Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) in Louisiana

The Louisiana Sanitary Code, §107 Laboratory and Healthcare Facility Reporting Requirements, specifies that certain laboratory results for disease conditions deemed reportable must be reported to the Office of Public Health (OPH).  This is separate from case reporting.  For information on case reporting please refer to the case reporting links at the bottom of this page.

File types Laboratories are encouraged to report information electronically using HL7 2.5.1 message structure and appropriate LOINC codes designating the test performed.  In some special circumstances, other file types (such as excel or flat files) may be accepted after permission has been granted by the ELR team.

Transport Mechanisms Secure File Transfer Protocol (sFTP) is the preferred method of transport.  PHINMS (https://www.cdc.gov/phin/tools/phinms/index.html), a CDC provided software, can also be used.  Please contact the ELR team to discuss additional options or setup connectivity.

“Dual” Reporting. The Sanitary Code stipulates that all hospitals, laboratories, or other lab facilities that have knowledge of a reportable disease result have the responsibility of notifying the OPH regarding the result.  In some cases, all of a provider's labs are outsourced to a reference lab, and the reportable conditions are sent directly to the OPH from the reference lab.  OPH has allowed the reference lab to report the results of outsourced labs on behalf of the referring facility in certain circumstances in order to fulfill Sanitary Code requirements (please contact the ELR team to request permission).

Meaningful Use The electronic submission of laboratory results is a Meaningful Use (MU) objective. For Stage 1 MU, a test or ongoing submission is required. For Stage 2, ongoing submission is required. The attesting facility must report all labs deemed reportable by the Louisiana Sanitary Code using a CMS-approved transmission process and HL7 version 2.5.1 formatting. Each facility must report all reportable lab results, whether or not they were performed in-house or by a reference laboratory. The OPH has been able to receive MU-compliant lab reports since 2011; therefore, exclusions cannot be claimed for this measure. Prior to the issuance of an incentive payment for MU, Louisiana Medicaid staff verifies testing or ongoing submission with the Office of Public Health's ELR Team and requests documentation from the attesting facility.

Acceptable documentation includes:

  1. dated screenshots that illustrate a test submission or ongoing transmission with identifying information (e.g., NPI, provider name, facility name);
  2. a dated record of transmission with identifying information; or
  3. a letter or email from OPH or other registry confirming test or ongoing transmission.  

When a facility contacts the OPH with the intention of submitting MU-standard electronic laboratory reporting (ELR), they will receive documentation for creating the messages and the process for on-boarding. In Louisiana, this is a fairly quick and straightforward process.

Public health reporting for ELR can also be achieved through the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE). For more information visit http://www.lhcqf.org/for-providers/lahie.

The OPH ELR Coordinator can be contacted at:
Email: elr@la.gov

Other useful links include:

Case Reporting Information:

Case reporting requirements are different than laboratory reporting requirements.  For specific information on case reporting, please refer to the appropriate OPH program.