BioReference Laboratories CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 Test Information2020-04-05T18:35:44+00:00

BioReference COVID-19 Test Information

What You Need to Know About Testing for COVID-19

Physicians and other healthcare providers anywhere in the U.S. can order BioReference’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. The testing detects the presence of the underlying virus that causes COVID-19 and is for use with patients who meet current guidance for evaluation of infection with COVID-19. Note: BioReference does not collect specimens for COVID-19 testing. Patients for whom testing has been ordered should not be sent to a BioReference location to have a specimen collected.

Novel Coronavirus Disease: COVID-19

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new virus of global health significance caused by infection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

Transmission and Symptoms

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is thought to spread from person to person in close contact through respiratory droplets. It is also possible that a person can catch COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it.

The CDC reports that the following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure: Fever, Cough, and Shortness of breath.

Diagnostic Testing for COVID-19

BioReference offers a real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) assay, giving healthcare providers accurate and timely test results to ensure greater access to testing, promote earlier diagnosis and help limit the subsequent spread of infection. The test detects the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and is for use with patients who meet current guidance for evaluation of infection with COVID-19.

The test has been made available pursuant to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for diagnostic testing in CLIA Certified high-complexity laboratories. The Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 test has been validated and is being performed by BioReference.

Guidance for Testing

The CDC has released criteria for healthcare providers for the evaluation of patients under investigation (PUI) of COVID-19. As of March 4, 2020 recommendations include testing for a wider group of symptomatic patients. Providers should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Decisions on which patients receive testing should be based on the local epidemiology of COVID-19, as well as the clinical course of illness.

Please refer to the most current CDC guidelines for further information on appropriate testing of patients, based on exposure history and the presence or absence of symptoms. Click Here to access the CDC guidelines.

Healthcare providers should notify their local or state health department immediately in the event of a patient under investigation for COVID-19.

Collection Instructions

Patients under investigation of COVID-19 and seeking evaluation of the disease will not be collected at BioReference Patient Service Centers. Specimen should be collected at physician offices, hospitals or other clinic settings. As of March 24, 2020, the FDA and CDC recommend collecting and testing an upper respiratory specimen with a nasopharyngeal collection (NP), as the preferred choice for swabbased SARS-CoV-2 testing. If a NP specimen cannot be collected, alternate collection sites are acceptable and detailed below. Refrigerate specimen at 2-8° C. Label with patient name. Place in specimen bag and label with “COVID-19” and submit to laboratory.

Flocked plastic NP swabs in universal or viral transport media (UTM/VTM) at 3 mL volume are preferred. The FDA has made alternative recommendations in the context of limited quantities of testing supplies during this public health crisis, based on the best available evidence and in consultation with outside experts. When considering alternate swab types, use only synthetic fiber swabs with plastic shafts. Do not use calcium alginate swabs or swabs with wooden shafts, as they may contain substances that inactivate some viruses and inhibit PCR testing.

Please refer to the most current CDC guidelines for further information on collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens here and the FDA FAQs on Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2 “What If I Do Not Have…?” here.

Standard Procedures for Nasopharyngeal Collection

  1. Tilt patients head so nasal passages are parallel to the palate.
  2. Insert a swab into nostril. Leave the swab in place for several seconds to absorb secretions.
  3. Slowly remove swab while rotating it.
Nasopharyngeal collection

Self-Pay Pricing

Along with many of our other clinical tests, COVID-19 is available with a self-pay patient price to increase access to comprehensive testing for patients who do not have health insurance or for those who intentionally choose not to submit a claim to their insurance company. The COVID-19 self-pay price is $55.

Test Codes

INFORMATION

Alternate Name: Comprehensive Respiratory Panel with Rflx to COVID-19
Clinical Utility: Assess for various viral and bacterial infectious agents associated with symptomatic upper respiratory infections.
Methodology: Polymerase Chain Reaction

ORDERING

Test Code: M062-8
Turnaround Time: 3 days
Preferred Specimen: Swab-Star Swab
Alternative Specimen: Swab-Viral Culturette
Specimen Comment: Primary container: Viral Swab-Media Male and Flu Naso (item #510)
NOTE: The Comprehensive Respiratory Panel does not include testing for the detection of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first identified in Wuhan, China. It does test for several other Coronaviridae (229E, HKU1, NL63 and OC43).
TAT will increase if reflexes to COVID-19
Storage Instruction: Refrigerate

BILLING

CPT Codes: 87581 (1), 87633 (1), 87486 (1), 87798 (1)

INFORMATION

Alternate Name: COVID-19 Oropharynx
Clinical Utility: For the detection of the novel COVID-19, Coronavirus.
Methodology: Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction

ORDERING

Test Code: TH69-8
Turnaround Time: 3 days
Preferred Specimen: Swab-Star Swab
Alternative Specimen: Swab-Viral Culturette
Specimen Comment: Swab must be labeled with source: Oropharynx
Storage Instruction: Refrigerate

BILLING

CPT Codes: 87635 (1)

INFORMATION

Alternate Name: COVID-19 Nasal/Nasopharynx
Clinical Utility: For the detection of the novel COVID-19, Cornavirus.
Methodology: Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction

ORDERING

Test Code: TH68-0
Turnaround Time: 3 days
Preferred Specimen: Swab-Star Swab
Alternative Specimen: Swab-Viral Culturette
Specimen Comment: Swab must be labeled with source: Nasopharynx
Storage Instruction: Refrigerate

BILLING

CPT Codes: 87635 (1)

INFORMATION

Alternate Name: COVID-19 Pooled N/NP/OP
Clinical Utility: For the detection of the novel COVID-19, Coronavirus.
Methodology: Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction

ORDERING

Test Code: TH71-4
Turnaround Time: 3 days
Preferred Specimen: Swab-Star Swab
Alternative Specimen: Swab-Viral Culturette
Specimen Comment: Swab must be labeled with source: Pooled NP/OP
Storage Instruction: Refrigerate

BILLING

CPT Codes: 87635 (1)

Information provided by BioReference Laboratories. Retrieved 04/05/2020. Information should be used with caution. Contact BioReference for the most up to date resources. 

Retrieved from https://www.bioreference.com/physicians/covid-19

BioReference COVID-19 Provider Brochure

BioReference COVID-19 brochure providing more information on test codes, collection instructions, specimens including swabs, vials and transport medium.
View Information

BioReference COVID-19 FAQ

BioReference COVID-19 FAQ on the disease and other information.
View FAQ

BioReference COVID-19 Specimen Collection Guidelines

BioReference COVID-19 specimen Collection Guidelines including authorized Alternate Collection Options Due to Critical Shortages of Transport Media and Swabs.
View Collection Guidelines

BioReference COVID-19 Provider Information Page

BioReference COVID-19 provider information page giving information on various aspects of testing.
View Saved Page

BioReference COVID-19 Test Code M062

BioReference COVID-19 test code information on M062 : COMPREHENSIVE RESPIRATORY PANEL WITH RFLX TO COVID-19.
View Test Menu

BioReference COVID-19 Test Code TH68

BioReference COVID-19 test code information on TH68 : NOVEL CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 NASAL/NASOPHARYNX
View Test Menu

BioReference COVID-19 Test Code TH69

BioReference COVID-19 test code information on TH69 : NOVEL CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 OROPHARYNX
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BioReference COVID-19 Test Code TH71

BioReference COVID-19 test code information on TH71 : NOVEL CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 POOLED N/NP/OP
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COVID-19 Test Kit Resources

Resources for collecting COVID-19 specimens including swabs, vials and transport medium.
Test Kit Resources

COVID-19 Provider Resources

Resources for providers related to COVID-19 testing, specimens, labs and insurance.
Provider Resources

Arizona COVID-19 Testing

Resources for Arizona residents wishing to have COVID-19 testing.
Arizona COVID-19 Testing