Schedule My COVID-19 Testing Appointment

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Covid-19 Testing Information

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School Physical Forms

FFCRA & CARES Act 

Provider Compliance Information

MAGNOLIA & WOODLANDS

(281) 789-3400

CYPRESS

(281) 503-8160

Global

Confirmed
59,817,358
+274,734
Deaths
1,408,324
+6,673
Recovered
41,364,169
Active
17,044,865
Last updated: November 24, 2020 - 5:38 pm (+00:00)

USA

Confirmed
12,805,017
+27,646
Deaths
264,179
+492
Recovered
7,557,683
Active
4,983,155
Last updated: November 24, 2020 - 5:38 pm (+00:00)

Location & Hours of Operation

Dates and times subject to change.

Please follow us on Facebook for announcements.

Located at our facilities in Magnolia/The Woodlands and Cypress
Open Monday-Friday | 7am-3pm | Closed Saturday & Sunday

Closed for lunch 12-12:45 M-F

Holiday Hours: Closed November 26 & 27th

  • Appointments are required. Please click here to register.
  • Testing is available for people who are symptomatic as well as asymptomatic
  • Pre-screening or a doctor’s note are not required to get tested
  • All ages can be tested
  • Insurance is accepted (Patients with Medicaid will be required to pay cash pay rates for all COVID-19 testing)
  • Cash and credit cards accepted for self-pay

Please note: Only two appointment are available every 15 minutes. Please schedule accordingly if you desired appointment slot is not available or if you have two or more people you wish to have tested. Please do not arrive before your scheduled appointment time. You may not be allowed entry until your appointment. 

Testing Options

Testing is open to everyone regardless of what county you reside in. Montgomery County residents have the option of receiving a voucher to cover PCR testing. Residents of all other counties can use their insurance to cover testing or can self-pay.

PCR Swab Test 

PCR testing is used to directly detect if COVID-19 is actively present in your system and will determine if you are contagious. If you have contracted COVID-19, it usually takes 3-7 days for you to have enough virus in your system for the test to show a positive result.

  • Nasal swab
  • Results in 3-5 days
  • Self-pay PCR swab test: $150
  • Cash and credit cards accepted
  • Insurance accepted (Patients with Medicaid will be required to pay cash pay rates for all COVID-19 testing)

Appointments are required before you arrive.

Antigen Test

Antigen testing is a rapid, effective, and direct testing method for determining if you are contagious with COVID-19 within days after symptom onset or within a week of known exposure. If you get a positive result it is recommended to follow up with a PCR test to confirm the findings.

  • Nasal swab
  • Same day results
  • Self-pay antigen test: $175
  • Telehealth discussion with provider to go over results included
  • Cash and credit cards accepted
  • Insurance accepted (Patients with Medicaid will be required to pay cash pay rates for all COVID-19 testing)

Appointments are required before you arrive.

Antibody Blood Test

The antibody blood test is used to determine if you were previously exposed to COVID-19 and have developed antibodies to the virus. It does not tell you if you have an active infection of the virus. It can take between 7-21 days to produce enough antibodies in your system to show a positive result.

  • Tiny finger prick for blood sample
  • Same day results
  • Self-Pay antibody blood test: $75
  • Telehealth discussion with provider to go over results included
  • Cash and credit cards accepted
  • Insurance accepted (Patients with Medicaid will be required to pay cash pay rates for all COVID-19 testing)

Appointments are required before you arrive.

MCPHD & MCHD PCR Swab Test Vouchers

Vouchers Remaining

America’s ER has been contracted by Montgomery County Public Health District and Montgomery County Hospital District to provide COVID-19 testing to Montgomery County residents.
  • Testing at America’s ER is available for people who are symptomatic as well as asymptomatic.
  • Appointments are required. Please register online here.
  • Must be a resident of Montgomery County.
  • Must present a voucher at time of testing.
  • Only one voucher per client – no repeat testing.
  • Voucher will expire 5 days after issue date. Please use within 5 days.

How to obtain a voucher:

  1. Call 936-523-5040 to speak with a paramedic about your symptoms. You can still be tested if you do not have symptoms.
  2. Fill out a form over the phone or e-mail.
  3. Print or download e-mailed voucher to your smartphone.
  4. Schedule an appointment at the America’s ER nearest you. Click here to register.

How do I know what test I need to take?

How do I interprete the results of the different tests? 

Testing FAQs

General Drive Thru 

Why are you providing this screening and testing?

Wide-spread testing of the population has been proven by other countries to “flatten the curve”, identify “hotspots” in the community, and help reduce further spread of COVID-19. As a private medical practice and a trusted source of healthcare, and a member of your community, America’s ER is committed to doing its part by increasing access to testing with drive-through centers such as this to help identify areas of concern in our community and report these results to local and federal health departments.

Why are you testing people who are asymptomatic?

Studies show more than 50% of people with COVID-19 do not show symptoms and may be responsible for spreading COVID-19 without even knowing. We believe everyone should be tested so they can know if they are actively carrying the virus and are contagious so they can take measures to help reduce spread of the disease.

Isn’t this using up test kits that other places are short on for people who actually show symptoms?

America’s ER does not use government issued test collection kits.  We have an innovative and simple way of assembling the required sample collection kits which does not create a shortage of supplies. This provides necessary access to testing for our community. The AER testing program does not violate CDC testing guidelines. The testing methods and collection kits used in AER’s COVID-19 comprehensive test program have been approved by nationally recognized reference labs and boasts the same accuracy as those used by the CDC and local health departments.

Is COVID-19 testing free? If so, why does America’s ER charge some people for testing?

If you have health insurance and your insurance can be verified prior to testing, we will process your claim to be paid directly by your insurance company. You will not have to pay for testing.

However, even though federal laws dictate insurance companies are to pay for all COVID-19 testing, many of them are ignoring this law and are refusing to pay. If we file your claim with your insurance company and they deny your claim, they are breaking the law. You will receive your EOB in about 2-3 weeks, and if your insurance company has denied your claim, we will appeal your claim but strongly urge you to contact your insurance company and tell them to follow the law and pay for your testing. We also ask that you call your state and federal representatives and encourage them to force your insurance company to cover all costs for testing just as they would any other medical condition, testing, or treatment. You can also contact the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) hotline 1-800-252-3439 to file a complaint against your insurance company for not following the law and tell them your insurance company is refusing to pay for your COVID-19 testing.

For those without insurance or if your insurance cannot be verified, the government is supposed to reimburse providers for COVID-19 testing but has not specified how or when this is going to happen. America’s ER is not a public entity, a recipient of public funding, or a recipient of emergency funds. In other words, because America’s ER has not received any federal funding to make tests free to those without insurance or whose insurance cannot be verified, we have to charge patients $150 for the PCR swab test and $75 for the antibody blood test prior to testing to cover some of our costs for screening, evaluation, test processing, supplies, staff and your telehealth conference with a provider. 

If I have to pay, what forms of payment do you take?

America’s ER accepts cash or can process credit card payments at registration prior to testing.

Has America's ER received any funding for testing?

America’s ER is not a public entity and HAS NOT received any money or support for testing from any stimulus package, the CARES Act, or from local, state or federal government agency. Also, the CARES Act, stimulus packages, or any local, state, or federal government agency HAS NOT provided subsidies of any kind to America’s ER to pay for COVID-19 testing for people without insurance.

While America’s ER does accept insurance for COVID-19 testing, to date, insurance companies HAVE NOT reimbursed America’s ER for any testing at our testing locations. In other words, at this time, AMERICA’S ER IS FOOTING THE ENTIRE BILL for COVID-19 testing at our drive-through testing location, including the cost of clinical and administrative staff, police presence, traffic control, materials and supplies, PPE, and testing fees.

Hopefully, this will change, and the government will subsidize our testing efforts for the uninsured and insurance companies will comply with the CARES Act and reimburse America’s ER for testing so we will be able to continue to offer this much needed public service to our community. If they do not, we are not sure how long we will be able to make testing available to our community. If we do get subsidized at any point for testing, we will then re-evaluate our costs and adjust the price for testing at that time. Our goal is not to make profit from testing but provide a much-needed service to the community.

Do I have to get tested here?

No. This testing site was designed to be a resource to the Magnolia/The Woodlands and Cypress areas. You may choose to get tested at a different privately held medial facility which may set their own prices for the test based on their unique expenses or you may seek to be tested at a government-sponsored test site where testing is free if you meet their qualifications.

Click here to view the Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 testing map.

PCR Swab Test

Is your PCR swab test FDA approved?

We do not analyze PCR studies we only collect samples and then send them to the lab to be processed. Our specimen collection kit is approved by the CDC and our labs follow CDC guidelines for processing tests.

Click here for more information on Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens from Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Do I need to have symptoms to be tested?

No. Studies are showing at least 50% of patients do not show symptoms even if they have COVID- 19. Anyone can be tested here if you feel you have been exposed or are at risk of exposure.

Does everyone in my family need to be tested?

If you live in close proximity to others in your family and test positive for COVID-19, you may have already passed the virus to them without even knowing it. Because of this, you do not need to test everyone in your family. However, if you feel the need to have all family members tested, they can be tested.

I just got screened and tested for COVID-19, what do I do now?

If you are symptomatic or believe you may have been exposed but are not showing symptoms, please quarantine yourself and family until you get your test results. Regardless of your symptoms or test-results, always follow any local “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in place” guidelines, monitor your employer’s restrictions on returning to work, and practice strict hygiene such as frequent hand washing, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, avoid sharing household items, and clean surfaces of your home regularly. Try to restrict all non-essential activities outside of your home. If you are in public areas be sure to practice social distancing and wear a mask.

What type of test did I receive, and will this test tell me if I am immune to COVID-19?

PCR swab tests are screening for the presence of the active COVID-19 virus in your system and do not test for antibodies which can provide you with immunity. However, there are tests that show if your body has been exposed to COVID-19 and has produced protective antibodies which may provide you with immunity to the virus. America’s ER is now offering rapid result antibody testing (10 minutes) that will show the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, specifically IgM and IgG, in your system. When used in conjunction with the PCR swab test, antibody testing is a powerful tool to tell if you were exposed to coronavirus, where you are in the disease spectrum, if you are still contagious, and if you have developed immunity antibodies to COVID-19. This test requires a small blood sample from a finger-stick similar to those seen with diabetic blood glucose monitoring.

Where do you send my test?

Most tests are sent to national commercial reference labs for processing. We may also send your test to a local lab for processing.

When will I receive my test results?

Labs across the country are working hard to process thousands of COIVD-19 tests every day. While results are typically returned between 4-5 days, we have experienced turn-around times up to 10 days or longer depending on how many tests these labs are processing at one time.

How will I be notified of my test results?

Please register on LabCorp’s website where they will post your results as soon as they are available (see below).

You may also download a copy of your COVID-19 PCR swab test results for your records or to show your employer by going online to your LabCorp portal.

Be sure to enter the same information provided at registration.

  1. Go here: https://patient.labcorp.com/
  2. Click on Create Account.
  3. Complete registration with demographic information.
  4. Verify account via text or email.
  5. Login to account, authenticate your identity, and view your results.

If 5-7 days have passed and your results are still not posted to your LabCorp account, please email your name, date of birth, the date you were tested, and the statement “I authorize America’s ER to give me my test results.” to dgonzalez@americaser.com if you tested at our Magnolia location and lromero@americaser.com if you tested at our Cypress location.

What should I do if my test results are negative?

No test is perfect. In some cases, you may have taken the test before there was enough virus in your system to be picked up with testing, you are someone who received a false-negative test result (in other words, you are positive but the test didn’t pick up the virus), or even though you were sick, COVID-19 was not the cause of your illness. While PCR swab tests are the best way to tell if you are actively carrying COVID-19 and are contagious, a single negative test doesn’t mean you do not have the virus, especially if you have not had symptoms before getting tested. Only antibody blood testing done at about a week from contracting the virus will be able to tell if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Also remember, if your results are negative or are later exposed to someone with COVID-19, you may still be at risk of contracting the virus, developing symptoms, and require additional testing.

What should I do if my test results are positive?

Don’t worry. Patients are recovering from COVID-19 every day and most only experience mild flu-like symptoms. Always follow the instructions above regarding quarantining, personal hygiene, and restrictions in activity. If your test results are positive, we will report our findings to local health departments and other regulatory agencies. If additional information is needed, antibody testing is recommended, or confirmation testing is required, you will be notified at the number you provided.

Will I get a prescription for Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin if I am positive?

These medications are in high demand following news reports showing their effectiveness in combating the virus. However, the federal government is limiting those who are qualified to receive these medications. Even if we provide you with one, there is no guarantee your pharmacy will fill it.

When should I seek medical care or visit an emergency room?

Seek emergency care if your symptoms worsen or you are experiencing difficulty breathing, tightness in your chest, high fever, or any other alarming symptom. Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them you have been tested for COVID-19. Please wear a mask before entering any facility.

When can I return to work?

Please follow the most recent local, state, and federal guidelines regarding testing requirements for returning-to-work.

Will my insurance company reimburse me for this test and for any treatment?

Laws have been passed to force insurance companies to cover all costs for COVID-19 testing and treatment at our posted self-pay rates (as listed here and on our website) so you don’t pay for something they are supposed to cover. You will receive your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) in about 2 weeks. If your insurance company denies your claim and refuses to pay your bill, they are breaking the law and we strongly urge you to contact your local, state, and federal representatives and encourage them to force your insurance company to follow the law and cover all of your costs for COVID-19 testing just as they would any other medical condition, testing, or treatment. You can also contact the Texas Department of Insurance hotline 1-800-252-3439 and tell them your insurance company is breaking the law by refusing to pay for your COVID-19 testing.

Why is my insurance billing more than $150 for PCR swab and $75 for antibody blood testing?

The cash price for each PCR swab test is $150 and the cash price for each antibody blood test is $75. The CARES Act requires insurance companies to also pay for supplies and services that are required to provide these tests to you like PPE, telehealth, and other services rendered at the time of testing.  The most important thing to remember is that you won’t be billed by us,  you will owe absolutely no money and your insurance premiums will not go up.

MCHD/MCPHD PCR Vouchers

What is an MCHD COVID-19 Voucher?

On May 7th, 2020, America’s ER was selected and contracted by the Montgomery County Hospital District (MCHD) and the Montgomery County Public Health Department (MCPHD) to serve as a referral location for COVID-19 testing for up to 12,000 Montgomery county residents.

MCHD’s and MCPHD’s vouchers can only be used for PCR swab testing, have a face value of $51.31, and only provide a small portion of the fees and charges associated with COVID-19 PCR drive-through testing. 

Is my COVID-19 test free with an MCHD voucher?
Per the CARES Act and the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), patients with health insurance will not be responsible for any co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurance for COVID-19 testing or treatment during the Coronavirus National Emergency regardless of the provider’s network status.
This means by law, your insurance company must pay your provider the in-network contracted rate or if they are out-of-network, the cash price listed on the provider’s website. Because the voucher only covers a small portion of COVID-19 testing fees and charges, for those with health insurance, your insurance company will be billed for your testing, minus the value of the voucher.
For those without insurance, to ensure everyone has access to testing, we have agreed to accept the voucher as payment in full to help facilitate testing in those without the means or ability to obtain health insurance.  

 

What tests can be applied to my MCHD COVID-19 voucher?
MCHD has determined that PCR swab tests are the only tests covered by the voucher. Antibody and Antigen testing is not currently covered by the MCHD voucher.
How do I get a voucher?
Please contact the MCHD/MCPHD COVID-19 hotline at (936) 523-5040 for more information.
I just got my MCHD voucher, now what?
Once you receive your voucher, it can be redeemed for PCR swab testing at an America’s ER’s drive-through COVID-19 testing facility located in Magnolia/The Woodlands and Cypress. 

Antigen Test

What is an antigen?

An antigen is a small molecule, often a protein with a distinct shape, our bodies see as foreign, and is capable of stimulating the body’s immune response. When exposed to these microscopic invaders, our immune system begins the process of protecting itself by binding antibodies to these antigens and neutralizes them or tags them for destruction by other cells. COVID-19 has several known antigens, with the most recognizable being its spike proteins, or coronas, from which the virus gets its name.

 

How do they work and why are they important?

Antigen testing is a rapid, effective, and direct testing method for determining if you are contagious with COVID-19 within days after symptom onset or within a week of known exposure. Antibody tests, in contrast, must wait 2-3 weeks after exposure for the body to develop an immune response to very specific COVID-19 antibodies. In other words, even though antibody test results are accurate and fairly immediate, antibody testing looks for the evidence of a previous infection as opposed to the virus itself. PCR tests on the other hand, while over 98% accurate and the only FDA approved test for diagnosing an active COVID-19 infection by detecting viral genetic material, require advanced labs and can take days to get results. In addition, PCR can be so sensitive, inactive viral RNA can also be detected weeks, and sometimes months following recovery resulting in multiple positive COVID-19 PCRs even though you are no longer contagious.

Antigen tests work by identifying specific proteins on a particular pathogen where known antibodies attach and then mimick that immune response artificially. If there is a successful match between the COVID-19 antigen and manufactured coronavirus antibodies, the test is “positive” and we know you are contagious with active virus. In addition to its relatively ease of interpretation through the use of automated analyzers, Antigen tests also have the benefit of quick turnaround times with results available in as little as 15 minutes.

What test does America’s ER use and is it FDA approved?

America’s ER utilizes Quidel’s Sophia SARS Antigen IFA test kits and analyzers (https://www.quidel.com/), a US-based rapid antigen test manufactured in California. Quidel was issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA in late May 2020 after proving their tests delivered reliable and consistently accurate results for detecting COVID-19 antigens. Quidel is one of two Antigen tests trusted by the US government.

Are your Antigen tests accurate? What about “false-negatives” or “false-positives”?

Quidel reports 96.7% PPA (positive percent agreement) when compared to rt-PCR as recently as July 17th, 2020. Due to the very narrow window when these tests are positive (3-10 days after symptom onset), patients who receive the test outside of that window may experience what is known as a “false-negative,” meaning the received a negative result even though you still have viral genetic material in your system. “False-positives,” or test results demonstrating a positive result when you are negative is very unlikely with this testing platform given the manufacturer’s reported specificity and level of sensitivity.

Who should get an Antigen test and when should I get it?

Antigen testing should occur after 3 days of symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Alternatively, Antigen testing is an excellent method for asymptomatic patients 5-10 days from known COVID-19 exposure to determine if they contracted the virus and are now contagious. Antigen testing can also be used effectively as a rapid screening test for COVID-19 given the quick turn-around and relative accuracy.

You collected a specimen from my nose. Does that mean antigen tests and PCR tests are the same?

Antigen tests and PCR tests are not the same. The coronavirus lives and replicates in the upper respiratory tract and because both PCR and antigen tests are testing for active virus, specimens must be taken from that area and why you are swabbed with both. However, that is where their similarities end. PCR tests (more specifically rt-PCR), or reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, are taken to a lab where the RNA removed from the virus, coded into DNA, and then amplified so parts of COVID-19’s genome can be detected via advanced techniques. This is why it is so sensitive and considered the only FDA approved diagnostic test for COVID-19. Antigen tests, as discussed above, are comparatively simple and require less equipment to interpret. If you are required to obtain a PCR test, be sure to get a PCR test because they are not the same.

Why do you charge $125 for the Antigen test?

The cost of Antigen testing includes the test kit itself, staff to collect the test, all of the PPE, equipment, supplies, and infrastructure needed to administer and support testing, your teleconference with our medical providers, and everything else you see at our drive-through testing locations. If you have insurance, you will not have any out-of- pocket expenses for testing in accordance with CARES Act.

Will my insurance company reimburse me for this test and for any treatment?

Laws have been passed to force insurance companies to cover all costs for COVID-19 testing and treatment at our posted self-pay rates (as listed here and on our website) so you don’t pay for something they are supposed to cover. You will receive your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) in about 2 weeks. If your insurance company denies your claim and refuses to pay your bill, they are breaking the law and we strongly urge you to contact your local, state, and federal representatives and encourage them to force your insurance company to follow the law and cover all of your costs for COVID-19 testing just as they would any other medical condition, testing, or treatment. You can also contact the Texas Department of Insurance hotline 1-800-252-3439 and tell them your insurance company is breaking the law by refusing to pay for your COVID-19 testing. 

How and when do I get my results?

You will be called by one of our medical providers the same day you take your test to go over your results and answer any questions you may have. Please be sure to provide working emails and phone numbers during your registration process to minimize any delays in results.

How do I interpret my results?

Click on photos for full size.

If I test Positive will I need a follow-up PCR test?

Both America’s ER and Quidel, the Antigen test’s manufacturer, recommend all patients obtain a PCR swab test for confirmation of any findings.

Can I go back to work or school after getting this Antigen test? Will I get a doctor’s note?

Because Antigen tests are non-diagnostic according to the FDA, America’s ER cannot provide clearance to return to work or school. While we can provide scientifically supported opinions based on your test results as well as containment strategies and quarantine recommendations in the event you are Antigen positive, it is ultimately your employer’s and or school district’s responsibility to establish their own guidelines in light of existing local, state, and federal mandates imposed during the national emergency and to decide if you are free to return to work/school following testing. For your privacy and the protection of your health records, America’s ER does not release your medical records to any third party unless a release of medical records have been signed, is on file, and you have instructed us to forward specific portion(s) of your healthcare record.

With that said, when timed correctly, combining, PCR, Antigen, and Antibody testing can provide a very clear picture of your current infection status, if any, and risks of infecting others. Please refer to the CDC’s website for more information on testing strategies and return to work/school criteria for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

Antibody Blood Test

What is an antibody?

Antibodies are your immune system’s way of remembering how it responded to an infection so it can attack again if exposed to the same pathogen. People with antibodies for a specific virus have a lower risk of infection because their body has already created immune cells to fight it. By looking for these antibodies, specifically IgM and IgG, we can show if someone has already been exposed to a particular virus. IgM, the body’s largest antibody is seen about 7 days after you are infected and typically goes away over the next week or so. IgG, the most common antibody, starts to form when IgM starts going away and indicates you are recovering from the infection. When you are infected by SARS-CoV-2, also known as COVID-19 or coronavirus, your immune system produces IgM and IgG antibodies that are specific to COVID-19. If these specific antibodies are present and there are enough of them in your system to be detected, we have evidence your body has generated an immune response to the virus by producing antibodies to fight the infection. Which of these antibodies are present, if at all, can also tell us where you are in the infection process (early, active infection, recovering, or recovered and possibly immune) or if you may not have been exposed.

 

What is an antibody blood test and why are they important?

Antibody blood tests, also called serology tests, do not look for the actual virus in your system like a PCR swab test does after you provide a sample from your upper respiratory tract (nose or throat). Instead, this test uses a small amount of blood, typically from a finger stick, to detect if specific COVID-19 IgM and IgG antibodies are present in your system. These tests are important because they can tell us if a person was exposed to COVID-19 regardless if symptoms were present or the infection was asymptomatic.

Click here to read an Evaluation of a COVID-19 IgM and IgG rapid test; an efficient tool for assessment of past exposure to SARS-CoV-2

Click here to read A Case for Broadening both PCR (Molecular) and Antibody Testing of COVID-19

Who should get an antibody test and when should I get it?

Antibody testing should occur after you have had symptoms for at least 7 days, if you tested positive with a PCR swab test a week or more ago (even if you have recovered), or if you were exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 at least 7 days before getting antibody tested (regardless of symptoms). The reason for this is to ensure your immune system has had enough time to generate antibodies so we can detect them with testing.

Are they accurate?

Yes. While most antibody tests have not been approved by the FDA, in times of national emergency, many manufactures of these test kits, including those used at our testing facility, have been issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA after proving their test kits deliver reliable and consistently accurate results for detecting COVID-19 antibodies. Our test kit, Orient Gene, was approved by the FDA for emergency use as of June 1, 2020 and the next step in the process will be full FDA approval. Read press release here

Orient Gene has already achieved CE status in Europe and has also been independently tested and verified by the WHO when they compared our test kits to the only FDA-approved antibody point-of-care test made by Cellex. In those studies, Orient Gene outperformed Cellex and others on sensitivity and specificity 7 days from symptom onset.

To further ensure the Orient Gene test kits used at our facility would perform as promised, we conducted our own internal study to confirm their statements. We learned early on in our internal study that these kits, when conducted in the right temperature and humidity-controlled environment (such as in the temporary buildings you see at the testing site), resulted as expected and published.  Once our study was complete, we began offering antibody blood testing using these kits to the general public. Please be aware other locations offering this type of testing may not have conducted an internal validation study to confirm their test kit’s accuracy.  If you or someone you know has received or plans to receive antibody testing from another location, be sure to inquire if they have validated the accuracy of their test kits and how they did it. 

 If your test shows you have antibodies, we are confident to say you have likely been exposed to COVID-19. However, no test is perfect and negative results can occur if you have only had the virus for a few days. It is also possible to get exposed and not develop antibodies.

Click the image below to see a summary from the WHO study comparing our test kit (Orient Gene/Healgen) to others. Note that at the time of this study our test kit out performed Cellex (the only FDA approved LFA (lateral flow assy) antibody kit at the time of this study).

Click here to read the product insert for the Orient Gene/Healgen test kit.

Click here to read the WHO Study: Clinical sensitivity and specificity of three rapid SARS-CoV-2 Antibody (IgM/IgG) Tests on a hospitalized patient cohort: InTec, Cellex and OrientGene

Click here to read a Case Study by Dr. Thierry Prazuck on Orient Gene/Healgen on The Screening Test Performance

Is your antibody test FDA approved?

No. However, the FDA has issued and approved the manufacturer of our antibody blood test kit as an emergency use authorization, or EUA officially on June 1, 2020. Read press release here. An EUA is only issued from the FDA after proving the test kit delivers reliable and consistently accurate results for detecting COVID-19 antibodies. As a part of this strict process, the test kit must go through an application process that requires repeated submission of data and performance of the test kit. As part of the FDA review, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study comparing rapid test kits found that our antibody test was among the top performers.

To further determine if our test kit would perform as promised, we conducted our own internal study to confirm the manufacturer’s statements. We learned early on in our internal study that these kits, when conducted in the right temperature and humidity-controlled environment (such as in the temporary buildings you see at the testing site), resulted as expected and published. 

Click here to read the EUA statement from the test kit manufacturer. 

Why do you charge $75 for the antibody test?

The cost of antibody testing includes the test kit itself, staff to collect the test, all of the PPE, equipment, supplies, and infrastructure needed to administer and support testing, your teleconference with our medical providers, and everything else you see at our drive thru testing location. All pricing is based on specific codes used for testing and Medicare rates established by the government. If you have insurance, you will not have any out-of-pocket expenses for testing.

When will I get my results?

The antibody test takes about 10 minutes to get results. You will be called by one of our medical providers very shortly after receiving the test to go over your results.

Will the antibody test tell me if I have COVID-19?

Not exactly. A good way to illustrate this point is to think about when you see damage to an area that was caused by a tornado. Because we all know what tornadoes can do and what the devastation looks like, even if we don’t see the actual tornado, we can make a pretty good assumption that a tornado touched down somewhere nearby and caused all the damage. The presence of antibodies allows a similar assumption. If we see COVID-19 specific antibodies, we can assume you have been exposed sometime in the past to coronavirus because these antibodies wouldn’t be present otherwise. However, because we are not testing for the virus itself and only the body’s response to the virus, these tests are not used to diagnose COVID-19 infections.

Will an antibody test tell me I’m immune to COVID-19?

If you have the COVID-19 IgG antibody, you may have some level of immunity to coronavirus. However, because the virus is so new, experts do not know how long these antibodies might protect you. Some scientists think COVID-19 antibodies provide up to 6 months of protection against future exposure.

How do I interpret my results?

Click on photos for full size.

Can I go back to work after getting this antibody test?

Antibody tests by themselves cannot confirm if you are cleared to go back to work because it is only half the picture. While antibody tests can show how common COVID-19 is in a population and how much it has spread based on the number of people with COVID-19 antibodies, it doesn’t tell you if you still have the virus in your system. Furthermore, if you are early on in your infection your immune system may not have had enough time to make these antibodies.

 The hope is after enough time has passed, people with COVID-19 antibodies can safely get back to work and normal life, but more research is needed. At America’s ER, we believe antibody testing, when combined with serial PCR swab testing, provides the best picture to make that determination. The CDC serial testing strategy currently requires two negative PCR swab tests to clear you for work. America’s ER is dedicated to following CDC guidelines, but wants to take it a step further by introducing the antibody test to the equation to provide a clearer picture for governmental authorities to make that determination. This is why we always recommend PCR swab testing in conjunction with antibody testing.

Will my insurance company reimburse me for this test and for any treatment?

Laws have been passed to force insurance companies to cover all costs for COVID-19 testing and treatment at our posted self-pay rates (as listed here and on our website) so you don’t pay for something they are supposed to cover. You will receive your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) in about 2 weeks. If your insurance company denies your claim and refuses to pay your bill, they are breaking the law and we strongly urge you to contact your local, state, and federal representatives and encourage them to force your insurance company to follow the law and cover all of your costs for COVID-19 testing just as they would any other medical condition, testing, or treatment. You can also contact the Texas Department of Insurance hotline 1-800-252-3439 and tell them your insurance company is breaking the law by refusing to pay for your COVID-19 testing.

Why is my insurance billing more than $150 for PCR swab and $75 for antibody blood testing?

The cash price for each PCR swab test is $150 and the cash price for each antibody blood test is $75. The CARES Act requires insurance companies to also pay for supplies and services that are required to provide these tests to you like PPE, telehealth, and other services rendered at the time of testing.  The most important thing to remember is that you won’t be billed by us,  you will owe absolutely no money and your insurance premiums will not go up.

COVID-19 vs. Common Cold, Flu & Allergy

Covid-19 FAQ Series

Get caught up on the latest frequently asked questions about Covid-19 with our Medical Director, Dr. Butler.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are usually fever, cough, body aches, and can include headache or even difficulty breathing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Coronaviruses in general can be spread through the air by coughing and sneezing and through close personal contact, such as shaking hands. Coronaviruses can also be spread by touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose.

Who can be tested and how is COVID-19 diagnosed?

Much like testing for the flu, your healthcare provider can order your test and will obtain a swab or sample from your respiratory tract and send that sample to their local department of public health. There, your sample will undergo a test called RT-PCR, an advanced test looking for the genetic code of COVID-19. The CDC will then confirm those results which can take up to 5 days.

How is COVID-19 treated?

As of yet, there is no known treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. Several studies are underway investigating the effectiveness of various antiviral medications on the virus, but it will be some time before those results are confirmed. If you travel to an area with an outbreak of COVID-19 – or if you are in close contact with someone who has the disease – and you develop symptoms, you should contact your doctor before going to the emergency room to minimize the risk of spreading the disease or being unnecessarily exposed to COVID-19.

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

The best way to prevent infection from COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to it. That means staying away from outbreak areas and people who have been infected.

You can also take everyday precautions that help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Do not come in close contact with people who are sick and stay at home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw it away, and then wash your hands.

Keeping You Safe

How to Check-in at Our Facility

Dear Community:

America’s ER + Urgent Care is known for its capabilities, convenience and customer service.

COVID-19 has certainly been a disruption in all of our lives but we are prepared to provide safe and thoughtful care for you and your family.

Please review the following steps for checking in at our facility:

FOR PATIENTS WHO THINK THEY HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

Step 1) If you think you may have symptoms of COVID-19 please stop at the front entrance or remain in your car and call our facility. There are large stop signs located outside of the facility with instructions and our phone number on them.

Step 2) Let us know on the phone if you may have symptoms of COVID-19 and proceed back to your car if you are not already there. Waiting in your car is for your protection as well as our staff and other patients in the facility who are there for other troubles such as falls, strep throat, kidney stones, etc.

Step 3) A staff member will bring a mask to your car and get your phone number so that we may call you when ready. Once called, please proceed into the lobby where our friendly staff will start the screening process by taking your vitals and information.

FOR PATIENTS WHO SHOW NO SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

Step 1) Proceed into the lobby where you will be greeted by our friendly staff who will take your vitals.

Step 2) Once your vitals are taken and you are cleared, please proceed to the front desk where our registrars will further assist you.

This process may take a bit longer than normal, resulting in longer wait times. Be assured our staff will do their best to make this process as fast as possible. The safety of you, our staff and the public is our utmost responsibility.

Our facility is open 24/7 for all emergency and urgent care needs. Although COVID-19 is growing in our community we must stay committed to helping all patients. Our staff is here to answer your questions and will make the process as simple as possible.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

More COVID-19 Resources

Check out these resources and updates on the latest news regarding Coronavirus.

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MCTX Coronavirus Response Hub

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Center for Disease Control

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John Hopkins World Infection Map

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Texas Department of Health

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World Health Organization

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World O Meter

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Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Coucil

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How to Flatten the Curve

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