COVID-19 Testing in Atlanta
We test Monday through Friday. Testing takes place in our office. This is a private setting. We follow CDC guidelines for healthcare facilities. We continuously 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 10 to 15 minutes.
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.
TESTS WE OFFER
We currently offer the following 4 tests:
COVID-19 RT-PCR TEST: The Gold Standard for COVID-19 Testing. Determines if you are currently infected. This test takes a little longer to result but it’s the most accurate. Usually required for international travel. “PCR test.”
COVID-19 RAPID MOLECULAR TEST (ID NOW): Determines if you are currently infected. Performed and processed in our clinic with results available in 20 minutes. Employs similar technology to the conventional RT-PCR test. “Rapid Molecular test.”
COVID-19 RAPID ANTIGEN TEST (BD Veritor): Determines if you are currently infected. Performed and processed in our clinic with results available in 15 minutes. “Rapid Antigen test.”
COVID-19 IgG SERUM ANTIBODY TEST: 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. “Antibody test.”
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. Uses polymerase chain reaction technology to detect COVID-19 viral nucleic acid. The nasal sample is collected in our office via a nasopharyngeal swab and processed at one of our partner commercial labs.
COVID-19 RT-PCR TURNAROUND TIME
At the end of the day our office samples are sent to one of 2 large commercial labs (Quest or Life Hope 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 36 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 on the weekend. Please also note that although rare, due to the sensitivity of the RT-PCR test, sometimes repeat testing is required if the lab determines the sample 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. Please note, we will not adjust or falsify testing dates or times on final testing report. Both Quest and Life Hope labs provide turnaround times that can meet or exceed the 48 to 72 hour testing requirement for COVID-19 RT-PCR. For travelers with stricter requirements we are able to offer an expedited service that significantly helps with the turnaround time, but this expedited service is not covered by insurance. Buckhead Medicine also offers Fit-To-Fly Certificates, for an additional fee. 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 RAPID ANTIGEN TEST
We offer a COVID-19 rapid antigen test. The BD Veritor Plus System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 is an antigen test that is performed and processed in our office producing fast and reliable results in approximately 15 minutes. A formal antigen test report will be electronically sent to you when results are finalized. Antigen tests are very specific for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but are not as sensitive as the molecular PCR tests. This means that a positive result is highly accurate, but a negative result does not rule out infection.
COVID-19 RAPID MOLECULAR TEST
We offer the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 rapid molecular test. This test identifies active infection due to the COVID-19 virus using isothermal nucleic acid amplification technology to detect viral RNA. This test has the highest sensitivity when performed within the first seven days of the onset of symptoms. The sample is collected in our office via a nasal swab and processed in-house in about 20 minutes. A formal diagnostic test report will be electronically sent to you when results are finalized. Molecular tests are very specific for the SARS-CoV-2 virus but are not as sensitive as the RT-PCR tests. This means that a positive result is highly accurate, but a negative result does not rule out infection.
COVID-19 SERUM IgG ANTIBODY TEST
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 4:30 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.
If you have in-network insurance, we will submit an insurance claim for you in order to have the COVID-19 encounter and test partially or fully covered by your 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. If you are testing for travel or return to work requirements, insurance will not cover any 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. 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 medically unnecessary, then your insurance provider will not pay for these services or 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. Please check with your insurance provider to determine specific coverage for COVID-19 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 during the pandemic.
CASH OPTION FOR UNINSURED OR OUT OF NETWORK OR NON-COVERAGE
We are out of network with most HMO’s including Kaiser, and the POS plan for Blue Cross Blue Shield/Anthem.
If you are uninsured, you are out of network, or your insurance does not cover the encounter or testing for COVID-19 due to testing not being medically necessary, 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 face to face or telemedicine encounter by our physician or nurse practitioner. The second fee is for the COVID-19 test itself, which includes specimen processing.
Cash prices for COVID-19 testing:
COVID-19 RT-PCR and Office Encounter: $180.
COVID-19 RT-PCR Expedited* and Office Encounter: $200.
COVID-19 Rapid Molecular (ID NOW) and Office Encounter: $165.
COVID-19 Rapid Antigen (BD Veritor) and Office Encounter: $135.
COVID-19 Serum IgG Antibody and Office Encounter: $165.
Add-On COVID-19 Serum IgG Antibody: $100.
Add-On Fit-To-Fly Certificate: $30.
*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 this expedited service. Both standard RT-PCR and RT-PCR Expedited are available to help you meet international travel requirements.
REFUND & CANCELLATION POLICY
Once you schedule an appointment for testing and secure this appointment with a payment, we will not offer refunds if you need to cancel your appointment. We will help you reschedule your appointment for another date or you will be provided with a credit for future testing. If you need to cancel or reschedule, we require 24 hour notice. We charge a $75 cancellation fee if notice is given within less than 24 hours.
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.