Provider Information on COVID-19 Testing

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Be Prepared for COVID-19 Testing at Your Clinic

COVID-19 Testing Training for Rural Health Clinics

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provided $225 million to Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) for COVID-19 testing. These investments will support over 4,500 RHCs across the country to support COVID-19 testing efforts and expand access to testing in rural communities.

Well-Ahead Louisiana is hosting a training that will discuss permissible expenses related to COVID-19 testing, how to obtain personal protective equipment and test kits, and how to report test results to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). LDH epidemiologists Julie Hand, MSPH, Respiratory Disease Surveillance Coordinator, and Jenna Johnson, MSPH, Public Health Epidemiologist Manager, will train participants on the reporting process and contact tracing.

COVID-19 testing funds have a wide latitude in how the funds are spent. Training provided to RHC staff is a permissible expense. RHCs will be able to charge staff time for those attending this webinar with proper documentation. 

Clinics can use this editable Sign-In Sheet to track participation in this training for reimbursement purposes. Before the training, edit the sign in sheet to include your clinic’s name and logo (if desired). Print the sign in sheet and require each staff member to sign upon completion of the webinar. All clinics are encouraged to email the completed sheet to wellahead@la.gov. Participants can access the Certification of Participation here.

Attestation Information

On May 20, the Department of Health and Human Services released funds to virtually every federally certified Rural Health Clinic to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Each eligible rural health clinic received a deposit of $49,640 in their account if they have an ACH/EFT arrangement with CMS, or a check within 7-10 days for this amount.

  • ACH: Within 45 days of receipt of this money complete the attestation process.
  • Check: Within 60  days of receipt of this money complete the attestation process.

By signing the attestation form, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions attached to receipt of these monies. Not returning the payment or attesting to the receipt of funds within this time frame will be viewed as acceptance of the terms and conditions. To access the attestation portal, visit covid19.linkhealth.com. If you have issues, please call the hotline at 1-866-569-3523.

Key Contacts

  • State Supply Hotline: 225-325-5900
  • LDH/Office of Public Health State Lab contact: COVIDLAB@la.gov
  • Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) Team contact: ELR@la.gov
  • LDH/Emergency Operations Center contact: EOCWATCH@la.gov
  • Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Personal Protective Equipment Help Desk: 225-325-5900

Frequently Asked Questions

As a rural health clinic conducting COVID-19 testing, you may have questions about what to do, where to get supplies, what lab can do testing and how to report results. First, provide your staff with the appropriate personal protective equipment. Then secure a lab for testing and obtain test kits based on the lab’s preference. Finally, report your test results and include positive, negative and indeterminate cases.

For a downloadable version of FAQs, click here. For more FAQs, including those related to telemedicine, click here and scroll down to the FAQ section.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

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To the extent possible, please continue to use the vendor/supply chain you would normally to request PPE supplies.

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Contact the State Supply Hotline at 225-325-5900. Let them know you will be conducting COVID-19 testing and are in need of PPE.  They can provide additional information.

Lab Services

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  • Every effort should be made to go through the lab the clinic typically uses.
  • LDH has created a list of labs in Louisiana.  (This is not a comprehensive list)
  • If the lab is unable to conduct testing, email COVIDLAB@la.gov to get guidance on how to submit test kits to the OPH State Lab.

Test Kits

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  • The lab chosen by the RHC to analyze the kits will typically provide the testing kits. However, if the lab is the state OPH Lab, then the RHC should contact the OPH Lab to determine what type/kind to buy.  
  • If the RHC is unable to procure a supply of testing kits required by the state OPH lab, they should put in a request to EOC to provide a temporary supply until the RHC can obtain the testing kits needed by the OPH lab can be obtained.  
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  • RHCs can email COVIDLAB@la.gov to get advice/test kit guidance if sending samples to the OPH State Lab.  
  • If using another lab, inquire with that lab for details on what to order.

Reporting COVID-19 Test Results

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All facilities performing testing for COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 are required to report positive results to LDH. This includes rapid testing, point-of-care testing, antibody testing, or any other testing performed for COVID-19. Electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) in HL7 or CSV format is the preferred mechanism for reporting results.

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  • If your facility is not submitting electronic lab results, clinics should report here.
  • If your facility is performing COVID-19 testing on-site and you do not have ELR set up to report your results or you are unsure if your facility has ELR set up, please contact the ELR team ELR@la.gov.  The ELR team will work with you to set up ELR or an alternative reporting method. If your facility is not submitting electronic lab results, please report here until your facility is on boarded by the ELR team.

COVID-19 Data

We know from our disproportionate health outcomes in Louisiana that a virus like COVID-19 can hit harder in vulnerable communities, where many people are living with chronic health issues like hypertension and diabetes—the top two underlying factors in COVID-19 deaths. And the Louisiana Department of Health is reporting data that shows African Americans are at a higher risk of death due to COVID-19 in Louisiana. You can make an impact by sharing resources, such as the link to our Living Well-Ahead webpage, with your community to educate on how to manage and prevent chronic disease during this time.