All locations will be open 10AM-4pm on Memorial Day, Monday May 25th.

COVID-19 Safety Procedure

We ask that ALL PATIENTS REGISTER, no matter what their symptom or ailment is, BEFORE arriving at a BetterMed location. Patients can register here by selecting ‘Reserve My Spot’ at their BetterMed location of choice.

Q: What safety and sanitation measures is BetterMed taking during the exams and testing?
A: In developing our COVID-19 exam and testing process, we made patient and staff safety our highest priority.  Once we developed these processes, we reviewed them with the Virginia Department of Health which fully endorsed our protocol.  As for our specific processes, between every patient encounter, all PPE and equipment used in our COVID-19 exams and testing are decontaminated with a CDC-approved cleaner that kills the COVID-19 virus.  Additionally, wherever possible, we use disposable items that are discarded between visits.  An example is the gloves where we’re using two (2) pairs for each exam and discarding the outer pair after each encounter.  Taken together, these actions are intended to prevent cross-patient and staff exposure.

Q: Why do I need a medical evaluation and exam with my COVID-19 test?
A: Although the vast majority of patients have mild symptoms, some patients can become extremely sick. The reason the medical evaluation and exam are important to include with the COVID-19 testing is to make sure that we are able to identify sick people who may need immediate emergency treatment. The medical evaluation and exam we perform examines a patient’s vital signs, making sure they do not have a very high fever,  are not hypoxic, have a rapid heart rate or a rapid respiratory rate. It is critically important to check a patient’s lungs and heart to make sure that they are not in distress or have clinical evidence of pneumonia, all which could be an indication that they need to be admitted to a hospital. We understand that people are avoiding healthcare facilities because they are afraid of the virus, but it is becoming evident that many people who should be seeking care are not doing it because of fear. So, we want to make sure that we are part of the “testing” process that helps identify those people and not simply collect a specimen to be tested.

Q: What types of COVID-19 tests does BetterMed provide?

A: When available, our COVID-19 examination offers 2 types of testing:

 

  1. PCR nasal swab testing to determine active infection
  2. Antibody blood testing to determine past exposure or previous infection

Currently, our Short Pump location is the only BetterMed site that offers both types of tests. Please check back regularly for new options.

 

Q: Can I come to a Greater Richmond BetterMed location to get examined and tested for Coronavirus if I believe that I have been exposed, am showing symptoms or would like an exam and test?
A: Yes. In the Greater Richmond Area, four BetterMed facilities, one located in Short Pump, one at Regency Square, one in  Ashland and one in Chester are set up to provide  COVID-19 curbside medical exam and testing. Note that exam and testing locations require an online reservation that you can make on our website.

Please note that these sites WILL NOT treat any other illnesses, conditions or injuries. If you require care for something other than COVID-19 exam and testing, please visit another BetterMed location.

Q: Can I come to a Fredericksburg BetterMed location to get examined and tested for Coronavirus if I believe that I have been exposed,  showing symptoms or would like an exam and test?
A: Yes. The Fredericksburg Plank Road location is set up to provide  COVID-19 curbside medical exam and testing. Note that exam and testing locations require an online reservation that you can make on our website.

Please note that this site WILL NOT treat any other illnesses, conditions or injuries. If you require care for something other than COVID-19 exam and testing, please visit the Spotsylvania BetterMed location.

Q: Can I come to a North Carolina BetterMed location to get examined and tested for Coronavirus if I believe that I have been exposed,  showing symptoms or would like an exam and test?
A: Yes. Both the Charlotte and Matthews locations are set up to provide  COVID-19 curbside medical exam and testing. Note that exam and testing locations require an online reservation that you can make on our website.

Please note that these sites WILL NOT treat any other illnesses, conditions or injuries until further notice.

Q: What is included in BetterMed’s COVID-19 Exam and Testing Service?
A:  Every patient’s COVID-19 exam and testing appointment includes a (1) curbside exam whereby a medical provider will examine oxygen level, lungs and heart rate and (2) test (generally a nasal or throat swab for active infection tests and a finger prick for antibody tests). Based on the exam, if necessary, we will refer the patient to the Emergency Room for further testing and possible hospital admission. The entire examination and testing process takes 15-20 minutes. Following the exam and test, BetterMed will send the test swab to an independent lab. Following the independent lab’s process and communication of test results to BetterMed, BetterMed will then communicate the results to the patient. The turnaround time from the test swab to communicating results to the patient for the active infection is typically 3-5 days. Turnaround time for the antibody test results is 15 minutes.

 

Q: How much does it cost to get a COVID-19 active infection exam and test?
A: For those with commercial health insurance, expected out of pocket cost for the exam is your copay and then any deductibles or co insurances similar to a regular urgent care visit. BetterMed does not charge to collect the test specimen and send it to the independent lab, however, the lab will bill your insurer separately for the test after your visit. Lab tests typically cost between $50-$100. Most insurance plans are covering COVID-19 examinations and testing with no cost to their members (you).  If your insurance company asks you to pay for a portion of your visit, please call them to verify your explanation of benefits.

For Sure Pay (self-pay) patients in Virginia: BetterMed charges $149 for the COVID-19 active infection exam. For the active infection test, an outside lab will bill the patient separately. Lab tests typically cost between $50-$100.

For Sure Pay (self-pay) patients in North Carolina: BetterMed charges $159 for the COVID-19 active infection exam.  For the active infection test, an outside lab will bill the patient separately. Lab tests typically cost between $50-$100.

 

For Medicare patients: BetterMed will bill Medicare for the COVID-19 active infection exam. For the active infection test, an outside lab will bill Medicare separately.  No coinsurance is due at time of service.

 

Q: How much does it cost to get a COVID-19 antibody exam and test?
A: For Virginia and North Carolina residents with commercial health insurance, expected out of pocket cost for the COVID-19 antibody exam and test is your copay and then any deductibles or co insurances similar to a regular urgent care visit. Most insurance plans are covering COVID-19 examinations and testing with no cost to their members (you).  If your insurance company asks you to pay for a portion of your visit today, please call them to verify your explanation of benefits.

For self-pay patients in Virginia: BetterMed charges $149 for the COVID-19 antibody exam and $21 for the test

For self-pay patients in North Carolina: BetterMed charges $159 for the COVID-19 antibody exam and test. 

For Medicare patients: BetterMed will bill Medicare for the COVID-19 antibody exam and test. No coinsurance is due at time of service.

Q: Why don’t you take Medicaid?
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. Stay well.

Q: Why is BetterMed charging for testing when it’s supposed to be free because of the new law?
A: BetterMed Urgent Care is not charging for the COVID-19 testing or specimen collection. BetterMed will charge the patient for the COVID-19 medical examination, for which you will receive a bill consistent with a typical urgent care visit. You will not receive a bill from BetterMed for COVID-19 specimen collection or testing.

Q: Why do I need a medical evaluation and exam with my COVID-19 test?
A: Although the vast majority of patients have mild symptoms, some patients can become extremely sick. The reason the medical evaluation and exam are important to include with the COVID-19 testing is to make sure that we are able to identify sick people who may need immediate emergency treatment. The medical evaluation and exam we perform examines a patient’s vital signs, making sure they do not have a very high fever,  are not hypoxic, have a rapid heart rate or a rapid respiratory rate. It is critically important to check a patient’s lungs and heart to make sure that they are not in distress or have clinical evidence of pneumonia, all which could be an indication that they need to be admitted to a hospital. We understand that people are avoiding healthcare facilities because they are afraid of the virus, but it is becoming evident that many people who should be seeking care are not doing it because of fear. So, we want to make sure that we are part of the “testing” process that helps identify those people and not simply collect a specimen to be tested.

 

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.

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.

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.  Antibodies present do not necessarily suggest or confer 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 had symptoms or not.

Q: Is this antibody test approved by the FDA?
A: The test is under FDA review pending Emergency Use Authorization.

Q: If the FDA has not approved the Antibodies test, how will I know if my results are accurate?
A: The Antibodies test we are offering is under FDA review pending emergency use authorization. To ensure we are testing our patients with the highest possible level of confidence, we conducted an internal study using a sample of the over 10,000 patients we have tested to confirm the validity of the test. After critical review of the results, we are very confident of the accuracy of this specific Antibody test which delivered a sensitivity of 97% and specificity of 100%. 

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

Q: What are the costs of the examination and antibody test for those who are commercially insured?
A: For those with commercial health insurance, expected out of pocket cost is your copay and then any deductibles or co insurances similar to a regular urgent care visit. Most insurance plans are covering COVID-19 examinations and testing with no cost to their members (you).  If your insurance company asks you to pay for a portion of your visit today, please call them to verify your explanation of benefits.

Q: How much does it cost to get a COVID-19 Antibody Exam and Test?
A: For Virginia and North Carolina residents with commercial health insurance, expected out of pocket cost for the COVID-19 antibody exam and test is your copay and then any deductibles or co insurances similar to a regular urgent care visit. Most insurance plans are covering COVID-19 examinations and testing with no cost to their members (you).  If your insurance company asks you to pay for a portion of your visit today, please call them to verify your explanation of benefits.

For self-pay patients in Virginia: BetterMed charges $149 for the COVID-19 antibody exam and $21 for the test.

For self-pay patients in North Carolina: BetterMed charges $159 for the COVID-19 antibody exam and test. 

For Medicare patients: BetterMed will bill Medicare for the COVID-19 antibody exam and test. No coinsurance is due at time of service.

Q: Will my insurance cover the cost of the exam and test?
A: It is always best to call your insurance company directly to answer that question. However, most insurance plans are covering COVID-19 examinations and testing with no cost to their members (you).  If your insurance company asks you to pay for a portion of your visit today, please call them to verify your explanation of benefits.

Q: Do you take Medicaid or Medicare?
A: At this time we take Medicare.

Q: If I test positive, what does it mean? (Does it mean I am immune?)
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 even 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 reinfected.

Q: Will I have to be tested again?
A: Possibly.  If you are tested negative, you have not formed antibodies to COVID-19 and thus can become infected.  During the acute infection, the PCR test (nasal swab) which tests for viral fragments can confirm infection.  Two weeks later, antibody testing specific for COVID-19 could be performed. Antibodies present do not necessarily suggest or confer 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 10-15 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: If I am currently feeling sick with symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, sore throat and or fever, which exam and test do I need?
A: If you are currently showing symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, sore throat and or fever, you should receive the medical evaluation, exam and PCR test.

Q. If I am NOT currently showing symptoms, and I may or may not have been exposed to someone who has the Coronavirus virus, which exam 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 the medical evaluation, exam and Antibody blood test.

Q. If I think I have been exposed to someone who has had the Coronavirus virus, 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 PCR exam and test. 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 need the Antibody exam and test.

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. Is the Antibody test approved by the FDA
A. Currently, the Antibody test is FDA emergency authorization use (EAU) pending.

Q: How much does the Antibody exam and test cost?
A. The medical evaluation, exam and test are bundled together. For those with commercial health insurance, expected out of pocket cost for the exam is your copay and then any deductibles or co insurances similar to a regular urgent care visit. We are currently not charging separately for the antibody test.

For self-pay patients in Virginia: BetterMed charges $149 for the COVID-19 exam. We are currently not charging separately for the antibody test.

For self-pay patients in North Carolina: BetterMed charges $159 for the COVID-19 exam.  We are currently not charging separately for the antibody test.

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.

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. If you want to use the self pay option the cost is $70.

Q: Can I be screened for COVID-19?
A: Yes, we do provide evaluation 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: Do I need to download an app or any software?
A: No. There is no download required.

Q: How do I check in?
A: Click here for step by step instructions.

Q: How do I find BetterMed’s virtual waiting room?
A: The link is located in the appointment confirmation email or calendar invite. If you’re having trouble finding it, click here for more information.

Q: Who will I be speaking to when I use telemedicine?
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: What happens after my appointment has been scheduled?
A: Once your appointment is made online, please have your insurance card ready. A team member will call you to complete your registration. If you don’t have insurance, you can self-pay for an appointment for $70.

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

Q: What do I do if I have a technical issue?
A: If you need help, please send a message to https://doxy.me or  email telehealthreg@bettermedcare.com

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: 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
  • Follow-up for hypertension
  • 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.