Experts urge caution in the use of rapid tests, now funded by plans

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Announced on Wednesday (19), the decision of the National Supplementary Health Agency (ANS) to approve the inclusion of rapid tests in the list of mandatory procedures for health plans was approved by experts.

With the change, consumers who have private health care coverage will no longer have to pay to get tested privately. However, they warn of the limitations imposed by the moment of the pandemic and the legislation.

Director of clinical analysis of the Brazilian Association of Diagnostic Medicine (Abramed), an entity that brings together laboratories across the country, Alex Galoro highlighted that the decision of the regulatory agency is accompanied by a series of guidelines. Among them, in addition to the medical recommendation, the patient needs to be between the first and seventh day of symptoms. And it cannot have contracted Covid-19 for at least a month.

“We take it as good news and we support it. But inclusion was not made for asymptomatic contacts of confirmed cases, for individuals under two years of age, and for those who have had an RT-PCR or rapid test in at least 30 days. It is not made for tracking and there is no test coverage for return to work. In this case, it must be done with its own resources, or the company’s”, he says.

President of the Brazilian Association of Health Plans (Abramge), Renato Casarotti highlighted that the entity supports the measure, but points out that it does not balance the imbalance between supply and demand for tests.

“The coverage does not solve the scarcity problem, motivated by the high world demand and the difficulty in importing these inputs. That’s why we ask the medical community to avoid prescribing multiple tests for the same person in the same diagnostic window, so that there is no shortage of tests for those who need it most. Mainly for hospitalized patients”, says Casarotti.

For professor Lígia Bahia, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), a specialist in collective health, the measure is beneficial for consumers and helps society to have clarity on the scenario faced by the country in the pandemic, at this time of advancement Ômicron.

A joint study of the Virus and Corona-Omic BR networks, linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), shows that the lineage is already responsible for 97% of cases in January.

“The inclusion [dos testes rápidos no rol de procedimentos obrigatórios] it’s a good new. There was a very big difficulty, a bureaucracy to obtain the authorization. First, you had to submit an application, and then it would have to go through review and be approved. This was not always adequate within the time windows for carrying out the tests. When the answers came out, the test was often no longer necessary”, recalls the researcher.

The ANS recommends that medical prescription occurs in scenarios in which patients present with influenza-like illness or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). In the latest edition of Fiocruz’s InfoGripe bulletin, published on January 15, a 135% increase in the number of SARS cases was detected from the last three weeks to the final three weeks of November.

Coordinator of the Corona-Omic BR Network, virologist Fernando Spilki, professor at the Feevale University, in Rio Grande do Sul, reinforces that the measure is beneficial, but warns of the need to pay attention to the characteristics of the test.

“Without a doubt, it is a win. Testing is always welcome, as long as two issues are understood: rapid tests have special limitations in early diagnosis. They must be properly treated, sometimes with the need for isolation and retest, in addition to the need for care in recording information on positive cases”, he says, alluding to the fact that Covid-19 is a disease of compulsory notification to the Ministry of Health. Health.

On Wednesday (19), Brazil registered for the first time more than 200,000 new cases of Covid-19: there were 204,854, in addition to 338 deaths.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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