Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Testing Doctors' Ugent Care Offices
Sunday, May 31, 2020
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- What type of COVID-19 testing is Doctors' Urgent Care Offices performing?
Currently, we offer a highly accurate lab-based molecular (PCR) test in which the specimen is gathered with a nasopharyngeal swab (testing sample is taken through the patient's nose via swab). The test identifies if the patient currently has COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the test result is typically provided in 4 days.
- What is the difference between PCR testing and Serology Antibody testing?
PCR testing detects the active viral infection called COVID-19. It is used to diagnose someone with an active COVID-19 infection.
Antibody testing, also called "Serological" or "IgG" testing, is performed with a blood sample. It is used to tell whether someone had COVID-19 in the past - regardless of whether or not they ever had any symptoms. The test cannot tell you if you have an active infection.
- What is the process for COVID-19 testing?
Asymptomatic Patients - If you aren't experiencing any current symptoms such as fever greater than 100.4, cough, shortness or breath, chills, loss of taste or smell, headache, body ache, and others, but still want testing due to a potential exposure, then email a request for testing to firstname.lastname@example.org and our telehealth team will gather your information and perform a telehealth visit. After the telehealth visit, the patient will be directed to the most convenient Doctors' Urgent Care location for collection of a sample for testing. Testing will likely occur at the patient's car so we limit any potential exposure for the patient and others.
Symptomatic Patients - If you are experiencing current symptoms such as fever greater than 100.4, cough, shortness of breath, chills, loss of taste or smell, headache, body ache, and others, the safest and most efficient process is to start with an email request for testing to our telehealth scheduler at email@example.com. Our telehealth team will gather your information and perform a telehealth visit. After the telehealth visit, the patient will be directed to the most convenient Doctors' Urgent Care location for additional medical review as needed and for a collection of a sample for testing.
Limits on testing availability - While we are aware of the significant need for testing, we may be forced to place limits on the number of COVID-19 tests available each day for patients coming in to a medical office to ensure the safety of all individuals involved in the process. Our staff follow strict guidelines for protective gear and equipment as well as for sanitizing the medical office. Due to the extra precautions, there may be occasions where there is a limit on the number of tests that can safely be performed within a medical office on a given day. Due to the significant need within the communities we serve, we continue to look for ways to safely increase the limits we have at our offices. When available, the staff may suggest trying one of the other 10 Doctors' Urgent Care locations that may be able to accommodate your COVID-19 testing needs in these instances.
- Why does the process typically start with a telehealth visit?
In order to ensure the safety of the patient and others, the telehealth visit allows our provider and staff to assess the patients' symptoms, medical history, potential exposure information and other relevant information without putting the patient or others at unnecessary risk. After the telehealth visit, you will go to the most convenient Doctors' Urgent Care Office location for testing. The testing will likely occur at the patients' car in the parking lot so, once again, we limit potential exposure.
- What are the options for payment of the testing?
Patients can use their individual health insurance for the testing process. If a patient doesn't have insurance, they can make payment arrangements at the time of the telehealth visit.
Coverage levels of COVID-19 testing under the current pandemic by insurance or public health organizations continue to vary. We will file insurance claims based on the information available at the time of the testing.
- Can Doctors' Urgent Care Offices come "onsite" and perform testing for your company?
While onsite testing is not being offered at this time, the process we have set up is likely more efficient, as employees can schedule a telehealth visit to start the process at a time convenient for them. Also, by keeping employees separated during the screening and testing process, it limits the possibility that one of your infected employees contaminates others in the company or in the community while waiting for a test through an onsite process.
- How does the employer receive results? How long does it typically take for results to be reported?
If your employee provides Doctors’ Urgent Care Offices with their employer information and a signed HIPAA form authorizing release of information, one of our staff will contact you with result information after your employee is contacted, generally within 48 hours of testing. Your employee will be provided appropriate return to work documentation as dictated by their care and treatment. If your employee tests “positive”, these results will be provided, as required, to the local health department for follow-up and contact tracing and additional testing will be performed.
- Is my employee guaranteed to be tested if we send them to you?
All employees will go through our COVID-19 screening process which is based on current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Based on those results, employees may receive a lab-based PCR test for COVID-19. The screening process will determine who receives the PCR test.
- If exposed to COVID-19 at work, can we file a Worker's Compensation claim for testing and care?
A workers' compensation claim can be filed if an employee was exposed at work; however, workers' compensation may reject the claim if the employee does not test positive or for other factors. Your company MCO would be able to provide specific information for your company.
- My employee does not have internet access, a smart phone or just doesn't like computers, so it would be difficult for them to do a telehealth visit. Is there another process?
While our best practices approach for COVID-19 testing is starting with a telehealth visit, walk-ins are always welcome in our offices. Your employee can go to the nearest Doctors' Urgent Care Office and request COVID-19 screening and testing.
- For the lab-based molecular (PCR) test, what does PCR mean?
PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction. It may also be referred to as "RT-PCR" which adds Reverse Transcriptase to the lab and medical description. An internet search on these terms will be able to provide additional details.