Revisions in the State Long Term Care Testing Plan 

Revisions in the State Long Term Care Testing Plan 

Today ALTSA released a revised Dear Provider letter on the testing mandate. There are now some significant changes to the testing plan, ultimately causing much confusion among providers. While we will give a brief overview of the changes, we have not yet received clarification or answers to our questions or concerns. Here are some of the changes and additional guidance to the testing plan:  

  • A licensed healthcare practitioner order is required for all resident and staff testing (Licensed healthcare practitioners include medical doctor, advanced registered nurse practitioner, or physician assistant).
  • Test requisitions must include complete insurance information on specimens submitted for all residents. For residents without insurance, write “UNINSURED” where the type of insurance is requested.
  • Insurance information is not required for staff as DOH will pay for staff testing. Test requisitions must clearly delineate staff from residents by writing “STAFF” where the type of insurance is requested.
  • Staff members not employed by the facility must be tested and should request testing from their employer or personal health care provider, for example, temporary staffing agencies must pay for testing of their staff.  (We have an email out asking for further guidance on this issue.)
  • All test results will be returned to the ordering provider or facility.
  • The ordering provider or their designee must report the test results to the tested resident or staff.
  • Facilities must send all test samples to one of the two following DOH-contracted laboratories:

…Facilities located in Regions 1 and 2 must send their staff samples to UW Virology Testing.

…Facilities located in Region 3 must send their staff samples to Molecular Testing (Vancouver).

You can find the detailed Dear Provider for Nursing Homes here, and Assisted Living here.

LeadingAge WA is working with the Governor’s office on this issues. We are asking for a delay of the testing due date due to many unforeseen problems arising. It is our belief June 12th is no longer a workable timeline to complete testing.




Laura Hofmann, MSN, RN – Director of Clinical and Nursing Facility Regulatory Services
c: 425-231-4804

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