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Kroger Health, Kroger's healthcare division, yesterday announced "the launch of COVIDCare Plus, a complete employer-focused health and wellness solution designed to help American companies restart and maintain their business operations. The testing program is centered on Kroger Health’s FDA-authorized COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit which combines self-administered testing with virtual supervision by a licensed healthcare provider to help ensure the highest level of accuracy of test results."

According to the announcement, "Kroger Health’s COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit includes a telehealth consultation provided at the time of specimen collection. Supervision of the collection process by a licensed healthcare professional improves the quality of the sample collected, increases accessibility, and reduces patient anxiety. Through Kroger Health’s strategic partnership with CLIA-certified laboratory Gravity Diagnostics, testing can be administered comfortably at home, with results delivered in 24-48 hours. Samples are collected via mid-turbinate nasal swabs – the same process that Kroger Health has deployed at its COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites, where its multidisciplinary team has collectively administered 150,000 tests."

In addition the company says, "COVIDCare Plus will offer employers and their teams access to advanced clinical services like vaccinations, telehealth, and telenutrition. These services are focused on driving actionable behavior change that helps combat the larger crisis of chronic disease that affects nearly half of Americans. According to the 2020 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health, 72% of Americans are either overweight or obese, and more than 100 million Americans suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes. The study also states that poor diet is now the leading cause of poor health in the United States. Kroger Health’s expertise in 'food as medicine' combined with Kroger’s position as America’s largest grocery retailer enables a broad set of solutions that address health, wellness, and nutrition."

KC's View:

To me, one of the most interesting elements of this program is its ability to reach into the home with actionable and holistic approaches to health - pandemic-related, of course, but also beyond that.  I've always been a fan of programs that draw a thick line connecting health and food, and supermarkets are uniquely positioned to deliver on that.