LITTLE ROCK, Ark., May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care announced today a collaboration with Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services, to increase access to real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) COVID-19 testing in critical areas of need in Arkansas. Through this collaboration, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care will facilitate the distribution of approximately 1,000 Quest COVID-19 test kits each week to Community Health Centers of Arkansas. The FQHCs will conduct testing as part of a broader initiative to test persons who are symptomatic and asymptomatic in our underserved communities.
"I am delighted to hear of the partnership between Arkansas Health and Wellness (AHW), Arkansas Total Care and the Community Health Centers of Arkansas (CHCA) to increase our real-time testing capacity in Arkansas," said Governor Asa Hutchinson. "This private sector partnership plays an important role in our effort to reach 60,000 tests per month. This initiative ensures Arkansans will have access to critical testing and assist us in moving forward to our goal of Phase 2 and beyond. Together, we will keep our families safe and emerge stronger than ever."
This collaboration leverages the plan's extensive network of critical safety net providers to ensure that testing capacity is routed to where it is needed most. As part of the collaboration, Arkansas Health and Wellness and Arkansas Total Care will provide oversight and training to ensure test kits are received and processed efficiently. Distribution of kits will begin in May, and Quest Diagnostics will conduct the COVID-19 testing through its network of laboratories across the United States.
"Collaborations like these allow us to leverage our capabilities to do our part in making sure our communities, including those who need it most, have access to the health care services they need," said John Ryan, President and CEO, of Arkansas Health & Wellness, Arkansas Total Care.
LaShannon Spencer, CEO of Community Health Centers of Arkansas (CHCA), has been a strong advocate for partnering with entities to improve access for some of the most vulnerable populations around the state of Arkansas. "COVID-19 has impacted nearly every corner of the state and impacted many lives for years to come. Every day is filled with more changes of how we are to live and work. Even though the way in which medicine is practiced will change, partnerships with key business entities like Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care will be critical for our future. That's why I value such partnerships with each of these Arkansas-based health plans. "I am pleased to see Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care supporting targeted statewide testing for our health centers. It is a key first step and an important investment in future sustainability in our rural health system," said LaShannon Spencer.
Arkansas Health & Wellness/Arkansas Total Care members are encouraged to contact the Community Health Centers of Arkansas at 1-833-508-0774 for additional information about testing. Members can also find more information about COVID-19 and how Arkansas Health & Wellness can support them at ARHealthWellness.com.
About Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care
Founded in 2014, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care are managed care companies that deliver quality health care throughout Arkansas. Committed Helping Arkansas Live Better, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care support active local community involvement in all 75 Arkansas counties, with more than 600 employees statewide. Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care are wholly and partially owned subsidiaries (respectively) of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise offering both core Medicaid, Medicare and specialty services. More information on Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care can be found at https://www.arhealthwellness.com/ and https://www.arkansastotalcare.com/
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world's largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our 47,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.
About COVID-19 Testing by Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics is at the forefront of response to the COVID-19 pandemic, working to broaden access to laboratory insights to help us all lead healthier lives. We provide both molecular diagnostic and antibody serology tests to aiding the diagnosis of COVID-19 and immune response. Our COVID-19 test services are based on tests that have received or are expected to receive FDA emergency use authorization and which also meet our high standards for quality. We provide data on COVID-19 testing to various federal and state public health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and participate in studies with government and private institutions, aiding COVID-19 public health response and research.
Through our team of dedicated phlebotomists, couriers, air fleet team, and laboratory professionals, Quest Diagnostics won't stop until quality testing is broadly available to patients and communities across the United States.
For more information about the latest developments with our COVID-19 testing, visit: newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/COVIDTestingUpdates
SOURCE Arkansas Health & Wellness; Arkansas Total Care