RESPONSE TO THE FAQs:
The COVID-19 Surveillance System is a clinically driven coronavirus surveillance and reporting system that employers can have deployed and be set up on within hours. The focus of the program is to ensure that the enrolled employee workforce is closely monitored for the coronavirus in order to minimize and mitigate disruptions to operations from contraction and transmission risk posed by this contagion.
The system allows employers to keep close tabs on possible cases of infection and/or risk of exposure among employees. In addition, the system also provides leaders and managers with informed data driven guidance and concrete recommendations on how to best manage evolving situations.
Executives and Managers can pull up dashboards and reports to draw insights based on employees’ current clinical data and test results. Relevant health and safety recommendations prompted by the system ensures minimal disruption to operations and for businesses to be better prepared to address the dynamic impact the coronavirus is having on an employee workforce.
The target audience for this system is any employer that wants to ensure their employees are safe as they transition back from work at home to the workplace and into the workforce. The system includes an employee specific portal that is made available for them to know their current COVID-19 status and risk for contraction and transmission of the coronavirus.
Today, this service is being provided by Buckhead Medicine, a premier internal medicine practice in Atlanta that was established in 2008. Buckhead Medicine has been testing, diagnosing and treating patients with suspected or active COVID-19 infection since early March of 2020.
For more details on Buckhead Medicine please go to www.buckheadmedicine.com.
The benefits of the COVID-19 Surveillance System are that both employers and employees can make informed data driven decisions about their COVID-19 status, including the transmission and contraction risk of employees based on the evaluation of clinical symptoms, vital sign measurements, nasal PCR antigen testing, and immunoglobulin antibody blood tests.
The service offering is very flexible in offering both in-office or on-site testing of employees (based on company size) upon start of the program and for periodic status checks. Robust epidemiologic surveillance reports for employers are produced from the aggregated employee data. Employers are given secure access to their very own COVID surveillance portal to review the current status of their employees and their risk for contraction and transmission of the virus. Each employee also is provided access to their very own portal with their specific data and status with regards to current infection status and contraction and transmission risks.
In addition, via the employer portal, the system also provides weekly updates on the current incidence and prevalence rate of the virus by ZIP code pertinent to your business, as well as routine updates via our portal on any new recommendations that are mission critical for employers from the national and state agencies.
Once the employer signs up for the service for their worksite(s), they decide on the population of employees that need to be enrolled into the program for monitoring. However, participation by employees on the program is voluntary. Employees cannot be coerced or forced into enrolling with the program. This is designed as a service that benefits both the employee and employer. Data regarding any employee’s status is kept secure and confidential.
Recommendations and guidance provided to employers is via summary level dashboards to minimize transmission and contraction risk, and to assist in proactively mitigating disruption of business operations.
Employees enrolling into the program sign a consent form authorizing Buckhead Medicine to release COVID-19 related medical information to their employer for the purposes of surveillance and to further guide them on how best to mitigate risk to business operations.
The COVID 19 Surveillance System includes a clinical service component and access to a cloud based web app. Buckhead Medicine charges a one-time setup and implementation fee for the web app, based on employer size, that includes initial training and onboarding of employers into their web portal. For the ongoing use of the cloud based employer and employee web portals there is a monthly subscription which is based on the number of participating employees in the program from the employer.
The subscription fee covers facilitation of routine monitoring and reporting for their employees, access to clinicians at Buckhead Medicine to assist with clinical decision making within the workplace as it relates to COVID infections within the workforce, updates on epidemiologic data from within the community of the employer workplace, and updates on mission critical information during the COVID-19 pandemic from national and state agencies.
The one time setup and implementation fee is based on an employers employee size that they would like to have enrolled into the surveillance program. The ongoing monthly subscription fee is a sliding scale based on the number of employees enrolled into the program.
The table below gives our current most updated fee structure (Last updated May 16, 2020):
|Employee Population Enrolled into the Program||Setup and Implementation (One time)||Monthly Subscription Per Enrolled Employee|
|25 or less||$250||$10.00|
|26 - 50||$500||$9.00|
|51 - 100||$750||$8.00|
|101 and more||$1000||$7.00|
NOTE: The cost of the clinical tests performed, such as the nasal PCR, and/or the immunoglobulin antibody tests, and a basic clinical evaluation by our clinicians are covered by the health insurance company of the employer.
SPECIALS: Recognizing the economic hardships imposed by the COVID 19 Pandemic on small businesses, Buckhead Medicine is subsidizing the program for employers with less than 25 participating employees with regards to the setup fee and the monthly subscription fee for 3 months. For other employers, there is a discount applied to the monthly subscription fee till June 30, 2020.
Yes we do. For companies with less than 25 employees that enroll into the program, Buckhead Medicine is waiving the set-up fee and the monthly subscription fee for 3 months.
For employers with more than 50 employees enrolled, there will be a 25% discount off of the monthly subscription fee. This offer is valid till June 30, 2020.
Most medical insurance plans cover the encounter (visit), evaluation and vital sign measurement for the insured employee. The insurance companies also cover the testing for COVID-19, which includes immunoglobulin measurement(s) and nasal PCR testing.
Medical insurance does not cover the use of the web app and portal provided to employers and employees for the reporting, monitoring, and surveillance of enrolled employee status. This fee is charged separately and is detailed in FAQ # 8.
Buckhead Medicine accepts most medical/health insurance plans including commercial insurers and medicare.
Please note – Buckhead Medicine is an out of network provider with most HMO’s. In particular, we are out of network with Kaiser and Anthem PSO plans. HMO’s typically do not cover this program. We are also out of network with Ambetter insurance. If you have any doubts or questions, please call our office for additional details on insurance plans we accept.
For employees that are uninsured, typically the employer will be required to pay for the clinical evaluation and testing.
The out of pocket cost per uninsured employee works out as follows:
1. $60 for the encounter: This fee covers the evaluation, vital signs measurements, blood draw for antibody tests, and nasal swab for the PCR test.
2. $67 for the COVID-19 PCR nasal swab (Paid to Quest Labs).
3. $100 for the COVID-19 test for antibodies (Paid to Quest Labs).
If you are an employer that is interested in enrolling your organization, please go to our website www.buckheadmedicine.com/covidclear, read about the program, and fill out the inquiry form.
To fill out the inquiry form navigate to the employer section and follow the steps outlined.
Once you complete and submit your inquiry form a staff member will get in touch with you. If you decide to enroll into the program we send you an email with our COVID 19 Surveillance System contract for you to review and sign via docusign.
Once we receive your signed contract, a staff member will call your point of contact at your organization to enroll them into the program and give them access to the web app, including template email text for you to message your employees letting them know that your organization is participating in the COVID-19 Surveillance System.
Yes, once you fill out the paperwork to enroll your organization and sign the contract, please call the office to set up an introductory call with Dr. Edward Espinosa. At that point we will go over specifics and set up a testing date for your employees, either at our clinic or onsite.
Yes, if you are also needing to be tested, please go through the steps just like any of your employees.
If you are an employee, and your employer has signed up for the program, you will receive notification from your employer that your organization is now participating in the COVID-19 Surveillance System. The email will give you the necessary instructions on what to do next.
Essentially, you will be directed to go to www.buckheadmedicine.com/covidclear. Then navigate to the employees section. You will need to follow the steps outlined in this section.
You will need to fill out all the needed medical information forms, sign consent forms and download our secure texting and telemedicine software called OhMD in order for us to communicate with you and/or for you to access your medical information.
Employees do not need to contact our office directly. Buckhead Medicine will communicate with employees via the employer or if we need additional information via the OhMD app.
Yes we use encrypted, secure, HIPAA compliant systems to collect and store your medical information.
Ensuring that you are following a protocol similar to the one recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a useful first step, including implementing measures for:
1. Social distancing.
2. Respiratory and contact isolation measures when appropriate.
3. Hand sanitation stations.
4. Temperature monitoring of employees and customers.
5. Close surveillance of employees with symptom reporting, vital sign measurement, nasal PCR for COVID 19 testing,
IgG and IgM testing for COVID 19 antibodies.