COVID-19 Medical Evaluations and Testing:

Q: What types of COVID-19 tests and medical evaluation does BetterMed provide?
A: We offer three types of COVID-19 exams and testing:

1.     Quidel Sofia Antigen Test and Medical Evaluation to determine active infection
2.     PCR Test and Medical Evaluation to determine an active infection
3.     Antibody blood testing and Medical Evaluation to determine past exposure or previous infection

  • PCR Medical Evaluation & Testing – Available at all BetterMed locations
  • Antigen Medical Evaluations & Testing – Available at all BetterMed locations

 

Q: Do I need a doctor’s referral to receive a COVID-19 medical evaluation and test?
A: No referral is needed.

 

Q: Do I have to have an appointment?
A: Yes, we highly recommend the you schedule an appointment online. Our staff is not able to schedule an appointment for you over the phone. Due to high demand, our appointment slots fill quickly. If there are no available appointment times, please check our other locations or check our site later. We are working hard to add more appointment times.

 

Q: What if there are not appointment times available?
A: If the website is not allowing you to select a time for COVID testing, it is because we do not have any open appointments at this time. Please keep checking back to see if someone has cancelled and a slot has opened.

 

Q: What is included in BetterMed’s COVID-19 medical evaluation and testing?
A:  Every patient’s COVID-19 medical evaluation and testing appointment includes:

1.     A  Medical Evaluation in which a Medical Provider will obtain a history, vital signs and perform a physical exam.
2.     Testing which will be an anterior nasal swab for active infection testing or a blood draw for antibody testing.

  •  Based on the exam, if necessary, we will obtain a chest x-ray and other diagnostic tests.  We may refer the patient to the Emergency Room for further treatment and possible hospital admission if we find the patient merits higher level of care.
  • Antigen active infection test results are available within 15 minutes. This is the test we will automatically offer if you register for an ‘Active Infection Test’.
  • BetterMed also offers PCR active infection tests, BetterMed will send the test swab to an independent lab. Following the independent lab’s processing and communication of test results to BetterMed, BetterMed will communicate the results to the patient. The turnaround time from the test swab to communicating test results to the patient is typically 2-4 days.
  • Antibody test results are available within 15 minutes.

 

Q: Why do I need a medical evaluation with my COVID-19 test?
A: Although the majority of patients experience mild symptoms, some patients can become extremely sick and may not be aware that they have low oxygen levels, have pneumonia or even have a severe infection in the blood stream(septic). To help protect your health, we conduct a Medical Evaluation with testing to:

  • Ensure that we identify sick people who may need immediate emergency treatment as patients sometimes may not be aware of the severity of illness.
  • The medical evaluation we perform evaluates the patient’s vital signs and are intended to look for very high fevers, hypoxia (low oxygen), rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, all of which may indicate that the patient is sick enough to warrant hospital care and treatment.
  • It is critically important to examine a patient’s  to ensure that they are not in distress and do not have clinical evidence of pneumonia or sepsis, either of which could indicate the patient needs hospital admission for early intervention to have a better outcome.

 

Q: What age range can receive an Antigen medical evaluation and test?
A: Patients of any age.

 

Q: What age range can receive a PCR medical evaluation and test?
A: Patients of any age.

 

Q: What age range can receive an Antibody medical evaluation and test?
A: We are testing patients 5 years of age and older.

 

Q: Do I have to be a resident of Virginia or North Carolina to receive a COVID-19 medical evaluation and test?
A: No, you do not have to be a resident. Anyone can receive a COVID-19 medical evaluation and test

 

Q: Do I have to be symptomatic or have a referral to receive a COVID-19 medical evaluation and test?
A: No, you do not have to be symptomatic or have a referral. You may register for a COVID-19 medical evaluation and test for any reason.

 

Q: Do I need a COVID-19 medical evaluation and test if I was exposed to someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19?
A: Yes, we recommend that anyone in direct contact with a person who has COVID-19 get tested, particularly those who work with the public or are in contact with people considered high risk for the disease. You should wait at least 5 days after exposure before you take a test in order to have the most accurate test. You should quarantine during the period before the visit and test. 

 

Q: I am traveling, I need a COVID test back within 72 hours before I fly.
A: Check with your airline and/or destination country- to make sure they are not looking for a specific type of test, as there are various testing options (Antigen, PCR, Antibody). If they require the PCR test, it will be sent out to a lab, the result may take an average 5 days to return. Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite that time.

COVID-19 Safety Procedure

Your safety is our priority

 Q: What safety and sanitation measures is BetterMed taking during the COVID-19 medical evaluation and testing?
A: In developing our COVID-19 medical evaluation and testing process, we have made patient and staff safety our highest priority. We reviewed our processes with the Virginia Department of Health, which fully endorsed our protocol.

  • Designated exam rooms for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
  • All staff and providers wear PPE. Patients are asked to bring their own masks, however we also provide masks upon entry as needed.
  • All providers and staff adhere to elevated safety and sanitation procedures based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Disinfect high touch surfaces in exam rooms with wipes approved by the EPA to kill COVID–19 after every patient. Reusable equipment is also disinfected using the same process.
  • Frequently empty trash cans containing contaminated materials.
  • Additional sanitation stations are available throughout the facility for both staff and patient use.

 

Q: Why are curbside medical evaluations and testing no longer offered?
A: We have moved COVID-19 medical evaluations and testing inside for two reasons:

  • High summer temperatures are not ideal for providing or receiving medical treatment outside.
  • We are now offering urgent care services and COVID-19 medical evaluations and testing at all locations.

 

Q: If I am not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is it safe for me to visit a location for other urgent care needs?
A: Without a vaccine for COVID-19, there is a risk of exposure anywhere you go- including an urgent care site. BetterMed is working diligently to reduce patient and staff risk by adhering to advanced sanitation procedures, social distancing protocols, wearing PPE and designating specific spaces for COVID-19 and urgent care patients.

COVID-19 Cost & Billing

Q: What is the cost of a COVID-19 active infection medical evaluation and test?
A: For those with commercial health insurance, expected out of pocket cost for the medical evaluation and test is your copay. Please note that deductibles or co insurances similar to a regular urgent care visit will also apply.

  • Before your visit, please call your insurance provider to verify your explanation of benefits.
  • BetterMed does not charge to collect or send the test specimens to an independent lab. Instead, the lab will bill your insurer separately for these services.

For Sure Pay (self-pay) patients:

Virginia:
Antigen Medical Evaluation & Test: $189

  • Includes a medical evaluation for $149 and Antigen test for $40

PCR Medical Evaluation & Test: $149 + independent lab costs

  • Includes a medical evaluation and test for $149 and the independent lab fees that typically costs between $50-$100.

North Carolina:

Antigen Medical Evaluation & Test: $199

  • Includes a medical evaluation for $159 and Antigen test for $40

PCR Medical Evaluation & Test: $159 + outside lab costs

  • Includes a medical evaluation and test for $159 and the independent lab fees that typically costs between $50-$100.

Antigen Medical Evaluation & Test for Medicare Patients

  • No copay is due at time of service.
  • BetterMed will bill Medicare for the Antigen active infection medical evaluation and an outside lab will bill Medicare separately. An outside lab will be billed if a PCR test is sent for confirmatory purposes (if the provider believes that there is still a good chance of the patient having COVID-19 if the Antigen test is negative).

 

Q: What is the costs of a COVID-19 Antibody medical evaluation and test?
A: For those with commercial health insurance, expected out of pocket cost for the medical evaluation and test is your copay. Please note that deductibles or co insurances similar to a regular urgent care visit will also apply.

  • Before your visit, please call your insurance provider to verify your explanation of benefits.

For Sure Pay (self-pay) patients:

Virginia:

Antibody Medical Evaluation & Test: $170

  • Includes a medical evaluation and test for $149 and the antibody test for $21.

North Carolina:

Antibody Medical Evaluation & Test: $180

  • Includes a medical evaluation and test for $159 and the antibody test for $21.

Antibody Medical Evaluation & Test for Medicare Patients

  • No copay is due at time of service
  • BetterMed will bill Medicare for the COVID-19 Antibody medical evaluation and test.

 

Q: Do you accept Medicaid or Medicare?
A: At this time we accept Medicare, but not Medicaid.

 

Q: Why is Medicaid not accepted at this time?
A: Unfortunately, BetterMed is not in network with Medicaid, despite having attempted to   participate in the past. Please check with your local hospitals to see if they are offering testing for Medicaid patients.

Which Test Do I Need?

Q: If I am currently feeling sick with symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, sore throat, loss of taste, loss of smell and or fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea which exam and test do I need?
A: If you are currently showing any of the above symptoms you should receive a medical evaluation and active infection test. Your provider will work with you to determine the most effective active infection strategy.

  •  Antigen Medical Evaluations & Testing – Available at all BetterMed locations
  • PCR Medical Evaluation & Testing – Available at all BetterMed locations

 

Q. If I am NOT currently showing symptoms, and I may or may not have been exposed to anyone who has the Coronavirus, which medical evaluation and test do I need?
A. If you are not showing symptoms and question whether you have been exposed, you should make an online appointment for an Active Infection Medical Evaluation & Testing.

 

Q. If I think I have been exposed to someone who has had the Coronavirus, but I don’t feel sick, which test do I need?
A. The test that you need depends on your time of exposure. If you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the Coronavirus in the last 14 days, you should receive the Active Infection Medical Evaluation and Testing. If it has been longer than 14 days and you are not showing symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, sore throat and or fever, you should chose the Antibody Medical Evaluation and Testing.

 

Q: Can I get both the PCR and Antibody test at the same appointment?
A. Unfortunately, due to limited supply, we are unable to offer both tests at the same appointment.

 

Q: Can I get both the Antigen and PCR active infection Medical Evaluation and Tests?
A: You may, but this may not be the best strategy to follow.  We recommend the Antigen Medical Evaluation and test. We will include the PCR test in certain situations if the Antigen test is negative but the symptoms and clinical exam are consistent with COVID-19.

 

Q: Do I have to be a resident of Virginia or North Carolina to receive a COVID-19 Medical Evaluation and Test?
A: No, you do not have to be a resident. Anyone can receive a COVID-19 Medical Evaluation and Test

 

Q: Do I have to be symptomatic or have a referral to receive a COVID-19 Medical Evaluation and Test?
A: No, you do not have to be symptomatic or have a referral. You may register for a COVID-19 Medical Evaluation and Test.

 

Q: Do I need a COVID-19 Medical Evaluation and Test if I was exposed to someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19?
A: Yes, we recommend that anyone in direct contact with a person who has COVID-19 receive a COVID-19 active infection Medical Evaluation and Test, particularly those who work with the public or are in contact with people considered high risk for the disease. You should wait at least 5 days after exposure before you have the test. You should quarantine during the period before the visit and test. 

 

Q: I am traveling, I need a COVID test back within 72 hours before I fly.
A: Check with your airline and/or destination country- to make sure they are not looking for a specific type of test, as there are various testing options (Antigen, PCR, Antibody) If they require the PCR test, it will be sent out to a lab, the result may take an average 5 days to return. Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite that time.

Active Infection

Q: What is the Antigen Test?
A: The Sofia Antigen test for active infection, developed by San Diego-based Quidel Corp., and recently received FDA EUA approval, seeks to rapidly detect antigens – proteins located on the outer surface of the coronavirus that triggers an immune response to the body. Test results available in 15 minutes.

  • Antigen Medical Evaluations & Testing – Available at all BetterMed locations
  • PCR Medical Evaluation & Testing – Available at all BetterMed locations

 

Q: What is the difference between the PCR and the Antigen Test?
A: The Antigen test, as its name describes, tests for the antigen or a part of the virus which resides on the surface of COVID-19.  The PCR test looks for COVID-19 viral genetic material.

 

Q: When will I have test results?
A:  Antigen test results will be available within 15 minutes. PCR tests will be sent to an independent lab. Following the independent lab’s processing and communication of test results to BetterMed, BetterMed will communicate the results to the patient. The turnaround time from the test swab to communicating test results to the patient is typically 2-4 days.

 

Q: How accurate is the Antigen Test?
A:  The Antigen test is accurate with a sensitivity of 96.7% and specificity of 100%.

 

Q: Can I get both the Antigen and PCR Medical Evaluation and Tests at the same time?
A: If you want, yes, but that may not be the best strategy to follow. We will include the PCR test in certain situations if the Antigen test is negative but the symptoms and clinical exam are consistent with COVID-19.

 

Q: What age range can receive an Antigen Medical Evaluation and Test?
A: Patients of any age.

 

Q: What age range can receive a PCR Medical Evaluation and Test?
A: Patients of any age.

 

Q: Do I have to be symptomatic or have a referral to receive a COVID-19 Medical Evaluation and Test?
A: No, you do not have to be symptomatic or have a referral. You may register for a COVID-19 Medical Evaluation and Test.

 

Q: Do I need a COVID-19 Medical Evaluation and Test if I was exposed to someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19?
A: Yes, we recommend that anyone in direct contact with a person who has COVID-19 receive a COVID-19 active infection Medical Evaluation and Test, particularly those who work with the public or are in contact with people considered high risk for the disease. You should wait at least 5 days after exposure before you have the test. You should quarantine during the period before the visit and test. 

 

Q: I am traveling, I need a COVID test back within 72 hours before I fly.
A: Check with your airline and/or destination country- to make sure they are not looking for a specific type of test, as there are various testing options (Antigen, PCR, Antibody) If they require the PCR test, it will be sent out to a lab, the result may take an average 5 days to return. Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite that time.

Antibody

 Q: What is antibody testing and how does it work?
A: This test checks for proteins in the immune system, known as antibodies, through a blood sample. Their presence means a person was exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it. Having antibodies present does not necessarily suggest or confirm immunity and their presence may not prevent future COVID-19 infection.

 

Q: Why should I get the antibody test?
A: To determine if your body has formed antibodies from a previous exposure to the virus, whether you presented with symptoms or not.

 

Q: Is this antibody test approved by the FDA?
A: Yes, the antibody test is FDA EUA approved.

 

Q: What is the accuracy of the antibody test?
A: The Healgen Antibody test had a 90.11% sensitivity with a 98.46% specificity.

 

Q: Do I have to receive a medical evaluation with the antibody test?
A: Yes, a medical evaluation and exam is required to ensure you are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms which may warrant further care.

 

Q: What does it mean if I test positive for COVID-19 antibodies?
A: A positive test means a person was exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it, which may mean that person has at least some immunity, although experts are not sure how strong the immunity may be or how long it will last.

 

Q: If I test negative, what does it mean?
A: A negative test means that the person has not formed antibodies to the virus. Approximately 6% of those exposed to the virus do not mount an antibody response. In those cases, we are uncertain if the patient has the chance of being re-infected.

 

Q: Will I have to be tested again?
A: Possibly. If you tested negative, you have not formed antibodies to COVID-19 and thus can become infected. During the acute infection, the Antigen test and PCR test (nasal swab) which tests for viral fragments can confirm infection. Two weeks after you are no longer exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, antibody testing specific for COVID-19 can be performed. Having antibodies present does not necessarily suggest or confirm immunity and their presence may not prevent future COVID-19 infection.


Q: When can I expect my results?
A: This test will give you results in about 15 minutes.

 

Q: What age range can receive an antibody test?
A: At this time, we are testing anyone 5 years of age and older.


Q: Do I need a doctor’s referral to receive an antibody exam and test?
A: No referral is needed.

Q: What is the Coronavirus?
A: COVID-19 is a variant of a family of viruses called coronaviruses that can cause respiratory tract infections that range in severity with symptoms resembling a common cold to serious illnesses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

 

Q: How is it spread?
 A: Viruses like COVID-19 can pass through coughing, sneezing and close contact. This can include shaking hands, or touching a surface with the virus on it. It is commonly spread when people touch their eyes, nose or mouth without washing hands, similar to a cold or flu.

 

Q: What are the symptoms?
A: According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms can range from mild to severe illness. They commonly occur 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

 

Q: How do I protect my family?
A: The CDC and WHO recommend practicing good hygiene, similar to that used to protect yourself from cold or flu.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are unable to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  2. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  4. Do not go to work, school or busy public places if you are sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  5. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it away immediately.
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  7. Wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

 

Q: What items should I keep at home in case I get sick?
A: Fever reducers and decongestants can help ease symptoms. Keeping broths and other hydrating liquids like sports drinks on hand can also be beneficial. You can treat a suspect coronavirus case similar to that of the flu. It is important to note that Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and other prescription medicines are not effective in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

 

Q: Should I see my healthcare provider if I’m sick?
A: If you have another ailment or injury not related to COVID-19, you should still be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

 

Q: Should I avoid traveling?
A: The CDC currently recommends avoiding endemic areas. If possible, try to reschedule any upcoming travel if you’re at high risk for infection.

 

Q: Who’s at the highest risk of infection?
A: People over the age of 60, those who may be pregnant or people on medications that weaken the immune system are at the highest risk of getting infected. If you fall into one of these groups, consider employing social distancing strategies if there is a risk of contracting COVID-19 in your area.

TeleCare 

Q: What is TeleCare?
A: TeleCare or telemedicine is high quality, remote care offered to our patients through live video conferencing from their phone or computer. Available for Virginia residents only. 

 

Q: What hours are you offering TeleCare?
A: 7 days a week from 8am-8pm.

 

Q: What is the cost for TeleCare?
A: We accept most insurances except Medicaid and Medicaid products. For those using commercial insurance, the expected out of pocket cost is your copay. If you want to use the self-pay option (Sure Pay) the cost is $70.

 

Q: Can I be screened for COVID-19?
A: Yes, we do provide screening for COVID-19 symptoms.

 

Q: What if my provider recommends an office visit during my call, will I be charged twice?
A: If your provider recommends that you be seen at one of our physical locations to receive appropriate care, your copay will be waived (when using insurance) and you will not be billed for the TeleCare visit. If you used the self-pay option we will apply the $70 towards your final bill.

 

Q: Who will I be speaking to when I use TeleCare?
A: A staff member will call you to confirm your appointment and one of our highly trained, compassionate health care providers will conduct your exam.

 

Q: Does Medicaid or Medicare cover telemedicine?
A: Medicare does cover TeleCare, but unfortunately it is not covered by Medicaid at this time.

 

Q: Can I get a prescription filled from a telemedicine appointment?
A: Prescriptions can be filled following a TeleCare visit and will be sent to the pharmacy of your choice.

 

Q: Do I need to download an app or any software?
A: You do not have to download anything to use TeleCare on your computer. If you want, there is a Chiron Health app available for iPhone and Android users if you prefer to use your phone or tablet.

 

Q: Do I have to make an account to use BetterMed’s TeleCare services (hosted by Chiron Health)?

A: Yes, you will be prompted to create a secure account when signing up for your first TeleCare visit.

 

Q: Is my security and privacy information safe?
A: Yes, our platform, Chiron Health is HIPAA approved.

 

Q: What do I do if I have a technical issue?
A: If you need help, please send us an email at chiron@bettermedcare.com


Q: What is TeleCare for?
A: TeleCare is ideal for people suffering from conditions like:

  • Sick patients who don’t need or want to come into the office but would benefit from a face-to-face visit and advice from a provider
  • COVID-19 evaluation
  • Dermatology or skin issues
  • Allergies
  • Bites & stings
  • Burns/sunburns
  • Coughs
  • Cuts & scrapes
  • Dehydration
  • Flu
  • Fever
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Pink eye
  • Rash & skin infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Sore throat
  • Sprains & strains

 

Q: What is TeleCare NOT for?
A: TeleCare is not for people suffering from serious or life-threatening conditions like:

  • Seizures
  • Chest pain
  • Neurological symptoms, suggesting a stroke
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Choking or gagging
  • Severe Hemorrhoids
  • Head injury
  • Cancer
  • Patients who want to hurt themselves (suicidal)
  • Patients who want to hurt others (homicidal)
  • Schizophrenia or hallucinations

If you have any of the above symptoms or any other serious medical concerns please call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency department.