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COVID-19: What Referring Providers Should Know

Referring Providers image

Our referral process has not changed

Refer your patient to UK HealthCare:
Call 800-888-5533 

Referring providers should continue to contact UK•MDs to facilitate a referral or to request a consult with a specific specialty. See below for the guidelines we are following for admitting patients from outside hospitals, testing patients for COVID-19 and hospitalizing patients with confirmed COVID-19.

As some schools reopen, your patients may be worried about their child contracting COVID-19. To ease their concerns, download and give them these informational flyers:

It is not necessary to postpone making a referral. Non-urgent and urgent referrals can be conducted virtually in most instances and some specialty clinics are accepting self-referrals for TeleCare appointments.

TeleCare for primary and specialty care

UK HealthCare is continuing to provide advanced care for patients – both in person and virtually through UK TeleCare. With TeleCare, patients can see primary care or specialty care providers from the comfort of their homes using a computer, tablet or smart phone. When video options are not available, telephone visits can be used for some interactions. Clinics are determining on a case-by-case basis the best type of appointment for the patient.

Patients utilizing our TeleCare options must be in the Commonwealth of Kentucky at the time of the visit. Unlike in-person visits, there are currently no paper appointment reminders for patients. See more specific information about UK TeleCare »

We look forward to partnering with you to get quality care for your patients during this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

  • The current plan for admission of patients from outside hospitals

    A. We have temporarily suspended our auto accept policy for internal medicine. All outside hospital ED phone calls are being directed to a designated physician leader on call. If the designated physician feels the patient meets admission criteria for UK HealthCare, then the patient can be brought to the ED or become a direct admit.

    B. UK HealthCare admission criteria remains unchanged; patients should not be sent to UK HealthCare for COVID-19 testing unless they have medical needs that cannot be met at the outside hospital.

    C. Patients do not require hospitalization for COVID-19 symptoms nor for viral testing. If the patient’s symptoms are mild the patient should be instructed to return home and call their primary care provider if their symptoms worsen.

    D. UK HealthCare is only requesting testing for hospitalized patients or patients with known risk factors.

    E. All outside hospital calls will be screened with the following questions:

    • Has the patient traveled outside of the USA in the last 14 days?
    • Has the patient had contact with patients who either have or are suspected of having COVID-19?
    • Does the patient have a fever and severe pneumonia?

    If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes” then the COVID-19 physician on-call will be consulted in the decision to bring the patient to UK HealthCare. All patients should be directly admitted to an inpatient room and not through the ED. You can obtain a COVID-19 consult through UK*MDs, where you will be connected to the appropriate specialist.

  • Pediatric transfer

    During the COVID-19 crisis, the UK Pediatric Transport service will not be allowing parents to accompany pediatric patients that are transported from outside hospitals to the Kentucky Children’s Hospital at UK HealthCare.

    Historically, we have allowed one parent to ride in the front seat with the driver. We are trying to be proactive in protecting the patients, parents, and transport staff since there is no way to “socially distance” yourself inside an ambulance.

    If you have any questions about this change, please feel free to contact:

    Bari Lee Mattingly
    Manager, Emergency Transport Service
    Kentucky Children’s Hospital
    Call 859-218-3404

  • Common questions

    Q: What if a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19 leaves against medical advice?

    A: We will report that to the Kentucky Department of Public Health.

    Q: What if a patient who meets the clinical indications refuses COVID-19 testing?

    A: If a patient refuses testing, we cannot make them take the test. However, we will report them to KDPH.

  • Laboratory Services Impact

    Previously at all UK HealthCare Lab locations, walk-ins without a scheduled appointment were allowed. In an effort for the UK HealthCare Clinical Laboratory to comply with Governor Andy Beshear’s signed executive order 2020-115, modified on April 27, 2020, changes in patient flow must be made to assure that all of our patients may be served in the safest manner possible.

    • We ask that all patients referred for specimen collection to any UK HealthCare outpatient Lab location schedule a lab appointment prior to arrival.
    • To schedule an appointment please contact your UK HealthCare ordering provider. All non-UK HealthCare patients may call 859-257-0105 or toll-free at 866-940-4938. Appointments may be booked as early as same day.
    • Patients may arrive up to 10 minutes before their appointment prior to their appointment time. If the patient has an appointment on the same day as their clinic visit, but the appointment is not within 10 minutes of departure from the clinic, the patient should be advised of their appointment time and asked to sit in their car or return for service just prior to their appointment time.
    • Patients who are just dropping off specimens do not need a scheduled appointment unless they are directed to collect their specimens for a certain day. If this is a case, please book an appointment.
  • Educational Opportunities

    We understand during this time how crucial it is to educate providers, staff, and patients on new information regarding COVID-19. Due to the current pandemic, several of our grand round presentations are focusing on topics pertaining to the coronavirus. Referring providers are welcome to participate via Zoom and can claim 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM for livestream participation only. Sessions may be available for viewing for a very limited period, after the live broadcast, due to the time-sensitivity of the material.

    The following is a list of grand rounds and other educational opportunities with dates, times, and contact information. If you would like to receive email notification of future topics, please send an email request to the appropriate contact.

    Neurology Grand Rounds

    Tuesdays from 8:00-8:50 a.m.
    Contact: Lee Anne Rudd,

    Pediatrics Grand Rounds

    Thursdays from 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET

    Some previous topics are available for viewing via the Pediatric Grand Rounds Echo 360 Portal 2020 and more information can be found here

    Contact: Jan Wilkins,

    KCH Clinica Amiga COVID-19 Podcast Series

    Dr. Janeth Ceballos Osorio of Clinica Amiga is hosting a weekly health education podcast in Spanish about COVID-19 related topics, including “COVID-19, What We Need to Know”, “Tips for Staying at Home with Children During COVID-19”, “Pregnancy and Breastfeeding During COVID-19” and more.For more information on Clinica Amiga and previous podcasts, click here.


    Molecular Tumor Board

    First and Third Tuesday of the month from 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET
    Contact: Rebecca Carpenter,

    For frequently asked questions about COVID-19 for cancer patients, please visit our website.