Tift Regional explains COVID-19 test costs

Updated: Jul. 6, 2020 at 7:11 PM EDT
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Editor’s Note: On July 7, the South Health District posted to its Facebook page that results by public health departments are available in 2-3 days. Not 5-7 days, as was attributed to Tift Regional. For more information, click here.

TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - The coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic downturn is bringing unexpected medical bills, a primary concern for many Tift Regional Medical Center patients.

“The differences in test is No. 1, we are in a hospital setting, and so the test is administered by a hospital professional. If you compare that to CVS which is advertising a lower cost test but they require you to self swab,” said Justin Beck, vice president and chief strategy officer.

Beck said most people are uncomfortable with self-administered tests, and it is best people go to a hospital to get more accurate results.

“It is very, very uncomfortable, and most people probably aren’t going to do that, or aren’t even going to be aware of what needs to be done, and so the risk of that is one you have a higher chance of false negatives,” said Beck.

Beck said the turnaround for test results in a hospital is much quicker than at a health department or pharmacy store as they at least 5-7 days.

“We are getting our test results back in an average of 2-3 days. If you are self-isolating and you think you have COVID, that can make a big difference in your ability to return to work or other activities,” said Beck.

The cost of a test at Tift Regional is $450, and Beck said if price is a concern, he recommends other facilities that may be able to do it for less money.

“If you are self paying, it drops below $400 to about $390. Obviously if you have insurance, insurance will pay some if not all of that charge,” said Beck.

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