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Frequently asked questions

How do I get my Antibody results?


Results for antibody testing are processed the same day you test. With your permission, your results may be given over the phone to limit your time in the office and potential exposure to other patients. We ask you to wait onsite for 15 minutes to receive your results in real time.




How accurate are your PCR tests?


The PCR test is more than 99% sensitive and specific. In fact, we discuss accuracy in terms of the number of viral copies a test can detect. Some tests need 400 copies to be detected. Ours requires just 10. The 30% false negative possibility that people talk about, is not due to the test, but rather to to outside factors such as collection, transport, delivery time, storage, lab reagents etc.




What is the Antibody Test?


The ANTIBODY test is a simple blood test. This FDA EUA Serology test is turning out to be one of the highest standards in Antibody Testing. This screening test, which may show reactive or non-reactive helps our community understand the prevalence in a specific population; your workplace, your home or our city. Insurance companies will cover the costs of testing. The price for private pay is $50. If you have need, we can accept uninsured and bill a Federal program for reimbursement. False Positives: There are very few false positives. False Negatives: There are some, especially on the IgM portion, but very few on the IgG. If you get a positive line, we will recommend you follow-up with a diagnostic molecular test. Anecdotal evidence suggests up to a 10% false negative on IgM's is possible.




I tested Positive for IgG Antibodies. Now what?


Wear your mask and continue to stay safe and monitor your vitals. It is not known how long antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 will remain present in the body after infection. We track these, and have found that in some people antibodies dissappear in 2 months post infection and in others, they continue to remain for at least 6 months. It is not known whether having antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 will protect you from getting infected again or help reduce the severity or duration of a future COVID-19 infection.




I tested Positive for IgM Antibodies. Now what?


If you have a positive test result, it is possible that you have had recent or prior COVID-19 infection and that you have developed an antibody response to the virus. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on the test results along with other factors of your medical history, your symptoms, possible exposures, and geographic location of places you have recently traveled. There is also the small possibility that this test can give a positive result that is wrong (a false positive result). Even a high-performing antibody test when used in a population without many cases of COVID-19 infection may produce as many or more false results as true results because the likelihood of finding someone who has been infected is very small. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine the likelihood of false result.




What is the COVID-19 PCR Test?


A PCR test is the gold standard in Covid and other testing. We offer multiple solutions for diagnostic PCR testing. Ours can actually be performed with just a nasal or throat swab, NOT the uncomfortable nasapharyngeal test. Results processed in 1-2 days (excluding testing preformed on Fridays or weekends). For immediate results, we have standard swab testing with results in 13 minutes! It's not comfortable, but it's not that bad...




When will I get my PCR results?


FedEx picks up samples every evening around 5:30pm. They are expressed delivered Monday - Friday and arrive around 10:30am. Assuming delivery times are as they are scheduled to be and the lab does not have any internal issues, results are released at 6 PM the following day. The lab will directly email them to you and if you are positive, we will call you. We generally offer 24-48 hour turn around so patients can plan accoringly for travel, etc. NOTE: Lab links will not open on Safari. NOTE: Friday and weekend samples arrive in the lab on Monday morning.




How accurate are your Antibody test?


The Healgen test used in our lab has an 87.9% sensitivity and a 99.8% specificity for IgM's. The sensitivity and specificity for IgG's is over 99.5% for each.




What if I don't have insurance?


Persons who are uninsured or are financially unable to cover the cost of their PCR testing may qualify for FREE PCR Molecular and Antibody testing through a Federal assistance program. All you need is identification such as a driver's license, passport or ID card.




I have insurance through my employer or the market place. Am I covered?


We accept all major medical PPO plans. Financial Assistance programs available on request. HMO, Medicare and Medicaid plans need to be referred by their primary care physician to us, or we can send your sample to a reference lab for analysis. We just can't do onsite rapid 13 minute Antibody testing for you.




What do you charge for Antibody?


Private pay: Antibody testing is only $50.

Major group medical insurance policies are covering antibody test at 100%. Exceptions are Medicare, Oscar, Medicaid and HMO policies.




What do you charge for PCR testing?


Private pay: for PCR Molecular testing is $200 (includes $35 fee) Major insurance PPO plans: $35 collection fee Financial Assistance programs available on request. **HMO, Medicare and Medicaid plans need to be referred by their primary care physician or we can test and send out to a reference lab for you.




I have Medicare, Medicaid or an HMO policy, now what?


Medicare and Medicaid plans need to be private pay. HMO policies must be referred by their primary care physician. Otherwise, these tests must be private pay.




My PCR results came back positive. What do I do?


If you have a positive test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19. (*False positives are extremely rare, and the analyzers that have had false positives are immediately disclosed) Therefore, with a positive test, you should isolate in accordance with CDC guidelines to avoid spreading the virus to others. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on the test results along with other factors of your medical history and your symptoms.




What does it mean if I have a negative PCR test result?


A negative test result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your sample. For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms usually means that COVID-19 did not cause your recent illness. However, it is possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people with COVID-19. If the number of viral copies you have falls below the copies detected by the testing analyzer, you could still have the virus. This means that you could still have COVID-19 even though the test is negative. If this is the case, your healthcare provider will consider the test result together with all other aspects of your medical history (such as symptoms, duration of illness, possible exposures, and geographical location of places you have recently traveled) in deciding how to care for you. It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take.




What is the CARES Act Federal Assistance Program?


We participate in the CARES Act federal assistance program for the uninsured. Antibody and PCR testing are fullyl covered, but we want to use it responsibly. Therefore, if you are uninsured and need financial assistance, we can access that program for you. If it’s not a hardship please help us retain those funds for people who would otherwise not have access.




If I have an HMO or Medicare, can I just use the CARES Act program for the uninsured.


Nope, sorry!




What fees does your office charge for testing.


We charge $35 for testing the public in our office for any and all tests. This helps us cover overhead.




What about Antigen Tests?


We do NOT recommend, nor offer any antigen tests. These are 'screening' rather than 'diagnostic' tests. In other words, a positive antigen test requires PCR confirmation. At ACL, we are extremely opposed to these tests. The amount of virus that must be present in the body is 1000X what a PCR requires and they also have a 20-25% false positive! All tests, even PCR tests, are not created equal. We measure them by the LoD (level of detection). The LoD specifies how many copies must be present in order for the test to detect Sar-Cov-2. Our reference lab has a LoD of 10. That means that only 10 copies of the virus in your body will demonstrate a positive test. An antigen test, has an LoD of 6 MILLION!




What is a Rapid Test?


A rapid test can be a PCR test, like the ones we offer, but most often they are antigen tests. Virtually worthless due to extremely limited application, we recommend skipping all antigen test. All tests, even PCR tests, are not created equal. We measure them by the LoD (level of detection). The LoD specifies how many copies must be present in order for the test to detect Sar-Cov-2. Our reference lab has a LoD of 10. That means that only 10 copies of the virus in your body will demonstrate a positive test. An antigen test, has an LoD of 6 MILLION!




Aren't all PCR tests the same?


No! All tests, even PCR tests, are not created equal. They are measured by the LoD (level of detection).The LoD specifies how many copies must be present in order for the test to detect Sar-Cov-2. Our reference lab has a LoD of 10. That means that only 10 copies of the virus in your body will demonstrate a positive test. Our Rapid PCR has a LoD of 120-125. Some PCR tests require 400 copies to show positive. An antigen test, has an LoD of over 6 MILLION! Just say NO.




I have been there before, how to I schedule again?


On our form, there is a button that asks whether you are returning. If you are, it simply asks for your name, Date of Birth and will bring you directly to the scheduler.




My Employer is Requiring Me to Get Tested, Can They Do That?


Yes, as a condition of employment, they can. Be glad they are because it means they are protecting you as well as their business.





Austin Covid Labs

1310 E. 51st St | Austin | TX | 78723

Businesses: business@austincovidlabs.com

Individuals: info@austincovidlabs.com

www.austincovidlabs.com

#keepaustinsafe

512-640-6990