Frequently Asked Questions
Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? We’ve shared some of our most frequently asked questions to help you out. If you still can’t find the answer you need, feel free to contact us!
We strongly encourage you to book your appointment ahead of time. At this time, we do not handle appointments over the phone. The information you provide during the registration process will be securely and safely stored on our encrypted servers and transmitted to our laboratory.
All insurers are covering 100% of RT-PCR testing costs during this time as part of the national emergency plan (read more about the CARES Act here), and you will not be responsible for co-pays or deductibles. We accept all insurance for standard RT-PCR testing.
Of course. If you chose to pay out of pocket, you can easily do so via credit card during registration. The price is very affordable and lower than anywhere else. Our passion is to make testing easily accessible and very affordable. Please select the self-pay option in the drop-down to see the price at each location.
Please email billing@XXXXXX.com with any questions related to billing. Covid TestDirectly and our laboratory will not hold you responsible for any balance not paid for by your insurance.
We offer the test lower than anybody. Why? We are the laboratory. No middleman involved. Most testing centers are operated by collections sites that purchase the test from a lab, so they have higher costs. Our mission is to make testing easy and accessible, and that includes more affordable. Besides accepting all insurance, if you want to pay cash, you can, it is less expensive than anybody else can offer it.
A RT-PCR diagnostic test can show if you have an active coronavirus infection and will determine whether you need to take steps to quarantine or isolate yourself from others. RT-PCR tests detect the virus’ genetic material and are considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. The big difference between this and an antigen test is that PCR can detect the virus even if present in minute levels because it amplifies the genetic material by creating millions of copies of the viral DNA before detecting it.
It is a molecular methodology for detecting viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens. It stands for a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. In this process, your swab sample undergoes a front-end step to extract the viral RNA and clear any impurities. The extracted RNA is then run through a process (reverse transcriptase) that creates a DNA copy, that in turn gets amplified repeatedly (the “chain reaction” part) until several million copies of the viral DNA get created after several cycles. During this process, millions of probes are also created and then detected at the end. This “chain reaction” or amplification is the reason why even small quantities of viral material are enough to detect the virus and why it is far superior to rapid antigen tests that only search for the presence of viral proteins without the ability to amplify any material that may be present.
Once your specimen is collected, it will be transported and flown overnight to our main laboratory facilities in Denver, Colorado, or Nashville, TN. Once the specimens are received, our average turnaround time is less than 17 hours. Depending on your collection time, the TAT from the collection will be 36-48 business hours or less. Approximately 80% of tests will have results in less than 36 business hours from collection.
Tests performed by experienced reference labs are the most reliable. There are many labs created to do just Covid testing. This is easy to tell as they do not do any other testing. These labs are inexperienced, accredited based on thin, bare minimum standards, and operated by people that have very little laboratory or healthcare experience. Our laboratory has been performing PCR testing for the detection of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections for over a decade, well before Covid came about. We also perform cancer diagnostics testing and are trusted by physicians and hospitals with precious samples including tissue specimens from surgeries or bone marrow material to perform sophisticated testing to detect cancer and infections. We also operate under higher accreditation standards. In addition to being accredited as a CLIA-88 high complexity laboratory, we are also accredited by CAP (College of American Pathologists) which is a higher standard. Also, note that all “rapid” tests are Point of Care devices that are typically not operated by labs -they are “black boxes” that produce results without any quality control processes which would be standard practice for any test performed by a reference laboratory.
We do not offer Antigen testing as an option. We offer the PCR test which is the gold standard of testing and unlike other laboratories, our turnaround times are very fast, typically resulting in 24-48 hours but most results will be available in 24 hours. We strongly discourage rapid Antigen testing. For several reasons. Coverage for rapid antigen tests varies across insurers, so we recommend confirming your coverage with your insurance provider before submitting a rapid test reimbursement. Furthermore, and even more importantly, Antigen tests have significant limitations and are unreliable. Antigen tests detect viral proteins and, unlike PCR tests, there is no amplification. So if there is insufficient viral material present the Antigen test may return a negative result even though the virus is present. This would be what is called a false negative. This is the worst thing for a screening test, as you may think you are negative, but instead, you are actually positive and thus inadvertently keep spreading the virus. Furthermore, for the reasons already stated, an Antigen test is not accepted by most places as a valid negative test for the virus.
We operate our collection centers (where ours or our affiliates) using a custom-built and fully integrated software system connecting our clinical staff and lab. And unlike other collection centers using third-party labs, we are the lab. Everything is fully integrated and seamless. The second you register, an electronic order is created in our laboratory system, and the second you’re your swabbed is finished, the electronic order is submitted. These electronic handoffs result in less time needed for separate data entry. Lastly, because we are the lab, we fully control the performance of the test and properly manage the workloads to deliver consistent turnaround times.
Because of HIPPA (patient data protection regulations) reasons we do not email PDF reports. You will receive an automatic email and text (to the email address and mobile number you provided during registration) alerting you that your result is available. You can then follow the link or log in to TestDirectly patient portal to view your report, download it or print it as you desire. You can use this PDF report as a travel certificate valid for traveling, or other places that require proof of a recent negative PCR test. If you need additional documentation for airline traveling, please email billing@XXXXXXcom.
No, the test will not hurt! Our test kits are validated for anterior mid-nasal collection, which means that the swab is inserted less than one inch into the nostril. This collection process is much more comfortable than the nasopharyngeal collection used in most hospitals and public testing locations. That said. We give YOU the choice. We offer both (it is noted in the Center). NP swabs are indeed more “invasive” BUT offer increased sensitivity. The NP swabs scoop material deeper where there is a higher concentration of viral material, they usually yield a better collection sample.
Find the center most convenient to you, and simply book an appointment on our website. Nothing to order, nothing to mess with at home. Drive-up. Get swabbed. Gent automatically notified when the result is ready, and log in to view (download or print) your result. Once you create an account. It will remember you and if you need to repeat, your registration will be even faster and easier than the first time.
You will receive an e-mail and SMS notification with login information to our portal once the results are back from the lab. You will be able to download your result report in PDF format to easily share it with your employer, family, airline, or any other place that may require proof of negative test.
Yes, indeed. At our sites, we can provide an observed self-collection, in which case the parent can perform the collection on the child, or alternatively, we will have a nurse or other qualified personnel perform the collection. It will be clearly noted on the site whether the site performs self-collections only. To help prepare your child for their testing experience, we recommend you provide them with an explanation on why they are getting tested and share with them the following information. Our friendly staff will be wearing masks and face shields to keep people safe and are there to help. Explain that you or our staff will rub the inside of their nose with a cotton swab and that it may tickle a little and be uncomfortable, but it will not hurt them.
Please arrive to our testing site 5 minutes prior to your appointment time. If for any reason you are running earlier or later than your appointment time we will be able to accommodate.