AFC Urgent Care Richmond, Texas COVID-19 Q&A
How to Make Appointments
COVID 19 Tests Results and Turnaround
What is the Cost?
Which Insurances cover Rapid Molecular Tests?
COVID-19 Test Information
Safety: What do I do when I arrive for my COVID-19 test?
How to Make Appointments
How do I get a COVID-19 test and a Provider Visit at AFC Urgent Care Richmond?
For safety, we require appointments for COVID-19 Tests/Provider Visits as opposed to walk-ins. You can easily make appointments on our home page, www.afcurgentcare.com/richmond,on a rolling 48-hour basis. You can also call 832-756-7772. But with the high traffic lately, it may be challenging to get through. The website app tells you immediately what openings are available, reduces the time needed for registration, and increases accuracy by using your cell phone's camera. You can make an appointment as soon as one hour from the time you check, subject to availability. But please do this from the safety of your car or house outside of the clinic interior.
What about Existing Patients. Do I have to go online?
No. While it is easier to make an appointment online, we give existing patients priority access to make appointments for available openings telephonically at 832-756-7772. Making an appointment online eliminates the need to answer questions you already answered in previous appointments. Additionally, you can quickly electronically sign consent forms needed for each visit online. By doing so, reducing your exposure to COVID-19 is diminished because the MA will not have to ask you to sign the consent forms. Because of the high traffic and the detailed personal ID and insurance information needed to facilitate your appointment, we strongly advise new patients to make an appointment here.
Why can't I just walk-in to get a COVID-19 test?
Allowing walk-in patients, who may have COVID-19, creates a very unsafe situation for all patients and staff, significantly increasing transmission likelihood. Non-COVID-19 patients who DO NOT HAVE COVID-19 like symptoms, such as fever, irritated throat, and trouble breathing, are still free to walk-in at any time.
What if I have several family members and want to test simultaneously, but the online tool doesn't allow us?
The online tool processes appointment fills in availabilities in real-time. With the high demand, other patients may schedule adjacent slots before you can make appointments for your whole family. Go ahead and make appointments, even if they are separated. Then call 832-756-7772, and we will adjust the schedule to accommodate your family.
Can I be on standby for a canceled slot?
After you receive an online appointment, you are welcome to call us to sign up for slots that may open throughout the day. While openings happen, we cannot guarantee them.
What if I need to make an appointment for more than 48 hours and the website won't let me schedule a specific Travel Date after 48 hours?
We limit the appointment time online to 48 hours to prevent cancellations. But that doesn't mean you can't make an appointment later. Make the latest appointment you can and call us. We are happy to change for a specific day.
What if I need to make an appointment to meet travel requirements in Hawaii?
Hawaii requires a negative result from pre-approved clinics. AFC Urgent Care Richmond is happy to be an approved COVID-19 test for entering Hawaii with our Rapid Molecular Test. Please check your specific airline requirements and call us after you make an appointment, and let us know your requirements and your itinerary so we can adjust your test time if necessary. As of 11/24, travelers have to receive their test results before departure for Hawaii to prevent the need to quarantine upon arrival.
What if I need to make a COVID-19 appointment to meet travel requirements for other Domestic or Foreign destinations?
Please read the details below to make the correct appointment time to match your travel requirements. After you make an appointment, call us with your travel itinerary and travel requirements to make adjustments if needed.
It is essential before you call us to understand your airline's time requirements
and destinations. They are not always the same. Please read the specific
requirements from your airline's website and the websites of the governmental
authorities of your destination.
Many destinations require a negative result from an RT-PCR test taken no earlier than 72 or 96 hours before departure, and in some cases, before arrival. As the test results can take 1 -2 days, please plan accordingly. We express ship your sample 5:30 PM daily to get results, usually within one day after your test. However, we have no control over shipping delays or if the laboratory has problems. Also, results taken between Friday 5 PM and Saturday evening take longer. Hawaii accepts our 15 Minute Rapid Test.
COVID 19 Tests Results and Turnaround
How long does it take to get my COVID-19 test results?
RT-PCR results will take between 24 – 48 hours (usually the next day) on weekdays and three days on weekends (usually two days). We cannot, however, guarantee against rare shipping or test processing delays. Our new Molecular Rapid COVID-19 test takes only 15 minutes of testing time but is subject to availability, priority, and insurance coverage (see Which Insurances cover Rapid Molecular Tests?).
How will my results be communicated to me?
If you have a positive result, our providers will call you as a priority. If you took an RT-PCR test, the laboratory would message you a secure link with your results. For those who took the Rapid test, you will generally receive your report within one hour after your appointment starts.Return to top
COST and INSURANCE COVERAGE
I have Insurance, what is the cost?
Your insurance provider covers your test and office visit if you have COVID-19 symptoms or suspect exposure. As Fort Bend is in a state of "Community Spread," there are no specific exposure criteria. Unfortunately, many insurance companies have recently stopped waiving copays and deductibles for COVID-19 test visits, so there is often a cost. If your Insurance requires, your copay or deductible will be the typical copay or deductible you pay for an Urgent Care office visit.
Hence, we now require a copay or deductible as estimated by 3rd party services such as Avility Network or Waystar. We also require a Credit Card on File for all COVID-19 patients. You may receive a credit or charge to your credit card depending on the insurance charges several weeks after your visit. For your protection, we limit charges related to COVID-19 to your typical Urgent Care copays or deductible or our in-cash payments, whichever is lower. See What is the Cash cost if my Insurance is not covered or I do not have a US Social Security Number? Unlike some Urgent Care Clinics and many Emergency Rooms, AFC Urgent Care Richmond never "balance bills" above affordable Urgent Care in-network fees. Patients with high deductible plans always have the option of paying our cash cost, if lower.
I have no insurance, is it free?
Suppose you do not have insurance and have a valid Social Security Number. In that case, the government will pay for all covered test costs and the urgent care provider visit under the Federal Cares Act if you have symptoms or suspect exposure to an infected individual. As Fort Bend is in a state of "Community Spread," there are no specific criteria for COVID-19 exposure. If you qualify, you will have to sign an affidavit attesting that you do not have insurance and provide proof of a valid Social Security Number.
Why do you require a Credit Card on File if the Insurance or the Government covers the visit?
Governmental and Insurance Waivers are rapidly changing, and we have no control when insurance companies add or change deductibles or copays, or the government changes its policy. We have no power over the timing or the amounts. While we immediately submit all insurance and government claims, the insurance companies and the government take 30 – 60 days to reimburse and settle copays. We need your Credit Card on file in the event of such a change. In turn, if the Insurance waives or lowers the copays or deductibles, we will pay back the difference. In no case will the total of your copay or deductible, based on all know insurance rates, be above $195 (our in-cash cost for Rapid COVID-19 test) even for high deductible plans.
What is the In-Cash cost if my Insurance is not covered or I do not have a US Social Security Number?
The test price for patients who do not have credentialled Insurance and do not qualify for the CARES act is $185 for RT-PCR and $195 for Molecular Rapid COVID-19 testing. High deductible plan patients always have the option of paying the In-Cash Cost, if lower.
Which Insurances cover Rapid Molecular Tests?
Only the following insurances have agreed to cover COVID-19 Rapid Molecular Tests:
- Government HRSA Program (CARES Act for those without Insurance)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- United Health Care (Partial – we reserve the right to restrict)
COVID-19 Test Information
Are you a COVID-19 Test Center?
We are much more than just a COVID-19 Test Center. All patients do not only get tested by a technician with results sent to a faraway lab. Instead, they are seen and examined face-to-face by a licensed Provider to give you essential advice and recommendations in addition to taking your test sample. We believe that is the best way to meet your health and safety needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This visit is done in your car and finalized with a provider in an outdoor shelter for your safety.
What COVID-19 tests do you offer for patients with suspected COVID-19 exposure or symptoms?
We offer Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19, which usually takes one day to receive results. We also provide COVID-19 Molecular Rapid tests that take 15 minutes and are done entirely in our clinic. We do not offer COVID-19 Antigen Rapid tests. See "How long does it take to get my COVID-19 test results?" for details of turnaround times.
What are the differences between RT-PCR, Molecular Rapid, and Antigen Rapid COVID-19 tests?
We offer RT-PCR, the "gold standard" for COVID-19 tests. It employs advanced Nucleic Acid Amplification Technology (NAAT). It has the highest accuracy with 99% specificity, which means that if a patient is positive, there is a 99% probability of recording a true positive and only a 1% chance of recording a false negative. RT-PCR, however, requires complex laboratories, longer test times, and shipping, which cause a delay. At AFC Urgent Care Richmond, we have one of the fastest turnaround times, with results usually taking only one day. See "How long does it take to get my COVID-19 test results?" for details of turnaround times.
We also offer the 15 Minute Abbot ID NOW Molecular COVID-19 test. This test is the same Rapid COVID-19 test used in the White House and major professional organizations. Like the RT-PCR, this is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), using advanced genetic techniques to increase sensitivity above and beyond Antigen Rapid COVID-19 Tests significantly. However, by using an isothermal amplification technique, technicians complete the test in less than 15 minutes at the point of contact. The sensitivity of our Molecular Rapid Test is 94.7% (true positive rate), meaning there is a 5.3% chance of getting a false negative.
Most Houston area Urgent Care clinics outside of AFC use Antigen Rapid tests. These tests rely on a paper test that has a chemical to react with the virus. Because they do not amplify the virus material, their sensitivity is generally lower, around 85%, which means a 15% chance of getting a false negative.
More information from the FDA about different types of COVID-19 tests are available from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/coronavirus-disease-2019-testing-basics
It would be best if you took all COVID-19 at least five days after the suspected infection to have a high enough viral count to be detected. Return to top
How are the COVID-19 Tests conducted?
After being triaged on the phone with our medical assistants at our clinic, you have an actual curbside office visit with your provider, who interviews and exams you to determine the right tests and actions. For the RT-PCR or Rapid Molecular COVID-19 tests, the provider takes samples from the soft palate at the back of your nose with a nasopharyngeal swab, which has the highest concentration of the virus. A nasopharyngeal swab looks like a large 3" Q tip.
What tests do you offer if I suspect I was exposed or infected more than a month ago to determine if I may have antibodies against COVID-19?
The third type of test we offer is the Serology Antibody Test using traditional enzyme immunoassays. This test is for detecting Antibodies that slowly grow after the initial infection. Detection of Antibodies indicates that the patient was previously exposed to COVID-19 and may have protective antibodies against the disease. This test involves taking a small 80 – 100 ml blood draw from your arm. It is not appropriate for patients who believe they were recently exposed or who have symptoms of COVID-19. It is suitable for patients exposed more than one month ago.Return to top
Safety When you Arrive
How do you ensure my safety?
The safety of our patients and our employees is our highest priority. That is why we stopped all COVID-19 walk-in tests. Instead, we require online or telephonic reservations in advance. We designed our test process to eliminate all patient-to-patient contact and minimize all other communication. The test process occurs entirely in the safety of the patient's car. We have a particular shelter to test patients one at a time on the back of our clinic.
What do I do when I arrive?
For your safety:
- Please arrive 5 minutes and park near the front of our clinic at 18310 West Airport Blvd, Ste 100, Richmond, TX 77407.
- Have in position your government ID. If you are an insurance patient, bring your insurance card. If you are a government CARES patient, bring proof of your social security number.
- Call the clinic on our dedicated COVID 19 Test line 832-756-7772. If no one answers, your assistant(s) are busy with other patients. Do not leave the car. Instead of leaving a voice mail, please call again in two minutes.
- Tell us you have arrived for your appointment and describe your vehicle so we can find you.
- Our staff will come to verify your information to register for you.
- While in your car, we will call you to start the triage process.
- After triage is complete, we will ask you to drive around the building's right-hand side and stop at the long red line. Do not enter the tent until we call you so the previous patient can safely back out of the test tent.
- When your turn is up, follow the red arrows to the test tent.
- The provider will interview you and give you the appropriate test.