Contractors sought to support COVID-19 testing at long-term care facilities

The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) are putting the call out for organizations interested in helping implement its statewide plan to test all staff and residents of long-term care facilities.

The request for applications (RFA) that OHA issued Monday is authorized as part of Gov. Kate Brown’s March 8 emergency declaration that allows for emergency procurement of services.

The RFA, which closes July 31, 2021, seeks applicants that can perform specimen collection and diagnostic testing for COVID-19 infection in Oregon as part of the state’s effort to test all long-term care facility staff and offer testing to all residents by September 30, 2020.

Although the closing date for the RFA is July 31, 2021, OHA plans to enter into contracts with approved applicants as soon as possible and on an ongoing basis to meet multiple testing service needs of Oregonians throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bringing on additional test-service contractors will allow for faster implementation of the plan, which launched in late June.

The RFA, including application requirements and attachments, can be accessed and downloaded from ORPIN website, http://orpin.oregon.gov/open.dll/welcome, and specifically from ORPIN Opportunity #OHA-5050-20.

The plan is being implemented in two phases. In the first phase, every facility will test all staff and offer testing to all residents.

This phase, which began in late June and concludes by Sept. 30, covers more than 680 large long-term care facilities statewide, which combined provide care for an estimated 31,000 residents and employ 29,000 staff.

Facilities may begin testing whenever they are ready to do so. In addition, any resident or staff member who can be documented as having been tested on, or after June 1, 2020, will count toward the goal of having all staff and residents tested at least once by Sept. 30, 2020.

Once a facility completes an initial round of comprehensive testing, they will need to develop and implement a plan for ongoing monitoring and testing, including testing all staff at least once per month.

Facilities’ plans for this ongoing staff testing, which is the second phase of the plan, will be approved by the DHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities, with implementation required to begin within 30 days of completing the first round of testing.

According to the RFP, contractors must supply “sufficient, qualified professionals and services to operate COVID-19 specimen collection and other optional related services, including but not limited to laboratory testing, counseling, billing and reporting, as well as related services at residential care and possibly other facilities throughout Oregon.”

Contractors must also present plans and operational procedures for specimen collection sites, and plan for providing medical consultation before specimen collection and after receiving results. They also must maintain patient confidentiality, obtain appropriate consent for testing, ensure staff, patients and contractors are protected from COVID-19, and provide required personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, contractors will gather patient demographic data such as race, ethnicity, language and disability.

Finally, according to the RFA, the state “is looking for the fastest turnaround time of (test) results to support contact tracing,” with a maximum acceptable turnaround time of seven days. However, the state is aiming for a turnaround time of between 24 and 48 hours.

Resources:

A copy of the long-term care testing plan rules issued on July 15, 2020, may be found at this link.

For the DHS lists of state-licensed long-term care facilities reporting COVID-19 cases or tests pending on suspected cases visit: https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/COVID- 19/Pages/LTC-Facilities.aspx.

For the most recent OHA COVID-19 Weekly Report, which includes cases at long-term care facilities, visit: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-07-15-FINAL.pdf

Other COVID-19 resources and information is available at these links:

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