The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services continues to respond to the recent increase in syphilis and congenital syphilis cases with NC Medicaid now covering point of care rapid testing for syphilis and HIV. This new coverage, effective January 1, 2024, allows Medicaid recipients to access rapid testing directly from their Medicaid-enrolled provider.

In response to this expanded testing coverage, State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson released the following statement:

“We continue to address the increase in cases of syphilis and congenital syphilis across the state, which can lead to long-term health impacts and even infant deaths. The best way to reverse this concerning trend is for all sexually active adults to get tested. This new coverage by NC Medicaid demonstrates our commitment to ensuring all North Carolinians can receive the care they need when and where they need it. We encourage our beneficiaries and providers to take advantage of this point of care testing for both syphilis and HIV.”

Please see the NC Medicaid provider bulletin for more information on coverage for syphilis and HIV point of care rapid testing. Prior actions to address the rise in syphilis include promoting access to treatment by increasing reimbursement rates for and expanding coverage of medications used to treat syphilis. Additionally, the NCDHHS provider resource page includes the latest case numbers and more information on how NCDHHS is continuing to address this important issue. [source]