Complete Care Medicine now offering COVID-19 Antibody testing

Complete Care Medicine Lab is one of the first in the country to get a new American made blood test from Abbott laboratories that checks your blood for a special COVID-19 antibody.

“This is an important, new type of testing that we haven’t had access to before,” said Dr. Michael Herrera, the director of the Lab.

This test is already in use at the University of Washington Virology Lab where UW researchers have been working with Scientists testing its accuracy. These Scientists said Friday that they found the test can determine if someone had COVID-19 with nearly 100% accuracy.

“It showed a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 99.6%,” said Alex Greniger, assistant director of the UW Virology Lab. “Diagnostically, this is one of the best tests we can offer,” he said.

The accuracy of this test is important to note as we are seeing several tests come to the market, some that are being sold over the counter, that have not been properly vetted and may not be as accurate as advertised.  This is because the FDA has allowed about 90 companies, many based in China, to sell tests without this vetting, saying that the pandemic warrants an urgent response.

Tests of “frankly dubious quality” have flooded the American Market, said Scott Becker, executive director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories. For this reason, it is imperative to only use tests that have been thoroughly tested and proven to be accurate as we believe this test that can help reopen the economy and get people back to work.

The Abbot test specifically looks for what is called an IgG antibody — something your immune system makes after you get sick from COVID-19.

Abbott explains the IgG antibody “is a protein that the body produces in the late stages of infection and may remain for up to months and possibly years after a person has recovered.”

Unlike the nasal swab to check for the actual virus, this test requires a blood draw.

One your blood is drawn; you will know if you have already been infected and have protection from the virus within 48 hours.  This information may prove invaluable on knowing whether you can go back to work or be around others who may be at risk to contract the virus such as the elderly or immune compromised.

The Complete Care Medicine lab uses the Abbott Architect ci4100 which is the same type of machine used by major labs and hospitals throughout the Valley. Supplies are currently limited, and testing will be done on a first come first serve basis. Due to the anticipated demand for this test and the stress that it will place on our phone staff, we ask that those who are interested in testing contact us by email at questions@completecaremedicine.com or text us on our main number at 480-457-8800.  The sooner you text or email us the better chance you will have to get tested as you will be scheduled based on the order in that we receive your request. Please leave us your name and contact information so that we may reserve your spot for testing.

Please be aware that at this point we are awaiting guidance from the insurance companies on whether this test will be covered or not. In order to document medical necessity, you will need to undergo a virtual telemedicine visit with one of our providers before the test can be ordered. Once this visit is completed, if you qualify for testing, we will arrange a time for you to come in to have your blood drawn in a safe and clean environment. We are currently encouraging testing for any patients who have had fevers, respiratory or flu like symptoms or have had known contact with persons who were positive for COVID-19.  We are also encouraging any health care workers to be tested.

Due to the uncertainty of whether this test will be covered by insurance or not (As of the writing of this press release, we have not been given an order code to use nor have we been able to verify coverage with the insurance companies), there will be a 40.00 charge for each test.  If your insurance does end up covering the test you will be refunded any amounts above what the insurance company deems your responsibility.

As supplies become more readily available, we hope to be able to test all our patients so that we can have an accurate picture of the depth of this disease and determine what immunity may already exist in our community.