Other Richmond-area residents have sought tests at urgent care centers, such as Patient First and BetterMed.
BetterMed promises same-day PCR results for tests taken before noon. But BetterMed, which accepts insurance, charges $189 for an antigen test and a required medical evaluation and $249 for a PCR test and medical evaluation, according to its website. That doesn’t include additional fees to collect and run the test, which are charged by the lab.
Patient First takes walk-up customers but has had to stop registering patients earlier than normal to accommodate the volume, said Ian Slinkman, vice president of public relations. During the holidays, lines built up outside the doors before the buildings opened.
Patient First, which also accepts insurance, charges $53 for an antigen test and up to $109 for a PCR test. According to its website, the results of a PCR test can take up to six days. It only offers tests for symptomatic patients.
“It’s important to remember that we are a doctor’s office – not a public testing facility,” Slinkman said.
Health leaders have advised residents to conduct PCR tests instead of rapid at-home tests. While there isn’t a shortage of PCR tests, there aren’t always enough staffers to efficiently administer a test to everyone who wants one. At a PCR event in eastern Henrico, the line of would-be patients stretched around a football field.
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