Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Change Criteria for COVID-19 Tests

(Emporia, KS) — Like many states, Kansas is proving to run low on COVID-19 testing supplies while the number of individuals approved for testing continues to rise.  To conserve testing capabilities, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has updated their criteria to further limit the cases they will accept for testing.

KDHE state testing has been limited to the following:

  • Healthcare workers and first responders who have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Potential clusters of unknown respiratory illness, with priority given to long-term care facilities and healthcare facilities
  • Hospitalized patients with no alternative diagnosis
  • Individuals over the age of 60 who have symptoms of COVID-19 with priority given to people who reside in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, or other congregate settings
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions that would be treated differently if they were infected with COVID-19

COVID-19 tests are being conducted only with a medical provider’s order if the patient presents a risk after completing a verbal and physical health screening.  Community members MUST “call before they go” to their healthcare provider’s office if they are experiencing symptoms, have traveled recently, or have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19.  Symptoms include a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, cough, and shortness of breath.

COVID-19 tests for patients that do not meet the aforementioned criteria will be sent to Quest Diagnostics laboratory in Lenexa, KS with an expected turnaround time of 2 to 3 days after specimens are collected.  Testing through Quest results in a $98.00 charge that is billable to a patient’s insurance.  Insurance companies including Medicare and Medicaid are required by recent federal legislation to waive the co-payment for these tests, but patients will remain responsible for any deductible.  Patients without insurance will be covered by Medicaid.

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About Newman Regional Health: Newman Regional Health is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital owned by the citizens of Lyon County, Kansas.  Recognized as a Level 4 Trauma Center, Newman Regional Health provides inpatient acute and medical rehabilitation services along with a full range of emergency and outpatient care to patients of all ages in Lyon County and surrounding areas in East Central Kansas.  Newman Regional Health offers 24/7 care with a newly renovated, state-of-the-art 19-bed emergency room and 10-bed Clinical Decision Unit.  With a mission to improve health in the community by providing high quality care and a vision to be a valued, trusted partner and regional provider of exemplary services, Newman Regional Health receives recognition as a top Critical Access Hospital each year.