MINIMIZE RISK OF INFECTION WITH OUR DRIVE-THRU TESTING SERVICE
My Family Doctor clinics have been serving the Houston community for more than 20 years. We consider the coronavirus outbreak a call to action. As physicians, we took an oath to serve our patients and the community notwithstanding the risks to ourselves. We pledge to do whatever we can to help prevent the spread of this terrible disease and will be offering drive-thru coronavirus testing in our parking lots.
Currently, COVID-19 tests are in limited supply. We have ordered and will continue to order as many test kits as possible. However, because of the shortages, we are currently only able to test patients who are at risk for the disease. Patients who visit our drive-thru testing center will be asked to fill out a short screening questionnaire so we can ensure that only those who are at risk for the disease receive the test.
We are a local, private medical practice and as a result we receive no subsidy or financial assistance from the government to offer this service. Unlike government-sponsored testing centers which can perform the test for free, we receive our test kits from commercial laboratories which charge for the testing. As a result of the new law passed by Congress, patients with insurance can receive the test for free at our testing site with no copay required. For patients without insurance, we can perform the evaluation, screening and testing for $150, which will help cover some, but not all, of our out of pocket costs for supplies, staff, and the lab test.
We are offering this drive-thru testing service in order to do our part to minimize the spread of this disease and test as many people as we can in a way that reduces the chances of spreading the infection to others.
Please check this section regularly to be notified of changes to hours of operation, testing supplies, and whether the drive-thru testing center is at capacity for the day and is no longer accepting patients in the queue
MARCH 30, 2020
COVID-19 DRIVE THRU HAS CHANGED ITS HOURS OF OPERATION. STARTING MARCH 30, 2020, THE DRIVE-THRU WILL BE OPEN MONDAY TO THURSDAY, FROM 9AM TO 4PM. COVID-19 Drive-Thru will be closed on Fridays.
MARCH 20, 2020
PATIENTS WITH INSURANCE MAY NOW BE SCREENED AND TESTED FOR FREE AT COVID-19 DRIVE THRU!
We are pleased to announce that as a result of the new law passed by Congress, patients with insurance will no longer need to pay any copay for their evaluation and screening or for the COVID-19 test.
We recommend that you call ahead to ensure that we accept your insurance BEFORE visiting the testing center. A list of insurance plans we accept can also be found HERE.
PREPARE FOR YOUR VISIT
Please review the following information carefully before visiting our drive-thru testing center:
HOURS OF OPERATION
Our hours of operation are Monday to Thursday, from 9 am to 4 pm, WHILE TESTING SUPPLIES LAST. We encourage you to check this website regularly to ensure we are still up and running.
Please note that even though we will be testing patients from 9 am to 4 pm, we may stop allowing patients to line up for the drive thru before 4 pm based upon our staff and resources as well as the number of visitors to the site.
We therefore encourage visitors to arrive early to avoid being turned away. Those who attempt to jump the line, exit their vehicle, or engage in disorderly conduct will be turned away irrespective of how long they may have been waiting. Police and other security personnel will be on site to maintain order.
NOT EVERYONE WILL RECEIVE A COVID-19 TEST
Due to the shortage of test kits currently available, we have a very limited supply and there are not enough kits to test everyone at this time. We will only be testing patients with the highest risk for this disease based upon demographic risk profile, symptoms, and responses to the CDC screening questionnaire.
You should not visit our testing center unless your have fever and/or symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g., dry cough). Priorities for testing also include older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state that may put them at higher risk for poor outcomes (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, receiving immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease). Also priority for testing are any persons who within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas within 14 days of their symptom onset.
WHAT TO BRING
Your driver's license or other photo ID
Your current insurance card
Something to write on (clipboard, book, etc.)
Hand sanitizer for your personal use (if you have it)
Cash (we will attempt to bill your insurance, but all patients should bring $150 for the test just in case we cannot verify your insurance)
Snacks and beverages (you may be waiting in your car for several hours)
CHARGES & PAYMENT
Your visit will include 2 components. Your evaluation and screening and, if eligible, the COVID-19 test.
For patients with insurance, we will need to verify that we accept your insurance (we accept most major insurance plans). If we do accept your insurance, both the evaluation and the test will be billed to your insurer at no cost to you. WE ENCOURAGE PATIENTS TO CALL AHEAD TO VERIFY THAT WE ACCEPT YOUR INSURANCE PLAN. A list of the insurance plans we accept can also be found HERE.
For patients without insurance, the cost of the evaluation and screening is $25 and the cost of the test is $125. To minimize the spread of infection we will not accept plastic credit cards, and cash is required for all payments. Please note that the COVID-19 test may be offered to uninsured patients for free at certain government-subsidized testing centers. A link to information on free testing at locations in your area can be found HERE. We are not able to offer the test to uninsured patients for free because we are a private medical practice with no government funding or assistance. Unlike government-subsidized testing centers, we receive our test kits from commercial laboratories which charge us for every test we send them for analysis. We have set our self-pay price as low as possible to help cover the cost of supplies, staff, and test kits needed to offer this service.
COME PREPARED TO WAIT IN YOUR CAR FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. We recommend that you use the restroom before visiting and arrive with at least a half-tank of gas in your vehicle. Our testing center consist of two stations.
Station 1 (CHECK IN) - You will be handed a welcome letter with instructions along with the CDC Screening Questionnaire. If you have insurance, you will need to take a photo of your insurance card and your driver's license and text the photo to a secure email address that our staff will access in order to verify your insurance coverage. Regardless of your insurance coverage, our staff will collect a $25 evaluation and screening charge from you at Station 1. If your insurance coverage is verified, $25 will be returned to you at Station 2. While you wait in your car for the next station, you should fill out the Questionnaire.
Station 2 (TRIAGE & TESTING) - You will remain in your vehicle and wait at the sign for a staff member to direct you to a designated parking space at Station 2. At Station 2, our staff will record your vital signs and review the Questionnaire. If you are eligible for testing, a licensed medical provider will ask you some additional questions, provide you with information, and administer the COVID-19 test. Patients whose insurance has been verified will receive the test for free. Self-pay patients will be asked to pay $125 before receiving the test. We currently use the nasopharyngeal test swab (which looks like a long q-tip) to gather a sample from your nasal cavity. Once the test is administered, you will receive instructions from the provider and be asked to self-quarantine until we receive your test results. Most labs we work with can generate test results within 7 days.
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions:
I THOUGHT THIS TEST WAS SUPPOSED TO BE FREE. WHY ARE YOU CHARGING FOR IT?
The test is free at government-sponsored testing centers. A link to free testing locations in your area can be found HERE. Unlike government test centers who receive the test for free, our test kits are supplied by commercial laboratories which charge for the testing. If you have insurance, the test will be performed for free at no cost to you. If you do not have insurance, we charge $25 for the evaluation and screening and $125 for the test to help cover some, but not nearly all, our costs for supplies, staff, and testing. We are offering this service because we, as a small private medical practice, want to do what we can to increase access to testing. We hope that the government will hurry up and expand free drive-thru testing because we cannot afford to offer this service forever.
WHAT IS YOUR CRITERIA FOR WHO RECEIVES THE TEST?
We follow the CDC criteria for testing, and the CDC has advised that healthcare provides use selective testing criteria at this time due to the shortage of tests available. The symptoms we look for are fever and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing). Priorities for testing include older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state that may put them at higher risk for poor outcomes (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, receiving immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease). Also priority for testing are any persons who within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas within 14 days of their symptom onset. We will not be able to confirm your testing eligibility without a complete questionnaire and vital signs.
WHY DO YOU ONLY ACCEPT CASH PAYMENTS?
Research has revealed that the coronavirus can live on certain surfaces, including plastic, for up to 72 hours. A link to a news article summarizing this information can be found HERE. To avoid cross contamination among patients who visit the test site, we will not be accepting payment by plastic credit cards passed back and forth among patients and our staff. By contrast, cash can be collected and stored in a lockbox for more than 72 hours before handling to give the virus time to die.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY COVID-19 TEST RESULTS?
We do not analyze your sample here. We work with several commercial laboratories, including Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp, and CPL, which pick up the samples daily and bring them to their laboratories for analysis. Depending upon the the lab to which your sample was sent, your test results should be available within 3 to 5 business days from the date you visited our testing center. During that time, patients who received the test should self-quarantine and avoid contact with others until we receive your results. We will contact you with your test results as soon as we have them. Please remember that once the lab collects your sample from our facility, we have no control over the handling, analysis, or timing of your test result.
Please note that, per CDC recommendations, people who were previously tested or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 may be able to cease self-isolation and leave their home under certain conditions. A link to information about when it is safe to stop self-isolation is available HERE.
6430 Hillcroft Ave., Houston, TX 77081