Mainstreet Family Care provides details for testing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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Testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) is becoming more mainstream. In order to reopen the state, Gov. Ivey and others apart of the COVID-19 task force insisted on an increase in testing. Locally, Mainstreet Family Care in Brewton is prepared for testing on the front lines.
Explaining every detail, Chief Sales and Marketing officer Betsy Stewart shared more about what happens during a visit and what tests are offered at the location.
For patients experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, individuals are asked to enter the location providing all necessary paperwork. Next out of precaution, patients are encouraged to wait outside until a room is available. “We will provide patients who do not have a mask with one, and we are encouraging all patients to wait outside or in their cars until we can bring them back into a sanitized exam room,” said Stewart.
If a patient is suspected of having the virus, a medical assistant on site will administer a test. Stewart explained, “For the COVID-19 viral swab, they will simply use a swab to rub the back of the throat. Some clinics have been sent a small handful of the nasal swabs to use in case they run out of oral swabs, which are used up the nose.”
The swab is sealed and sent off each night for testing in a lab. Stewart said that most tests are being sent to Assurance, while others are being process by LabCorp. “The lab then processes the sample, runs the test, and sends a result to our Care Coordination as well as reports the positive cases to ADPH,” said Stewart.
If a patient’s test result is positive, there is a certain protocol. Stewart shared, “Our Care Coordination team then sends the results to the patient through our MainStreet Family Select Patient Portal as well as any positive results for the viral swab to the Nurse Practitioner who is at the clinic where the patient was tested. Our providers then call any positive-testing COVID-19 patients to answer any questions and ensure they are practicing self-isolation.”
Currently at the location in Brewton, there are 3 tests being administered—viral testing Assurance, viral testing LabCorp, and antibody testing LabCorp. According to Stewart, the most common test currently in MainStreet is the viral test by Assurance. “Assurance has been on the forefront of expanding viral testing throughout Alabama. This is the lab responsible for supplying many of the drive-thru testing sites that were in the bigger cities. This test uses an oropharyngeal swab to detect the live COVID-19 virus meaning the patient is actively infected and contagious, said Stewart. The other viral test by LabCorp is a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab. This test will detect the live COVID-19 virus. LabCorp is one of the nation’s largest laboratory companies.
Finally, MainStreet offers the antibody testing by LabCorp. An Abbott testing machine, this test was developed to identify COVID-19 specific antibodies. The test looks for both IgM and IgG antibodies for the virus. According to a medical director with LabCorp, the sensitivity for this test is in the upper 90 % range. Anyone seeking this test will have blood taken. “For the antibody test, it’s a simple blood draw, where we collect one vial of blood to be sent off. We take a few basic vitals such as blood pressure, and then the medical assistant will perform the test,” said Stewart.
Anyone is eligible for the tests. Because MainStreet Family Care is now participating in the HHS Uninsured Patient Program, uninsured patients can receive testing as well. “MainStreet Family Care & KidsStreet Urgent Care are now participating in the HHS Uninsured Patient Program, which will provide reimbursement to us as a healthcare provider when we provide COVID-19 testing for uninsured patients. This means that uninsured patients can come into our clinic at any time and receive a COVID-19 viral swab test without any cost to them,” said Stewart. For now this only includes the viral swab test. Stewart said, “Uninsured patients interested in getting a COVID-19 antibody test will be covered for the visit to MainStreet and blood draw, however, LabCorp would still bill $100 for the antibody test.”

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