One Medical offers PCR, antibody testing to general public

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – As leaders look towards the reopening of more sectors of the economy, testing continues to be a cornerstone of those plans.

So in an effort to provide more widespread testing, One Medical is among the first to announce testing for the general public, including asymptomatic patients with coronavirus concerns. They are offering PCR-based tests as well as antibody testing.

“The PCR swab is still the primary way to test for the virus in people who are symptomatic or asymptotic with COVID-19,” said Natasha Bhuyan, family physician and Regional Director for One Medical. “If someone is trying to figure out if they had past infection or past exposure, that’s when someone would want to get the antibody testing.”

Before a sample is ever taken from a patient, Bhuyan says One Medical will arrange a virtual consultation with a clinician to decide what the next best step would be to fit their needs.

“We recommend people do a remote visit with a clinician because there are a lot of benefits and limitations to this antibody tests, a lot of questions out there,” Bhuyan said. “We also want to make sure we are routing them to the right testing location depending on their symptoms and personal story.”

PCR tests determine if someone currently has the virus, an antibody test is done to find signs of if someone has previously been infected. Buhyan says each patient’s story is considered on an individual basis to ensure they are given correct care.

“We don’t want people to get an antibody test and then get some false sense of security,” Buhyan said. “Just because someone gets an antibody test with have a positive result, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are immune.”

Scientists are still working to determine a link between antibodies and immunity. When asked what would be the primary reason someone would want an antibody test, Buhyan says it has a lot to do with reassurance.

“It just gives them reassurance that yes, that infection that I had was COVID-19 and I did recover from it— that is empowering,” Buhyan said. “For patients that have a negative test, this means you have not been exposed, which means you really have to make sure you are physical distancing because you could still get infected.”

One Medical is typically a membership-based medical facility, but for 30 days they are offering a free code so the general public can have access to not only virtual care and consultations, but a test should they want one.

One Medical says insured patients should not incur any out of pocket expenses associated with COVID-19 antibody testing. Uninsured patients may see a bill from the laboratory that processes their specimen.

While they cannot offer exactly what a patients costs would be, they have reported bills ranging from $50 to $100 for uninsured patients.

“Viewers can use the code, GETCARE30 they would get access for free and if they wanted to access their testing, they could get that as well,” Buhyan said.

One Medical says to call 1-888-ONE-MED1 to get started with a free trial membership.

You can also visit their website to learn more information here: https://www.onemedical.com/coronavirus/ 

Categories: California News, Coronavirus, Local San Diego News