DALLAS, April 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Watermark Health has opened up a drive-through COVID-19 testing site on the Watermark Community Church Dallas campus, providing free testing for the uninsured. The COVID-19 tests are provided through a partnership between Watermark Urgent Care clinics and Questcare Medical Clinics, a division of Envision Physician Services. To use the testing site, a provider referral is required from one of the partner clinics.
Patients at the site are tested without ever leaving their cars, using a simple nasal swab. For people who have health insurance, the tests will be billed to their insurers; but for uninsured patients, the testing will be provided for by Watermark Health. Currently, 90 percent of the patients served by the two Watermark Urgent Care clinics do not have health insurance.
"Our main goal is to help those who otherwise could not access or afford COVID-19 testing," says Christy Chermak, Executive Director of Watermark Health. "This site will be an extension of what we do every day at the clinics: providing quality medical and spiritual care to those who may have nowhere else to go."
Expanding access to COVID-19 testing is often cited as a key factor in controlling the pandemic and allowing people to go back to work. The new testing site is one more step towards making that a reality, especially for the uninsured.
Dallas County offers two government-run drive-through testing locations, but those are located in central and south Dallas, and they have specific limits on who can be tested. The new Watermark drive-through site is in north Dallas, located near several neighborhoods that have high levels of uninsured residents, including many refugees.
Before being tested at the Watermark site, patients need a referral. This is not a financial barrier, explains Chermak, because anyone can conduct that visit with a provider at Watermark Urgent Care for free. "The test, by itself, doesn't provide any information other than 'positive' or 'negative.' A physician can determine whether a test is needed, explain the results, provide appropriate treatment options and advise the patient on how to protect others from infection."
The COVID-19 testing and lab relationship is being managed by Questcare, which has partnered with Watermark Urgent Care since the first clinic opened seven years ago. "They were the fuel behind the medical portion of almost everything we do," says Chermak. "We definitely couldn't do this without them. Partnering with their staff allows our team to focus our time and energy on leadership and ministry interactions, rather than testing logistics. They have multiple other drive-through sites for the insured around DFW. We trust their expertise and are grateful to meet this specific need alongside them."
The Watermark drive-through testing site is currently open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is located at the Watermark Community Church Campus. For more information, including how to seek a provider referral so you can be tested, visit watermarkurgentcare.com/testing.
About Watermark Community Church
Watermark Community Church is a nondenominational multi-site church based in Dallas, Texas. Watermark Health is a ministry of the church which operates two Watermark Urgent Care clinics in Dallas and Plano. The clinics serve uninsured and underinsured patients at no charge; an optional $10 donation is recommended but not required. Together, the clinics see about 12,000 patient visits each year, serving people from 129 different countries and saving the local community an estimated $12 million annually in healthcare costs. For more about the church and the clinics, visit watermark.org and watermarkurgentcare.com.
SOURCE Watermark Community Church