Arkansas physicians and other healthcare providers have immediate mandatory reporting obligations to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) of confirmed or suspected cases (also referred to as a case involving a Person Under Investigation or PUI) of COVID-19. The report is to be made by telephone to ADH’s toll free Disease Reporting System (800.482.8888). The ADH also requests that a physician who receives a positive test result from a commercial laboratory fax the results to the Department at 501.661.2428. Given the increased number of reported cases, ADH may change the reporting requirements, and contacting the ADH Physicians Hotline (844.930.3023) for updated reporting requirements is advisable.
The ADH issued Guidance for Community Physicians Instituting Home Quarantine, indicating that physicians who determine patients have been exposed to COVID-19 should instruct the patient to self-quarantine and what to do in the event the patient develops symptoms. If the patient is non-compliant with the quarantine instruction, the physician should contact the ADH Physicians Hotline.
The consent of the patient to release of this information to ADH is not required. HIPAA laws recognize the importance of this type of reporting and created an exception to the confidentiality of reports required by law to satisfy public health reporting.