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COVID-19 Testing

We are excited to offer three different COVID-19 testing options in our office:

Diagnostic Testing: These are tests that have "Emergency Use Approval (EUA)" from the FDA and are desinged to detect active, live infection of COVID-19. We have two diagnostic test options. Both are collected by nasal swab.

1. Rapid Antigen Tests: which give you results in 10-15 minutes. We use the the CareStart Rapid Antigen Test which has a 90% sensitivity and 100% speceficity. More info on this test can be seen here

2. PCR test: that is run through LabCorp and takes 2-3 days for results.

Cost: Both tests have a $40 collection fee. LabCorp will bill your insurance for the PCR tests. Rapid antigen test cost $120, however we will bill this cost directly to your insurance.

Essentially, PCR tests are more sensitvie (less false negatives) but take longer. The advantage of antigen tests is that they can be completed quickly. In some situations, a negative antigen test can be followed up with a PCR test to confrim a negative result. Watch the short video below from the FDA for more information on different COVID-19 testing options.

Rapid Antibody Testing: These tests are desinged to identify previous infection of COVID-19. This test is done using a finger prick and requires only one drop of blood. These tests are also called "lateral flow" tests due to style of testing similar to a pregnancy test. These tests will test for IgM (current infection) and IgG (previous infection and immunity) and results are final in 10-15 minutes. An example of this testing is seen in the video below.

Accuracy: These tests were sourced from Confirm Biosciences and report an overall accuracy of 96.8% for IgM and 95% for IgG.

Price: $40

FAQ's

How accurate are these tests? What is the difference between sensitivity and specificity?

  • Specificity is how likely a test will NOT result in a false positive. So if a test is 99% specefic, there is only a 1% chance of a false positive.
  • Sensitivity is how likely a test will NOT result in a false negative. So if a test is 99% sensitive, there is only a 1% chance of a false negative.
  • Specificity and Sensitivity are listed for each test under the descriptions above.

What are the limitations of the test?

  • PCR and Anitgen tests are subject to false negative results, so a negative result cannot 100% rule out infection, especially in the presence of symtpoms.
  • Antibody tests not intended for acute diagnosis early in the course of disease. As stated above, negative results do not rule out a SARS-CoV-2 infection. For patients in which there is a high clinical suspicion for COVID-19 is high, PCR-based testing is recommended to evaluate infection. Antibody testing should not be used alone to diagnose COVID-19.
  • False-positive results rarely may occur as the result of infection with non-COVID-19 human coronaviruses.
  • Immunocompromised patients with COVID-19 may not have detectable levels of antibodies, or have a delayed antibody response.

Is testing covered by insurance?

  • Diagnostic Tests such as the Rapid Anitgen test run in our office and at LabCorp are requried to be covered by your insurance as part of the federal CARES Act. We will bill your insurance for the antigen test, and LabCorp will bill your insurance for PCR testing.
  • In general, antibody testing for COVID-19 is not considered "diagnositic" and no antibody tests approved by the FDA, only cleared for use under the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization. For this reason we do not believe these tests to be covered.
  • We can provide you a "super bill" which can be submitted to your insurnace for potential reimbursment.

What if I haven't had symptoms but was exposed to someone with COVID-19, will I have antibodies?

  • Maybe. While you do have to get infected with COVID-19 to produce anitbodies, many people are asymptomatic during infection. So while they would not show symptoms or have mild symptoms, they would still produce antibodies.

Where is the testing done?

  • Testing can be done in our office. If you need alternative arragnements please call our office at (850) 877-6790.

Other COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 and Immune Optimization Strategies Webinar

Immune Optimization Protocol:

Suggestions mentioned in the presentation are available from the link below. This protocol is NOT intended to treat COVID-19 as this is a new virus with no proven treatment options. This protocol is based off current literature that shows immune optimization and benefits against similar known viruses. Before starting this protocol, please consult with Dr. Zaideman or your primary care physician to make sure there is no contraindications with current prescription medications. If you have specific questions on what will be the best protocol for you, we recommend making a no charge consultation with Dr. Zaideman. These consultations are available via phone or video chat to ensure appropriate social distancing.

To access these recommendations, simply click the image below, register for an account, and within 24 hours you will be sent a specific recommendation.

https://www.healthytallahassee.com/index.php?p=522881

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