliminary measure. Granting PTO gives employees an opportunity to schedule an appointment to obtain a molecular PCR test, which is the current gold standard.
Kits providing rapid test results within 15 minutes also give employers an opportunity to address any potential workplace exposure that may have occurred. To learn more about best practices and regulations regarding PTO and COVID-19 exposure, check out this resource from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Brittanie is a passionate marketing specialist and content creator from Washington state. She has a background in both education and healthcare. Brittanie enjoys researching, crafting, and sharing stories that highlight how modern technology is transforming the healthcare industry.
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Prior to the pandemic, telehealth visits ─ delivering patient-provider visits virtually ─ was an afterthought in the care continuum — ill-regarded and little-used beyond patients in rural areas who had few care choices. Virtual visits comprised less than 1% of all outpatient visits. Private insurers generally follow guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which allowed telehealth in only limited circumstances and paid at 30% below in-office reimbursement rates.