COVID Testing in Atlanta
We perform a telemedicine visit prior to COVID-19 testing to give you our best recommendations on type of test COVID testing you need and the appropriate timing of testing for your particular situation. Testing takes place in our office. This is a private setting. We follow CDC guidelines to disinfect our office. All of our employees wear masks. Testing is by appointment only. No waiting in lines. No exposure to other patients. Testing is completed in 5 to 10 minutes. If you do not have insurance AND you have tested with us in the past, you may bypass the telemedicine visit.
Additional details are listed below, but if you have all the info you need, you can bypass this and click on the following link to get started with enrollment. Make sure to complete all 4 steps:
TESTS WE OFFER
We currently offer the following tests:
COVID-19 RT-PCR: The Gold Standard for COVID-19 Testing. This test takes a little longer to result but it’s the most accurate.
COVID-19 IgG serum testing: A blood test that determines if you have had previous exposure to COVID-19 and can help determine if you are now immune from COVID-19.
The real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test is considered the gold standard or the best test that is available to identify active infection due to the COVID-19 virus. The nasal sample is collected in our office via a nasopharyngeal swab
COVID-19 RT-PCR TURNAROUND TIME
At the end of the day our office samples are sent to one of 2 large commercial labs. Turnaround times for results are based on local and national testing volumes that each individual lab is experiencing on that day. Testing volumes are based on the state of the pandemic which impacts the number of tests being performed. Because testing volume is not something our practice can control, we are unable to guarantee test result turnaround times. Based on testing thousands of patients in our community, however, we can give you a best estimate. In most cases, the turnaround time is around 48 to 72 hours. Sometimes faster and sometimes slower. Please be advised that Quest and Life Hope labs have very limited processing on Saturday and Sunday so the turnaround times are longer during these days of the week. Please also note that due to the sensitivity of the RT-PCR test, sometimes repeat testing is required if the lab determines the collected sample in our office is insufficient or inconclusive.
TESTING FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
We are very much aware of the stringent country-specific travel requirements that are currently in place for international travel. We will do our best to help you meet these requirements. You should know, however, that there is a possibility that your COVID-19 RT PCR test could be delayed in processing due to high testing volumes or need for repeat sampling or other reasons that are beyond our control, and that this may result in failure to meet the country specific travel requirements. We want you to know that we cannot guarantee the processing and turnaround times, but we will do our best to try to help you with this process. Both Quest and Life Hope labs provide turnaround times that can meet or exceed the 48 to 72 hour testing requirement for COVID RT-PCR. For travelers with stricter requirements we are able to offer an expedited service that significantly helps with the turnaround time, but this service is not covered by insurance. If you need additional information about your specific countries travel requirement please visit this website for more information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html.
COVID-19 SERUM IgG
The serum antibody test for COVID-19 is a blood test that is collected in our office and sent out to Quest Diagnostics for processing. The test determines if there is evidence of COVID-19 IgG antibodies in your blood. If you have COVID-19 IgG antibodies in your blood this suggests a previous COVID-19 infection likely greater than 2 weeks ago. It also suggests that you have temporary immunity against the COVID-19 virus. Quest diagnostics COVID-19 serum IgG test results turnaround time is around 3-4 days.
COMMERCIAL LABS WE CURRENTLY USE FOR COVID TESTING
The labs we currently use are Quest Diagnostics and Life Hope Labs. Quest Labs in Tucker, GA is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), CLIA # 11D0255931. Life Hope labs in Sandy Springs, GA is accredited by the College of American Pathologist (CAP), CLIA # 11D2163207.
APPOINTMENT AND TESTING TIMES
Testing is by appointment only. We currently perform COVID-19 testing Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. RT-PCR testing is performed in the morning to ensure tests arrive to the commercial lab in a timely manner. Our telemedicine consults are performed in the afternoon. Telemedicine consults and in office testing slots will fill up quickly and are on a first come first serve basis. If you do not have insurance AND you have tested with us in the past, you may bypass the telemedicine visit. Please note that we require a 24-hour cancellation notice to avoid a $75.00 cancellation fee.
If you have insurance, we will submit an insurance claim for you and do our best to have the office encounter as well as the COVID-19 test itself covered by insurance. For the most part, if you are having symptoms, or you have had suspected or direct exposure or you need testing for surgical clearance, insurance will cover all of the testing costs. We will ask you to fill out our COVID-19 Testing Questionnaire to help us determine what tests you may need and if insurance is likely or unlikely to pay for these services. Additionally, based on your symptoms, our providers may recommend additional testing such as a flu screen. All recommendations will be provided during the telemedicine consult. It is important that you understand that not all services are covered by your insurance provider. If your insurance provider believes that certain services or testing is unnecessary, then your insurance provider will not pay for these services and tests. If you are being tested for COVID‐19 and your insurance provider determines that services and testing for you are medically unnecessary, then you are responsible for payment of services and testing.
COPAYS AND COINSURANCE
You are responsible for any deductibles, co-payment, and coinsurance set forth by your insurance provider. Your insurance provider may waive co-pays and deductibles for COVID-19 evaluation if you are having symptoms. Office co-payment listed on your insurance card is required prior to scheduling your visit.
CASH OPTION FOR UNINSURED OR OUT OF NETWORK OR NON-COVERAGE
We are out of network with most HMO’s including Kaiser, the POS/HMO plan for Blue Cross Blue Shield/Anthem. Please note, CIGNA insurance will typically not cover any COVID-19 encounters or COVID-19 testing unless you have symptoms.
If you are uninsured or you are out of network or your insurance does not cover the encounter or testing for COVID-19, we offer a cash option.
There are two separate fees incurred during COVID-19 testing. The first fee is for the office encounter which includes the telemedicine visit by our physician or nurse practitioner and the encounter for testing and specimen processing. The second fee is for the COVID-19 test itself.
Cash prices for the COVID-19 testing:
COVID-19 RT-PCR and Office Encounter: $225.
COVID-19 RT-PCR Expedited* and Office Encounter: $300.
COVID-19 Serum IgG and Office Encounter: $200.
*Expedited PCR carries an additional charge because we have our office staff physically deliver the specimen by hand to the commercial lab. Insurance will never pay for the expedited service. Both standard RT-PCR and RT-PCR Expedited are available to help you meet international travel requirements.
ADVANCED BENEFICIARY NOTICE
Because we want to ensure that you understand that in certain situations insurance may not pay for COVID-19 testing, we require that you fill out an advanced beneficiary notice. The advanced beneficiary notice is included in the enrollment forms below.
Thank you for your interest in Buckhead Medicine COVID-19 testing.
Click on the following link to get started. Make sure to complete all 4 steps: