Provider Information on COVID-19 Testing
COVID-19 Testing Training for Rural Health Clinics
As information related to COVID-19 testing evolves, Well-Ahead works to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information. For other COVID-19 and healthcare policy guidance and updates, click here.
COVID-19 Testing Supplies Information
Updated: March 14, 2021
Due to the shortage of Abbott’s Binax Pro, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) recommends Cue as an alternative rapid molecular test if your facility has a CLIA Certificate of Waiver. Cue is a rapid molecular test for COVID-19. It requires a smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth capability and a stable internet connection, and may be more accurate than rapid antigen tests. Take a look at the quick reference guide for the Cue tests to review to see if Cue is the right fit for your office.
Cue tests are administered differently from Binax Pro, so LDH developed a training that will help your healthcare facility become familiar with operational requirements. Once you have enrolled for the Cue test training, you will need Cue test supplies to practice with during training, so visit ldh.la.gov/cv19testrequest to request Cue test supplies for the training and to start testing at your facility. Start the Self-Paced Cue Training!
After completing the training, healthcare facilities and providers can click here to request COVID-19 testing supplies from the Louisiana Department of Health. For questions, please contact LA.Immunization@la.gov.
COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Interval Shortened Update
Updated: January 10, 2022
On January 8, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) announced that, effective immediately, the six-month interval between completing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series and receiving a booster dose has been shortened to five months. The COVID-19 vaccine booster interval was shortened for the PfizerBioNTech vaccine to five months.
Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Testing Supply Distribution Program Resource Distribution
Updated: January 10, 2022
The Department of Health and Human Services announced that all Medicare-certified Rural Health Clinics are invited to order free, FDA-approved COVID-19 self-testing supplies for distribution in their communities through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) COVID-19 Testing Supply Program. Apply here. For questions, email RHCTestKit.HRSA@hrsa.gov. For more information on the COVID-19 Testing Supply Program, visit HRSA’s website.
COVID-19 Testing Training for Rural Health Clinics
Training Webinar Archive
Take a look at these past webinars conducted by the NARHC for guidance on COVID-19 testing related activities.
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.
- 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)
Where can I order PPE from the state?
To the extent possible, please continue to use the vendor/supply chain you would normally to request PPE supplies.
- My vendor is having trouble fulfilling my order. Is there a list of vendors that are able to fulfill PPE supply orders?
Is there a way we can work with the state to expedite orders for RHCs who will be conducting testing?
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.
Is there a list of labs that are certified to conduct COVID-19 testing available to RHCs?
- 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.
What is the process for an RHC to request COVID-19 test kits?
- 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.
If RHCs aren’t able to receive test kits from the State, where they can purchase test kits? Is there a list of vendors who sell test kits?
- 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
Do I have to report test results to LDH?
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.
What if the clinic does not have ELR set up to report results?
- 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.
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.
For more information, visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s Coronavirus webpage.