What organizations are impacted by the change to KDHE’s testing strategy?

KDHE has identified six actions to transition to lower cost testing options and is just beginning outreach to stakeholders and labs to provide guidance and ensure a smooth transition.

  • Long term care facilities (LTCFs) will be offered the option to use a national vendor
    (Battelle) that has a federal contract and can provide free surveillance testing at no cost to the State or LTCF. LTCFs can also work with their current vendor (e.g. MAWD, KU, 4M, CRL) to establish their own payment arrangements. KDHE will discontinue reimbursement for testing at private contract labs.
  • Moving our free community testing sites from WellHealth to our state lab (KHEL) - which is able to offer free community testing at less than half the cost.
  • Close enrollment for new organizations into the state-funded employer testing program. Limit the program to organizations currently enrolled and phase out the program after Q1 of 2022. No other states that we are aware of have paid for employer testing in the same way as Kansas.
  • Shift the majority of the community testing partners (CTP) program to support antigen testing only, as supplies are available. Move PCR processing for select CTP sites from private contract labs to the state lab - which can again provide more affordable test processing.
  • Request that vendors bill insurance for diagnostic testing. Private health insurance has been paying for testing throughout the pandemic, however they may only pay for testing for those who have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. They are not required to pay for employer testing or public health surveillance testing.
  • KDHE is collaborating closely with key stakeholders during this transition period.

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1. Why is this change in testing strategy occurring?
2. What organizations are impacted by the change to KDHE’s testing strategy?
3. Is this related to the Employer Testing Playbook announced October 26th, 2021?
4. What is the timeline for implementing these changes to the Unified Testing Strategy?
5. How will these changes impact testing availability across Kansas? 
6. Will the state lab have the capacity to process the additional tests that this plan will require?
7. How will KDHE maintain capacity for testing in case of a surge in COVID-19?
8. Where can I find FAQs specific to the type of testing program?