House bill to ensure Medicaid coverage for at-home blood tests advances

Published 12:23 pm Monday, January 29, 2024

By Sarah Ladd

Kentucky Lantern

A Kentucky house bill that would require Medicaid to cover at-home International Normalized Ratio (INR) kits unanimously passed the House Health Services Committee Thursday with bipartisan support.

Sponsor Rep. Deanna Frazier Gordon, R-Richmond, told her colleagues this is a “common sense” bill and “cost saving measure.”

Medical experts previously told the Lantern the bill would make life easier for Kentuckians who take blood thinners for their mechanical heart valves.

Some people need mechanical heart valves after drug use with an infected needle caused fungal growth on their heart valves. Getting a mechanical valve replacement, though, means a person must be on blood thinners for the rest of their life.

People taking blood thinners must get their blood tested every week, and Medicaid doesn’t cover the at-home INR tests that could return blood results much quicker.

Essentially, this bill would ensure Medicaid patients in Kentucky can get these finger-prick machines for at-home testing and not have to travel for their weekly blood draw.

House Bill 31 can now advance to the full House for a vote.